I didn’t know what bus I’d find myself in
All I knew is that I had a standing appointment in Nairobi with fellow bus lovers from Mombasa Bound Buses. Muhammad Karis was to be part of my team. Coincidentally Mash VIPs Mandela Kyalo and Hil Senior were also slotted to travel on that same night.
So first I ran an errand for my good friend Marvin Karlito then I headed over to Safari Cafe near Coast bus for my fix for the road(Supu ya mbuzi, chapati mbili na mishikaki miwili). I got a surprise when photographer#001 in MBB himself Mandela came to fetch me from the cafe.
Hil Senior and Mandela Kyalo were slotted to travel on the 10:30pm Scania Gemilang by Mash while Muhammad Karis who has a standing love affair with Local fabs, picked the 10:00pm Scania P360.
Short Meeting with Boss Hitesh Mashru in the office saw me land myself in the Scania Higer A80 beast, Mr BlueBoy. The bus was like 20 seats booked so I was trying to coax Mandela into upgrading, he wanted so much to travel will Hil though😂, couldn’t talk him out of it. Huyu Hil naye alichelewa😒😒. He arrived as my bus was leaving, mjamaa alitaka upgrade basi likiondoka😂😂
I was on seat row 27 and 28 having the whole row to myself. Then we were off to Makupa. AC on full blast and I noticed the captain switching it on and off periodically to which I later found out that the thermostat was busted on the last trip and needed replacing. The back Bench was empty, The 2nd Captain alitandaza hapo leather mattress akajinyoosha worm style🐛 and started snoring even before we got to Changamwe. That must be a talent. I can’t hit the mattress and sleep immediately.
Wi-fi was on check, Charging sockets on check, our travel attendant Mustapha handed us each a 350ml Coke, Drinking water and Bourbon Biscuits. You should have seen my face😂😂. For entertainment we had Soft and smooth Taarab to lull passengers to sleep. And it worked, most passengers were lightly snoring by the time we got to Mikindani.
Great time was being made because just 40min from Makupa, we hit Francaise Frankie’s stomping ground that is Mariakani. There was one passenger to pick and we were back on the road again.
There’s a lot to be said about the K410 engine on this bus, the turbo spool is like a lullaby to the avid dieselhead, “tsss ksss ksssht tsss”. Frankie na Hummie wananielewa😂😂. Air suspension kitu murwa kabisa, the only time I was jostled as I texted my comrades was when the bus switched lanes to overtake😊🔥. Otherwise it was all smooth, very smooth and very soft and extremely quiet.
Nothing much to report past Mackinon road and Samburu and Taru as we hit the diversion. After the diversion is where the game started between us and Modern’s KCE800J Joy Oketch’s Bamboocha. It started with the familiar horn of a Higer A80 with followed by the familiar headlights and then the familiar plate. That bus overtook us in what appeared to be slow motion…..damn. It was epic. We struggled to catch up and try to redeem our image at some speed bumps in a small town somewhere, don’t ask. Our victory didn’t last long. She caught up with us and effortlessly glided past us yet again.
Our Captain executed a well calculated and legendary move just as we approached Voi. He kata funuad the Modern Higer and six trailers with one sweep. This gave us a two minute lead into Voi. We lost this lead since we had to give a 5 minute bathroom break and passenger/parcels collection from the Mash offices. I also gave up my 27-28 seat combo to Two Passengers in Voi. I promptly shifted over to the left side of the bus, the two seats just before the backbench, where the 2nd Captain was still snoring softly. Nothing much to report as everyone I was texting had already slept so I turned to my phone to catch up on my latest fan fiction online.
Nilinyoosha miguu kitini nikipumua some clean conditioned air until Mtito. Where we made the stop at shell (Mash Refreshment Complex at Mtito Andei is currently under construction, like Amen, thank you Jesus)
Here we met the Malindi KCD 510E Green Elephantilicious and KCJ 044A Rio2 (With Captain Moha inside), it was ready to depart. As the Passengers took care of their business, the crew sipped some tea. It was time for me to get down to business.
Azulon was Chutamaring All over Shell taking groundies (Bless Timothy Wallace Halfman who discovered this art). I snapped a few pics before they left. Photos of Rio2 turned out not so good. They are therefore deleted and forever forgotten.
We set off again for the second leg of the journey of which is was now more active. I even moved to the staff seat next to the driver since Mustapha had decided to sleep on one of the empty seats on the earthplane. Woah talk of 3D road view from inside of a bus. It was like I was watching live TV from my sitting room.
Senior Captain Arif is a very nice gentleman very down to earth. He gave me a live demonstration on how to use Stage 1, 2 and 3 of the Scania Retarder and I couldn’t believe just how effective it is in slowing down the vehicle, from 78kph to almost 30kph in under six seconds. None of the passengers woke up and I realised the smoothness compared to the normal brakes. Scania should make this standard in each and every vehicle.
Something else that caught my eye was the full beam headlights on this bus and it’s red twin. I was reliably informed that they cost up to 11,000/= per light and are so powerful. They just paint the whole road upto about one km white. Bad drivers on the road wakiwasha full awashe yake wanazima hadi dim roho safi 😂😂😂😂. He’s such a good driver. I got a couple of theoretical lessons about defensive driving and plenty of information about Scania buses. He was flashing lights while overtaking every vehicle on the road😊😊. He taught me how to read the road ahead in the dark.
He even spotted the Bamboocha up the Salama hill climb as we were as far as the outskirts of Sultan Hamud, all just by the tail lights. He tells me ‘Ni Ali Busia aliwa nayo jana’ even though amezoeana na GK Mutai.
Kunotice vile guard rails zimeng’olewa na Gas Cutters😂😂😂😂
Talking about bus engines, anatii “Man” Imports though Kenya hamna zozote.
We are waiting on A Company X to bring in Mercedes Benz imports since za Horizon zimezeeka *Looks at Jervis Sundays*
This guys is very talkative, quite resourceful with humour and all his attention on the task ahead of him. Tuliongea hadi sikupata usingizi.
Time was very well kept
By 5:30am we were in the last hill climb in Salama, Jam Mlolongo ndio ilituweza
Belle Vue 8:00am
Accra road 8:20am
Entertainment: 7/10 wi-fi Music sockets
Speed: 8/10 Omata compliant limited to 78kph
Comfort: 10/10 Hehee Air suspension
Interior and ambience: 8/10
Crew Complaints: zero
Customer Complaints: zero
Mash Cool Gold Class