The Kiwi in the rock

Day 307, Tuesday 06 November 2012 – Honey Badger Lodge, Moshi, Tanzania

Grrrrrrrr, an early start. Up at 4:20 and on the truck for a 5:00 departure. I had gotten used to sleeping till 7:00!

The journey through and out of Dar took close to two hours, about half that of the journey in a few days ago. My back was still quite tight and the pounding on the temporary lanes around the road works was quite painful at times. There was a large number of busses on the road, many of them are beyond packed, even at that early hour. With a population of about four million and few cars; buses are an essential means of travel. A lot of the inter-city/town buses have western names, Liverpool, God loves you, Spider etc, though my personal favourite was the bus named Facebook.

They are without a doubt the craziest drivers I have seen. It is fortunate that their buses are not that fast or we would have seen more overturned buses than the one we have seen so far. Having said that we are routinely passed by buses and were passed by one going through some road works, crazy!

We stopped for a late breakfast at a roadside cafe, it was so good to have that first (and second) coffee of the day – the Africa instant coffee is not too bad, better than the Nescafe anyway. I was dreaming of the latte I had yesterday in Stone Town as I took the first sips.

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I took the opportunity of being off the bus at the right time to ring my mum back in NZ, I was hoping to Skype but she was not online. Mum has been on a three week trip to north eastern USA, a fall trip to Maine and Vermont etc. She only just made it out of NY before it was all shut down due to Hurricane Sandy. It sounded like she had a great trip, though it was only a brief call. I am looking forward to seeing the photos and hearing more about it one day.

Back on the road we passed another rolled over truck, the first for the day. Unlike the fuel tanker from a few days ago, this one had a police presence at the accident site, so no one helping themselves to the product – and no photos.

Pineapple and sisal are the big export crops from these parts.

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I am finding it very hard to be photographically inspired at the moment. I loved Stone Town but took far less photos than I did in the similar streets of Barcelona. I have taken the guidance about not taken photos of the people seriously – and there are people everywhere! The views out of the truck are also just not that interesting with the landscape being nowhere near as diverse, or startling as Namibia.

I spent most of the drive reading, emailing and writing blog posts on my phone, not ideal for blog writing but at least I can email them to myself and get them on the laptop. I am learning to be productive on the truck when I can, good to get some work discipline in now, before I have to start working hard to find a job when I get back to London in December.

We stopped for lunch at the newly opened Rock Hill Rest. Clean loos, with paper – I cannot see it lasting ! The food was good and the cokes were cheap, I could see why it was a busy spot, I wish the owners well, it was a nice respite from the normal roadside rests.

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After lunch we started climb into a more mountainous area of Tanzania and I take back my earlier comment about the scenery being really boring, the hills are quite lovely in the late afternoon sun.

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I quite liked the Kiwi that Leonie spotted in the cliff face.

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We stopped for a “comfort stop” along a long straight section of road, there were some quite cool cactii around so I nipped out with the camera for a walkabout. Similarly to most of Asia I am constantly amazed at the amount of trash in the roadsides in Africa, particularly here in Tanzania. I think the manufacturers of plastic bags should take a long hard look at themselves and stop polluting the third world, it is a disgrace !

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Train ride would be a cool way to travel here, – long and straight !

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As we drew closer to our campsite in Moshi we started to get glimpses of a cloud shrouded Mt Kilimanjaro, we were of course hoping for an unobstructed view but it was not going to happen this day. We did get a good viewing of Mt Meru from just outside the Honey Badger campsite.

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Once in the camp the usual routine unfolded, tents up, chores done, beer in the bar, dinner, a drink or two then sleep.

Fingers crossed for a cloudless morning!

About wheresphil

Originally from Auckland, New Zealand, now living in London.
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2 Responses to The Kiwi in the rock

  1. Lovely photos, Phil!
    If you like photography, we’d like to invite you to participate in our next Travel Photography Competition. Here are the details:
    http://hitchhikershandbook.com/your-contributions/travel-photography/
    Happy travels!

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