The Equator line, tourists being conned by local youth. The usual change of water swirl in a bowl…
Rainy seasons don’t do much to improve the usual main dirt tracks.
Tombstone factory, I can’t say I have seen many of them.
the good old Peugeot 503. rare sighting nowadays. Peugeot has lost most of its business in Africa so event he newer models are rare. Toyota took over.
2nd hand clothes in bales. That is a big business here, these guys buy a bale without knowing what’s inside, hoping for the best. Many of these clothes are given by western people to charities which in turn give or sell them in bulk to middle men in Africa who get richer by selling them in these smaller bags but at a higher price. Another source is unsold items from factories or shops either because there is a glitch or become the new fashion mode made them redundant. Good deals are to be made in African flea markets. I just paid 10 $ for a brand new pair of Dockers cargo pants. I’m still looking for the glitch…
Route 66…great sceneries especially in the western part. Is it worth doing? Yes but the touristy touch is a bit too heavy to my liking. It’s so “authentic” you’d think… no mostly just cheap but still funny. And then as I said, the landscapes, and the people.
see the thing that was mostly cheap? The number “66” is everywhere, just everywhere. Sickening in the end, that spoils a lot. We fucking know we’re on the 66, there are road signs, notices, ads…every 50m. No need for extra double paintings on wreckages. I bet some owners have their underwear and condoms labelled with something 66.
and 66 again! Or historic 66 just in case you’re really dumb…
see this lovely blue shop would be better off that bunch of yellow signs or the ‘66’ tyre.
finally you see more of authentic America where no one advertise for it. But I’d go again.
a typical large painted advertisement.
Elections in Kenya were violent and ugly in 2007. Let’s hope for some improvement and restraint for the next one in March. In the meantime, these political ads are to be seen on every empty space.
Typical scene, and sometimes there is a passenger sitting on top of the load.
A venerable and rare Peugeot 404. They used to be so common across Africa...
Political activity on the road. In case of heavy braking or accident, these guys will have about one second to learn to land…
Motorbike taxi. Masai men feel naked without their legendary stick.
typical shanty huts stuck side by side. Usually they are about business.
Masai man in sport shoes.
derelict fruit and vegetable stalls.
well in this case Karine was driving but it happens I drive and shoot.
Roadsides in Africa are very visual. Colorful, busy, messy, full of life and details.
Pupils tend to be seen everywhere but in school, unfortunately.
Masai men shopping.
This shop reminded a bit of an American road in the west.
Quite often, motorists have to share the road with cattle. A risky business sometimes.
Coca Cola is nearly everywhere in Africa. If one doesn't spot a Coke sign, this is really the middle of nowhere.
In Namanga, a border post with Tanzania, Miracle Hotel or New Emirates Hotel…it seems the new management didn’t invest much. I have the address for the daredevils…
Rafiki means friend in swahili. Namanga is what one could describe as a shithole but I find it very photographer friendly.
I wished the shop had been open for a quick look inside.
After a venerable Peugeot 504, we spotted this hardly younger Datsun. Notice the thin spare wheel. Those cops are definitely not equipped for car chases…
Always keep your eyes open when crossing a village. There always details to spot, like bright fresh colors on shanty buildings.
Pupils on their way or away to school. It’s hard to say which sometimes as pupils can be spotted wandering any time of the day. Same situation in Tanzania.
Masai on the phone in front of a cellphone network advertisement.
Cows, donkeys, goats are numerous on the roads. Sometimes they’re just grazing and one can’t help wondering why they seem to choose the very edge of a highway to do so whereas the infinite grassy savannah is just there…
An alluring restaurant.
Another die-hard Peugeot 504. I’m always amazed that the French carmaker managed to lose its African market to Toyota when they had such great cars.
A discreet butchery, no sign but the meat is obviously hanging on a hook, in the sun attracting flies. A common scenery…
I can’t help wondering what can be so extreme while having a haircut in this hair salon.
