Day 44 –
Water For Life.
L: When I came back from showering this morning, Steve was chatting to three guys. Steve and Phil are out here from Australia with Phil’s son, Mike too. Nestory, from Tanzania was also there. They are involved with a charity program to supply bore-hole water hand pumps to the villages that don’t have water. What a great project. We are now sporting one of their stickers on the back of the bakkie.
S: They were very interested in the changes I have made to the bakkie and where we are going. We had a good chat and as we were leaving, we caught up with Phil who said a travel prayer for us – how nice.
L: You sure need prayer for these roads and the people using them. The roads are better this side, well most of the time, that is, but I lost count of how many accident scenes we came upon, both fresh and of a while ago as they don’t clean up the wreckages. Also, there are so many trucks and some cars, that are stuck alongside the roads, having broken down or having some repair done. There don’t seem to be many break-down vehicles and no Automobile Association to get people going again.
S: Phil, from this morning had suggested a place for us to stay in at Morogoro so we decided to drive the 350 kms today and so spend less time on the road to Dar Es Salaam tomorrow. We stopped for a quick snack at Tan-Swiss, the campsite we would have stayed in at Mikumi. The food was average to say the least. I had a juice and a plate of chips. Lesley had a coffee and chocolate cake, but with no icing……
The campsite seems ok, but nothing special.
Just after we left Tan-Swiss, the road goes through The Mikumi National Park and Lesley was amazed that even though we were allowed to travel at 70kms/hour she managed to spot a few elephants, a lone giraffe and a few types of buck. Not bad for not having to pay park fees and only spending a few minutes there.
Another animal that was lurking behind the bush with a Radar gun was a traffic cop! But we had got into the groove now and today would be fine-free!! We almost feel sorry for them now because of the disappointed look on their faces when they realise they are not going to catch this foreigner.
L: After a long day’s drive we finally arrived in Morogoro which was after 350 kms. The place that we were told about was a Catholic Guest house, but this was full. We tried a few places after that, but I was really not happy. One place was so overgrown that surely nobody had stayed there in a while and the car was so far from the rooms. We could not find a suitable camping place either. It was getting late and we were both tired and starting to despair. We found another hotel, but that was full so when we saw the Arc Hotel it was a relief to find a double room.
We negotiated the price down a bit and breakfast was included too. What a treat – the room was lovely with air-con as well. We decided to have a light supper. Steve had a burger, but I opted for Indian food and had a vegetarian dish with ground nuts again.
A good night’s rest was definitely on the cards.
Day 45 –
S: After a quick breakfast we were out on the road by 8.30am to do the less than 200kms that we had left to get in to Dar Es Salaam. It was actually quite a nice drive for the first hundred or so kilometers and then the traffic started getting heavier and the roads started getting worse. The pace was pretty slow especially when stuck behind the trucks, which was most of the time. A few times we were fortunate as there were compulsory weigh-bridges where the trucks had to stop, so we could pass.
The traffic just got more and more congested as we approached Dar Es Salaam. Even with the traffic congestion, we were still being overtaken by busses, trucks and everything else. We were quite content to chug along at a safe speed as we made our way into the city. One of the taxi-motorcyclists, with his passenger on board, hit the side of our car as he squeezed between the two lanes of traffic and merely laughed when we moaned at him.
At one point, we weren’t moving for a while and when we finally got going, we passed an accident where a small bus and truck had collided head-on and the vehicles were being pulled off the road.
L: It is so hard to explain just how slow this stretch of road was as it is so congested and yet so dangerous with people and vehicles everywhere with very few rules of the road being obeyed.
S: We eventually got into Dar Es Salaam and reached the Protea Hotel where we had arranged to meet our friends, Duncan and Jane, who had kindly offered to host us for a few days. They are also able to offer a safe place for us to leave our vehicle while we travel to Zanzibar.
We had a coldrink and Lesley and I, a quick bite to eat and followed them back to their home. What a treat. Their home is lovely in a security village with a spacious suite for us to use. Thank you both so much, Duncan and Jane.
L: We spent a lovely afternoon chatting and later got ready to go to the waterfront for some dinner. I was so happy to be down at the coast again. We left Swakopmund on the west coast of Africa and a month later we are on the east coast after traveling the breadth of Africa. I have really missed the smell of the sea and have learnt that I really don’t like being too high, altitude-wise.
After a great dinner, we walked on the promenade and Duncan drove us around the peninsula for us to get our bearings.
S: Both Lesley and I are finding it hard to believe that we are in Dar Es Salaam, in Tanzania and that we have completed 6 weeks on the road and done a third of our trip -.almost 10 000 kms!!!
Day 46 –
L: I can’t believe it is raining!!!! We have not had much rain except for the sudden cloud-burst in Kgalagadi and a bit of drizzly weather in Namibia. It is great and yet still so warm here. Now the bakkie looks a bit better too. I have managed to get all our clothes washed, in a washing machine! No, really, you don’t understand, there are no washing machines to use so it is a huge treat.
Duncan made us a lovely breakfast of toast and coffee and we chatted and found out which shops etc to use. We asked Jane what we could get from the shops for the next couple of days and set off.
S: The Village Shop is great. So well-stocked and nice and clean. Now that we are shopping again we are noticing a steep increase in prices since we last had to buy provisions. Meat is also a lot more expensive up here.
When we were done, we drove on the peninsula a bit of the way and saw where we would go to catch the ferry to Zanzibar. I stopped to look at the view and was told to move along – I was parked opposite “The White House”. Not sure exactly whose house it is.
We sorted out the provisions that we had bought to restock our ammo boxes and then could no longer resist the call of the swimming pool in the complex. By now it was so hot and humid that we spent longer than an hour in the water, planning our trip for the next few days.
L: The guys started the Weber, Jane and I thinking that they look like brothers while we made the salads. Now that our tummies are full and we have had Duncan’s Banana, Cinnamon and Ice-Cream pudding it is time to catch up with the blog. The problem is, I knew, as soon as Steve sat down on the bed, he would be off to sleep. Zzzzzzzzzzz