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2020, Blog, english, Kenya

Kenya: The next round of groundhopping

Already last year I accompanied a German groundhopper in Kenya. Thanks to word-of-mouth advertising I was able to meet Mark from Berlin and be available as his guide. Mark calls himself a sports tourist and is a football fanatic who travels the globe to visit football, sports facilities and stadiums. When I try to explain this to another Kenyan, they just shake their heads. I have fun doing it.

Mark came to Nairobi back in December after a tip from Kay in Hamburg, whom I was already able to help. On 21 December he reached Nairobi with a delay of 3 hours. But delays are part of everyday life in Africa, which is why I took it quite sporty. Chaos is also part of it and so the terminal changed more often. But even that only made me fit.

When Mark had Kenyan soil under his feet, I took him to his hotel and we had dinner in the CBD (Central Business District). The day was not very eventful and we retired.

The next day we actually didn’t have much to do. In Machakos district Mark wanted to watch a football game at the Kenyatta Stadium. A totally simple matter. But we had done the calculation without the Kenyan Football Association.

Twenty minutes before we left for the nearby stadium, the venue suddenly changed. The game was now to be played at a stadium in Nakuru district. Only 153 kilometers away. Thanks to the road conditions, it would have taken us a good three hours. What decision does the German make in a hopeless situation? Correct: We go there!

To my own amazement, and I ride the track more often, we were at the stadium 30 minutes before kick-off to watch Ulinzi stars against an unimportant team. Ulinzi already scored three goals in the first half and in the second half they added another one. So we decided to leave early for Nairobi. Mainly because of the bad road conditions. But actually I didn’t want to drive with a white man in the night. In some circles of our society there is a rumour that all white people are rich people. And driving through Kenya at night with a rich white guy is not a good idea.

We left Afraha Stadium in Nakuru district and I was driving faster than usual. Thanks to the road conditions and a sudden unmarked detour due to an even more sudden construction site, it got dark unexpectedly like every evening, even though we still had 60 kilometres of road ahead of us. And yes, I still had that white guy in the car. To make sure I would arrive I simply sold Mark to an old woman in one of the villages.

Of course not. We did what every Kenyan does in this situation: I robbed Mark first and then sold him.

So now it’s enough. Of course we really did what Kenyans do in such a situation and in Germany you cannot do: We asked Google Maps for help because we have a working mobile network in Africa with 4G and 3G even outside big cities. Even if it hurts you now, but one day you will have that in Germany too.

Thanks to Google Maps we were able to find our way around quite well. Unfortunately the detour route was a disaster. Huge holes, bumps, missing markings and the basic lack of interest of most drivers to dim their headlights made the trip more difficult. And of course we had to take a pee. Despite the problems and the not so relaxed day we arrived safely in Nairobi in the evening. We ate a snack in the CBD and had a beer at the end before everyone retired to their hotel or home.

The next morning Mark wanted to take the bus to Tanzania. There sports facilities were waiting for him again. I helped him check out and we walked through the CBD for a while before I could drop him off at the bus. Four hours later he was already there and confirmed the arrival at the hotel. Whether it was really him, I do not know. Since his groundhopping website (www.stadionbesuch.de) is not up to date, it could be that the bus driver sold him.

If you also want to have an adventure in Kenya, contact me. We won’t have to search long.