A ‘mishkaki’, nickname for these overloaded motorbike taxis. Or bodaboda in local language.
As said before the African roads are rarely boring.
Some pictures on the long I 95, between Bullhead (Arizona on the edge with California) going north to Las Vegas.
Karine and the rental Ford. With all our bags and photo gear and shopping goodies, this car size was a minimum to hide everything in the boot.
Harleys…the myth goes on. Nowadays, Harley trips can be organised from abroad. Rent your Harley and ride! I try to imagine a French biker meeting a group of hard core indigenous bikers haha. Over the years on US TV shows, I’ve spotted a dozen remarks towards France, usually negative. It seems the smart finger the French gave over Iraq invasion still doesn’t go down well with some people. I’m not French by the way so any attack on my opinion should keep this in sight
No there is no river there, just a funny casino on the border between Arizona and Nevada.
I must say I’m not always keen on the road signs system, a bit messy sometimes. Maybe I would just need time to get used to…
I have to fish for the close up picture of that contraption because this model is the “Serengeti” version!! I’d like to see that monster on the narrow and winding dirt roads to reach the real Serengeti through the Ngorongoro area….
many signs like this one were spread alongside highways, usually on the same theme.
The road used to be awful but has just been resurfaced last year. So the trip is now smooth, for now as cracks on the surface already appear. Thanks to Chinese quality… The scenery is pleasant but the real show happens nearby villages and towns. I always check the names on shops, bars, hotels etc. Originality and the no fear no shame concept are common. I’m sure diplomats would love this place.
Karine loves to drive herself, so I just keep my camera handy and snaps away.
The Kenyan cops could be nicknamed Starsky and Hutch...for the age of their cars. This is a picture from last week but that venerable Peugeot 504, station-wagon, has been on the roads for much longer. Kenya used to manufacture various Peugeot models under license after Peugeot stopped the by-then current model. So this one must be from 1980?
How many 20 liter containers on this cart? This man doesn’t need a gym membership.
A mentally challenged woman, she was behaving strange on that main road.
Elections in Kenya are planned for the 4th March. Let’s hope we will not witness the same violence as in 2007.
Masai man in white sneakers watching life goes by.
At the border post, Namanga, that’s where the show is. Seriously I could spend hours there just watching. Various business places, various people like Somalis, a lot of activity, bright colors hardly cover the poverty. I’ll make a special post on Namanga soon.
More names: why beehive for this highly 'hygienic' butchery? Another common scenery: those carcasses hanging on a hook. We also were so sad to miss a chance to sip a cup of tea in that lovely tea room.
We spotted 2 of these cyclist within a week, on the same road. I was a bit drooling, remembering my own bicycle trip from Arusha to Cape Town some 10 years ago. My bike looked like this one but I was not sporting the same funny outfit. The face was entirely covered too, maybe a Japanese biker, but we think it was a she. And alone on the road.
The second biker was cycling on a dirt track towards Amboseli park, very isolated so we stopped for a chat, gave him water, a newer map of East Africa, some fruit. We were heading to a nice lodge, he was planning to camp under the starry night. We could give away our reserve.
that gray area is a lava flow from the major volcanic activity in 2007 and 2008. That truck is using the regular track near the culprit, Oldoinyo Lengai.
another truck, but this one has some problem to sort out. This a delta on the lake Natron northern shoreline
same truck. I wonder if the driver enjoyed the scenery while waiting for some help…
laundry day a bit further in the delta.
cows and goats…. to be seen everywhere in Tanzania and further. The country is vast and not barb-wired everywhere like in South Africa.
Masai farmers plowing the fields the old way, an ox or and a hoe.
