Tuesday, August 7, 2012

On the road to Mbeya Part 2

We had a good rest over night and awoke refreshed and ready to tackle another day on the road. Mama Pierina (Dimitra) gave us a good breakfast and we were away.

Again it was a long drive from Morogogoro to Mbeya, but the country we were passing through was breathtaking. We passed through open plains, National Parks, mountains and step gorges. There certainly was no tome to get board!

We passed through the Mikumi National Park and we were really not sure what to expect. Having been in Serengeti and all the major parks in the north of the country we were used to paying steep fees to enter. Here at Mikumi there were no fees, just slow down signs.  We really didn't want to drive fast at all because we were seeing a lot of game. Thomson's gazelles, Cape Buffalos, Giraffes and lot of monkey.  It was a really nice drive.

Another highlight of the trip was passing through the Scenic Valley of the Baobab Trees. All over the country we have see these strange yet majestic tress. But for about 20 kms these wonderful trees lined the road and covered the hills.  We were following the river up through the valley and all around us were these up-side-down trees.

After leaving the town of Iringa we hit the road works. We cant really complain because we LOVE the new roads they are putting in all over the country, but it is hard to be patient when you have a long way to travel and you are stopped in a long line of traffic for nearly an hour.

While we were stopped a couple of French people came up to the truck and asked us for a lift. They were heading for a prehistoric site just out of Iringa and asked is if we would like to join them. It sounded wonderful, but we had no time. A couple of days ago I received an email from them thanking us for the lift and highly recommending visiting the site.

We knew we were running out of time to get to Mbeya before dark - I have already stated why I don't like driving at night in Africa. So we drove hard the rest of the way. Lunch was a quick pit spot. The F1 mechanics would have been pleased with the way Anne leapt out of the truck and quickly made the sandwiches. She then drove while I ate mine and as soon as I had finished we had another driver's change and Anne was able to eat her lunch.

We finally arrived in Mbeya just as it was getting dark. The Karibuni Centre, were we are staying was on my GPS (I have an African GPS map that users add too, including me). The road however that it was telling us to go down, was not there. After a while we found a goat track hidden behind about 20 large semis. It was good to stop and rest for a while - even if the restaurant was not open. We were both so tired we were happy with a little water and a scone to share that was left over from lunch.

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