Kenyan Traveling Couple Stuck in Central America Amid Covid-19 [PHOTOS]
In July 2018, Dos Kariuki and his wife Wamuyu Kariuki embarked on a journey that would see them travel around the rest of the world on their motorbikes.
The Kenyan couple began their 3.5-year world tour after saving for more than two years but after traveling to more than 20 countries, the two are presently stuck in Nicaragua—a country in Central America—following the outbreak of Covid-19.
“When we first heard of corona, we were in Panama, at the end of November 2019. We left Panama towards the end of February and entered Costa Rica. We were in Costa Rica for three weeks and that is when things got out of hand with coronavirus. Borders started closing,” the couple says.
“Here in Latin America, the borders had only closed for European countries and Asia. We decided to dash to Mexico but unfortunately the borders closed after we entered Nicaragua. Everything happened within a week. It was so fast like lightning.”
The two had targeted to reach Mexico before the border was closed but they were unsuccessful. Mexico allows Kenyan citizens a six-month stay and this would have saved them from the 30-day visa renewal required by other countries.
“The Mexico visa would have saved us the monthly renewal fee we are incurring and the country is close to the USA, where it’s easier to get home. Like the free flight by KQ that brought Kenyans back home,” they added.
They are currently staying in a hotel in the Nicaraguan capital, Managua as they wait for travel restrictions to be lifted.
“Borders and airspaces are still closed and so we cannot leave. But we have already decided to terminate our travels and come home. We have been looking for shippers for our bikes so we can send them home. We have been able to extend our visa and hope it will last for as long as the lockdown.”
Dos, 46, and Wamuyu, 35, wanted to break the Kenya record of the couple most traveled via motorbike.
“We got married two months before leaving Kenya, so this traveling has also been our honeymoon. It has been tough, it’s not all beach, pool, and glam. We endured long days of travel, harsh weather, fatigue and burnouts. Facing the challenges together has strengthened us. We are never bored with each other’s company.”
They have so far visited the following African countries; Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Lesotho. In Europe, they toured Germany, France, Netherlands, and Belgium.
In South America, they rode to Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua—where they are now stuck. They also explored Antarctica.
“The travel has opened us to more history and geography. Things we only heard about are now things we have seen. We have experienced many cultures and we will never be the same again. We can live and work anywhere, we can survive anywhere. Travel has taken fears and doubts away. We have learned how other people handle and do things. There is so much that we would want to see implemented at home. We have picked up many business ideas as well. This has truly been a learning experience.”
“Our families are so worried about us,” said Wamuyu.
Dos said: We have had to adjust a lot to make sure we are spending way less. We don’t know how long this will last and now we have to cater for shipping and flights that were not in our budget. On the other hand, we are not riding and so no fuel, service, and road toll costs. We hope to be back home before we run out of money.”
“We have experienced so much love. We have been hosted and fed by friends and strangers. We have made friends that will remain friends for the rest of our lives. We have visited beautiful places that have wowed us. This is only a pause on our journey. We will continue in the future.’’
The two use YouTube channel, throttleadventures.com to update their fans on their travel.