Market day in Loliondo, a village north of Serengeti.
the person in the river is an adult, a masai man in his bright red clothes but he could have been a 5 year old child as well. Those kids don’t always go to school but they enjoy somehow a great outdoor life. Roaming the bush without a real schedule, meeting friends…
not the same style but driving in Africa or in America offer the same visual happiness for photographers.
notice the blue bucket below the Equator sign. Local crooks will trick tourists to prove that water swirls in opposite ways just a few meters north or south of the Equator.
casually holding an AK 47 for a road check…
I try to never miss a chance to record something. Sometimes it’s not interesting after all or it will get a documentary value only in 50 years, if… here is a selection of pictures alongside the Kenyan roads, there are some differences with Tanzania but not much.
For instance I’ve never seen such a bicycle in Tanzania. The saddle refurbishment is interesting.
Mishkaki, whatever the spelling, is the nickname for those motorbikes with up to 3 adult passengers.
As in Tanzania, roadsides take a lot of time to be fixed…
Ingenious contraption. I’ve never seen that except in this case.
Sugar cane is eaten plain as a delicacy.
Charcoal is huge business in many African countries, bad business for the environment. Cheap fuel for cooking would be the answer but these days….
A funny road sign, ‘ole’ is a Masai prefix.
The Kodachrome was the best film ever. The first color slide film to be used extensively by the great photographers, including the National Geographic Magazine. Then 2 years ago Kodak, among many weird decisions decided to cut its production. Sometimes you can’t help thinking the bankruptcy is not really a surprise. On top of it, the film department was the only one still making profits, quite a wonder after all the products they’ve thrown out…
Arches NP, same view, different lenses, 28 and 90 mm.
On the road near Telluride, Colorado.
Best film? Then one of the best cameras, a Leica M, was used for these shots.
I’ve seen much better marketing than that….
those cars had character, right? Look at the ugly shapeless donkey behind the blue Bel Air…
road side letter boxes, unseen in Europe.
pick a US map and pick all the European names, it will keep you busy for a while. Then the identical names will show by dozens. Like Sacramento. We’re here in Arizona, not near San Francisco.
this car wreck must be part of a road safety campaign. Such an old piece of junk must have been left there on purpose. Route 66 near Oatman, Arizona.
Ok I’d change the paint but I wouldn’t mind such a toy in Tanzania.
typical landscapes nearby towns. Billboards all over. The ad for gun is mind blowing for Europeans….
That poor woman, not young anymore and obviously still working hard. That piece of leather strap must give headaches… I’ve seen this on Masai women (not men) too and some had a slight curved mark on the skull!
Not the most artistic pictures but if Karine and I had stopped every time we wanted a nice picture, we would hav never made it to our friends’ wedding… So let’s see these pictures from Kenya as a documentary.
African roads are notoriously dangerous, have been for a long time, but the recent boom in advertising doesn’t help. Every company, school, church (especially bloody churches) want their ads on roadsides. It gets cluttered like on this picture and drivers get distracted, especially by trying to read small and dirty signs.
Coke sponsoring a church, am I tripping?
A beautiful example of '”mishkaki”, the local nickname for such an overloaded motorbike. Mind you, the engine is only a 125cc at best on these cheap crap Indian or Chinese imports.
Bikers deserve some respect! They load incredible amounts of goodies on their bicycles and deliver far away. I’ve seen a guy with about 100 kg of charcoal once loaded in a less than stable fashion… the bikes look like the typical black old Dutch model but are Chinese, heavy and worn out. No gear of course. Respect!
either while driving myself or as a passenger when Karine was behind the wheel, I couldn’t help to shoot and shoot again.
funny contraption but I was quite jealous of this dude: I wish I could be on my bicycle for a long trip again and America would be a great location for that.
An older truck, much better looking than the modern ones. Another example of vintage design that keeps up.
A singer on the road. We spotted a few but they remained anonymous. Smart move if you want to avoid the fan hordes.
Moving a half-house. So fragile appearance, no wonder a small storm takes take away.
Yes! Somebody walking in the US!!
