We got into the very nice Tan-Swiss Lodge in Mikumi about an hour ago. Anne was brilliant! She insisted that the first thing we do is have a "cuppa!" There is nothing more refreshing after a hard day that a nice cup of tea (that's if you're Australian, of course). We are now sitting on the verandah of our room as the sun goes down. The geese are out and having a lovely time - who needs guard dogs!
We started off from Mbeya this morning after breakfast. Just about everywhere here is "bed and breakfast" and the breakfasts are ALWAYS the same: tea, eggs and bread. The Karibuni Centre toasts the bread, but that is unusual. They always serve it with BlueBand® and Jam (Jelly). BlueBand® is a sort of margarine, but one that does not need refrigeration! Who knows WHAT they put in it. I never have Marge, or Butter so that's OK. You always get a choice of eggs, but if you want anything other than omelette, you take have to trust your luck. Karibuni Centre is much better than the normal places where I stop at when I am working. They did a great job with the eggs and their Spanish omelette was very nice.
We left around 7.30am and had a good trip. The weather was beautiful - the sun was out all the way and the scenery was breath taking. We made it down from the Southern Highlands via a very steep pass. It is a narrow two lane road - quite dangerous in places. But we made it just fine.
There are no places like MacDonalds to stop for lunch, but we found a little cafe attached to a service station. We were going in just for a cold Coke, but saw they had some food too, so we got a Chapati each and I go a Mandazi (like a doughnut). They were heated up in a microwave and quite tasty!
Just before we got to Mikumi we were stopped by a police officer and told to pull over. I thought this was a standard licence check, but he did not come over to the truck. In stead he had stopped us due to a truck accident. An Army Semi-trailer had crashed and they were using a huge crane to get it back on the road. Anne and I lost count today of the number of truck accident we saw today (another reason never to drive after dark!). These drivers are crazy.
Anyway after nine hours of driving we made it into a really nice lodge - we feel we deserve it. Tomorrow we are planning on driving six hours. Another six hours on the road the next day should get us home to Arusha, Lord willing.