Waht happened in Turbi

April 26, 2013

What happened in Turbi!


Eddie and Steve very kindly delivered out limping Imp tot eh Turbi Police station where we intended to carry out our Imp repairs and then set up camp for the night. Then Steve and Eddie continued their charge for Moyale before the conditions worsened.

With farewells bade, Geoff and I greeted our new hosts, the police force of Turbi and what absolute gentlemen to a man they were. They just could not do enough to assist us. Now you need to know something about Turbi. It is about 140 kilometres from Moyale and it never had a police force to look after its 4,000 or so population. Well in 2005 some 800 or so men women and children were slaughtered by a neighbouring faction over livestock issues. As a result, there is a police force of about 10 or 12 personnel.

The top man John was particularly helpful and all his men followed his lead and we were not left wanting for ANYTHING!

Another thing you should know about Turbi is that it has NO WATER!!! We had to buy a 20 litter bucket of rainwater for 20 US dollars!!! Now it seemed quite paradoxical that we had a drought situation whilst being marooned on a mud road due to flooding. Well parody or not we had to pay for the water that was essential in getting the underside of the Imp cleaned up so we could carry out the necessary repairs.

Well we delayed not in cleaning away the mud and gravel so that we could assess the damage and get to work on restoring our faithful chariot to roadworthiness again.

The mud that we removed, which was most of it but not all of it, must have weighed about 40 to 50 kilogrammes. In fact the mud had bound itself around the half shafts, the rubber doughnuts; the insides of the wheels the hubs, even the universal joints were solid with the mud and gravel. Only when the grime was removed did we start working on the steering arm which we removed and replaced it with a spare one that we had sagely brought with us. Its bush had certainly seen better days but at least it was straight. So within an hour or so and lying on burning hot sand drinking about 4 litters of water we completed the task and the car was ready for a short run to make sure all was in order. All four wheels turned so we were happy. But now, what about the alignment? This we did by eye and left it so. We decided to drive the car and see if the tyres wore unevenly and adjust the toe in or out accordingly. Then we put to very good use the portable shower that Geoff had brought along and sparkling clean, exhausted and starving we set out our tent and went about making supper. Boy did we fairly scoff down our good eats!

We were warned about certain wildlife in the area, there were hyenas that lived in the hills at the back of the police station and we very soon realised that this was no yarn as we heard the hyena whoo whooping all evening and night long. In fact attending to a call of nature about 2am I was very careful to take with me one of our excellent Streamlight torches because I knew the Hyenas would immediately shy away from any bright lights. Luckily the toilets were only about 25 or 30 meters from our tent. To my surprise the next morning I found Hyena spoor right next to the toilets, so in fact they had come very close to our set up indeed.

For the duration of the afternoon when we worked on our car repairing the steering arm etc. the rain had stayed away and the sun baked down with all its might. The next day it did the same. So we trying to decide when would be our best moment to make a dash for Moyale. It the road had reasonable dried out we felt our sturdy little Imp would make it based on its performance over the first 100 or so kilos on the dry dirt.  Alas the clouds were gathering and although the rain did not fall on Turbi we had reports from the few cars that had returned from Moyale that more rain was falling between Moyale and Turbi and that conditions were very bad and worsening. This is when we made a very tough decision. We decided to hire a truck to get us to Moyale. Now mostly the truck leaving Moyale coming to Marsabit past Turbi are empty but not so the other way around. So our first test was to find this proverbial needle in a haystack. To our rescue came the police team again and they confirmed that they knew of a guy en route Marsabit to Moyale with only half a load and he was willing to assist us.

So full of hope we sat and waited with our tent and all our goddies packed ready for the get go. We were told the truck was expected at 10h00 but we knew it would probably only arrive at about 12h00 or so. Well at about 13h00 we did make a gentle enquiry as to the whereabouts of the driver and truck and we were informed that he was just two or so kilometres before the village. What they forgot to tell us was that he had been there for over four hours already. You see he couldn’t get past the huge ditch that we had been pulled through the day before due to the further deterioration of the cavity. Furthermore there was another truck stuck solidly in the river just ahead of this obstacle that also blocked his way.

Well by some miracle; in fact I will rephrase that; by Brian’s expert handling of his truck he managed to get through to us by mid-afternoon.



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