Too funny these 2…
this guy doesn’t listen to his mother! I’m sure she has told him many times to wear a helmet or at least a hat for the sun. Seriously I can’t believe some US states don’t require the helmet for riders. In a country where one sues anybody for any moronic reason, so by now some wounded bikers would have sued some legislators because they were not told it was dangerous to ride without helmet… worse in Florida, the law was reversed under Jeb Bush and it’s not compulsory anymore. Just like his bro’ he must have been rocked too close to the wall when he was an infant….
I don’t do advertising on my blog, well if Leica or Nikon wanted to contact me I’d listen…, but I make an exception for this company, SmartSign, and their line on Route 66: www.RoadTrafficSigns.com. I had a pleasant chat with the marketing director, Daniel. So for the Route 66 fans, you might want to have a look at their cool products.
Arushan traffic jams gives some time to observe the urban jungle out there. Here is a little bit of various scenes or fashion and colors.
typical colorful coach. Taste was optional…
Rare pigs. Many Tanzanians are Muslim but still in minority as opposed to Christians. But pigs are rare nevertheless. In swahili, a pig is kiti moto, which means hot seat. Don’t ask me why.
Japanese second hand bus. The original marking haven’t been sprayed over, not unusual. Bob Marley is still fashionable in Africa….
not like the cops always on the prowl for a bribe.
Posters, rugs, calendars, maps, science diagrams, religious portraits are the usual things these guys sell. What a life, spend your day with arms up….
some road sides in Arusha.
even the crappiest hand-cart, like coaches or dala dalas might show some slogan or motto. “Serengeti”…I’d like to see this guy crossing the Serengeti for sure and see what happens….
Leaving Nairobi by bus back to Arusha, I snapped “Nairobbery” (the unofficial but most common nickname for Nairobi) life out of the window.
Soetimes I think there are more cellphones in Africa than in Europe
Ads are getting big and spread all over in Africa. Maybe the guy is having a hangover from that beer? As anybody can see, while the image is decent, the logo is shit as usual. Low carbs for a beer, who cares really? These marketing people really, no shame to consider consumers as morons….
Traffic cops…sometimes they just seemed at best to be considered as information doll, not to be taken seriously. Just the same for robot lights by the way.
At least they used a black santa! Good for them. Christianity still has a long way to go to adapt. Swedish look alike, blue eyed pale sick jesuses and maries are still the norm in Africa, basically coming from our medieval pieces of religious art. That probably helped the missionaries to keep the lid on African pride….
yep graffiti can be spotted here too. But not yet the same kind as we know in the West. Baby steps.
I suppose the road is in much better condition than the sidewalks, if any…
from the coach window, just observing road side life.
sugar cane stall. No juice machine, the cane is just for chewing.
That’s a new type of contraption on these taxi motorbikes. Not the best way to ride with the pole straight in the face….
street sellers at an unofficial bus stands.
these little stalls are to be seen everywhere alongside roads, selling a bit of everything but mostly food.
A venerable Peugeot 104, still in reasonable shape I’d say, though she is having a bad day apparently. Peugeot managed to lose its grip on the African market. Toyota took over….
Mishkaki, aka shish kebab in swahili, whatever the spelling is, that’s the nickname given to such a travelling party. Mind you, it could be 4 adults on the same little motorbike.
The pictures below are always that great but while ‘m stuck in traffic jam or driving slowly, Arusha street life keeps me busy. There is always one detail, one funny feature catching your eye, well for those who can enjoy that activity.
Colors don’t always match perfectly, but colorful it is out there. Many vehicles in Africa show a motto related to religions. Some can be scary like “God is my co-driver”! I’m always concerned the driver might be busy picking his nose a bit too long and rely too much on his so-called co-driver…
For once a smart motto.
Wooden hand-carts are numerous and have to be taken into account in the jams.
Colors! Sometimes you better wear strong sunglasses!
This guy overestimated his own weight but is getting helped. The neighbor is busy loading a huge crate of tomatoes, maybe a second one on top later, on his piki piki (small motorbike in swahili) and then will probably drive like crazy as usual.
And cyclists know a few things too about riding overloaded….only bread but still.
That’s it, some of the pictures I collected on one morning drive to the airport… better than a jammed European highway!
I spent a few weeks in Crystal River near Tampa last year. Between studies or flights I’d walk (yes, walk in the US!) or jog around looking for details. The main things that attracted my eyes were: hardly no pedestrians, no surprise, and a lot of Harley Davidsons, no surprise either.
Manatees were unfortunately on holidays, I wish I had spotted them in the nearby creek, a renowned worldwide place. (en fr. il s’agit de lamantins)
Palm trees often look like the highest landmarks in a Floridian landscape.
some interesting facts in the US: safety helmets are not always compulsory. Worse, in Florida, it used to be mandatory to wear them. Then some genius of a governor decided to repel that law!
typical US highway. No house but shops and business offices.
the US roads…a thesis or 2 could be studied out there.
a nearly superb Chevy Bel Air 1956.
just out Zion nat’l park, a rental recreational vehicle. Nice deco.
legendary old truck. Well that’s how we consider them from Europe. The very scenic Highway 12 in Utah, near Bryce Canyon. Snow! I hadn’t seen snow for 15 years.
I remember these vans from television shows when I was a child, that is in the 70’s.
Capitol Reef, another beautiful area between Bryce Canyon and Arches nat’l park. Mom will be pleased to notice my hat. Perfect to protect my chrome dome.
curious accident on a long straight road…
Santa Fe, a curious home made car cruising around. Had a chat with the driver and he told me there was nothing easier to register any of your creations on wheels on the US roads. Try that in Europe with our glorious administrations… So this guy salvaged a very old and rusty Ford model A body, some V8 engine and various parts, glued and welded them together and pronto, the unfinished beast is on the road. Imagine the thing much higher on wheels and it would be cool on the Arusha dirt roads.
the owner must have too much time on his hands: when he wants to paint his masterpiece, he’ll have to dismantle everything again…
another Bel Air, pristine this one, in Santa Fe. Karine and I agreed that we could live out there. Artistic people gather there, many galleries are packed in town, incredible landscapes around, not too far from nat’l parks…
on the Kenyan road, me shooting while Karine was driving.
a typical example of an East African decorated coach.
a more sober one, or more likely it is not finished yet.
5 crates and more! Better be gentle on the gas handle or a wheel up is likely to occur.
lady waiting for the bus with a lot of supplies.
near the Tana river, fish sellers.
typical brightly painted shop. “Senator” and “ Delta Pyb”…? The mysteries of logos in Africa are sometimes puzzling.
typical and awful police roadblock. These spikes are just lying across the road, hard to see and rarely announced ahead. In the sometimes hectic traffic, it might easy to miss them…
after shopping and visiting Nairobi nat’l park and the Sheldrick trust, we left towards Nanyuki. Karine was driving and I shot the roadside life. Fascinating activity, road driving doesn’t look so boring anymore if one pays attention to details.
nice pink Tshirt. These people are waiting for the matatus. Notice the guy waiting with the truck shaft. I don’t know how that metal thing is going to fit in the bus between the passengers. Or on the roff attached with a piece of string.…I admit the Kenyan matatus are less overloaded than the Tanzanian daladalas. Some bills were passed some years ago, with driver strikes along of course, to have one person per seat in any vehicle. Quite a progress.
here is a matatu driver with some sense of humor. Client …
and Pilot! Friendly guy though. An extreme rare feat among those guys.
tree nursery, similar to Tanzania.
this headgear is not rare in Kenya, unseen in Tanzania though. I don’t know the meaning…
colorful school bus.
Coca Cola is all over the place in Kenya and in Tanzania but the ads are not the same, except the bright red color.
being a keen amateur photographer while driving on any US roads requires some iron-discipline otherwise the temptation to stop every mile or so will hit big time. Still nothing prevents some shooting while the car is moving. Karine and I did that a lot, like below on route 66, Arizona section.
graphic pictures, it’s about time the same kind of warnings are set on cigarette packs… fucking lobbyists and greedy coward politicians!
then we left the route 66 at Bullhead on the Californian border towards Las Vegas.
We had just left Bullhead City, Arizona, on route 66 going north towards Las Vegas. The road follows the California state line for a bit, overlooking on the Californian landscape, here Mojave nat’l reserve. Karine was driving, I was shooting. The American Way, the myth... still kept alive by many.
another woman really in love of her biker. Her saddle look like postal stamp size type, there is nothing to support her back, and she has to beware the guy’s helmet spikes!! I really wonder what are his secrets….
campers? I was quite disappointed to realise most of the riders had no luggage showing camping activities. Sleeping bags were extremely rare…. the myth of the wild riders is taking the flak? We had even spotted a group of European riders with a broom van!!
WW II Wehrmacht’s helmets are still fashionable.
this guy I had just met while we were refuelling was in fact really friendly, he absolutely wanted us to show up at a big Harley gathering (though we were driving a regular Sedan and my motorbike here in Arusha is Japanese make). The myth of the aggressive Hell’s Angels is dwindling….
that big gathering was happening in Oatman, a few miles away on route 66. For hours we saw Harleys on the road, 1000’s, every kind of them, and mostly every kind of riders.
We had left Sante Fe, New Mexico early morning, driving west. I don’t know why these 2 bikers chose the exact state line limit to stop, under a no parking sign…whichever way cops would come, the bikers could cross the other side under a different jurisdiction?
Each US state have a nickname, here Grand Canyon state of course. Land of Enchantment applies to New Mexico.
the scenery changed quite drastically from flat desert to this mountainous landscape. No wonder people like to drive on this kind of roads for hours. Just after entering Arizona, we took a north road towards Monument Valley. Rocks are getting redder and more dramatic. Once in a while a homestead lied at the foot of a rock crop. Spectacular scenery but a closer look usually revealed some junk in the yard, and derelict houses or trailers.
this area is under Indian jurisdiction. Here people have been given some autonomy after years of claiming their land back. Poverty seems the rule as it is wildly known and things don’t seem to change much over the years, seen from a tourist point of view that is. Poverty and alcohol were the most striking feats I encountered in a previous trip in the area in 1997. I had just got my flying license in Missouri in a shorter time than planned so a lot of free time and spare cash were available, I had bought an old Dodge to cruise around with no specific plans for a while so I had given a few rides to hitch hikers. Curious to meet people and hear stories.
Monument Valley showing on the horizon! Many films have been shot here. The fabulous Claudia Cardinale was here for Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon in the West”, one example out of many…
I had my stories…quite sad in this area. One hiker, quite drunk at 8am explained a legend about the origin of the beautiful turquoise stones. Some Indian women had preferred to die with their children instead of facing awful treatment under the white man’s rules. So they cried a lot while taking the decision, the tears fell down a river and transformed into turquoise. He was surprised that Custer, Wounded Knee, Little Big Horn, Sitting Bull…were not totally unknown names in Europe.
The man also complained heavily that the government had plundered the country, kicked the native people out, prevented them from living their ancestral way of life, even nowadays that Indians in theory could do it again it became an impossible mission…always 2 sides to a story but sure alcohol doesn’t help.
this one was the most ridiculous contraption we saw on our trip.
isn’t that love ? That too tall girl is clinging on her dude like a backpack. But check the seat! There is hardly any seat, it looks she s sitting on the mudguard. Karine had looked at me with that kind of ‘not even in your dream’ look.
a pink helmet on a Harley….?
Look at the jacket…