Distance: 313km (Cumulative: 9 623km)
Moving time: 8:27
Average speed: 37km/h
Road surface: 30% Tar, 70% Gravel
Lake Shore Lodge - R190 p.p
Friendly hosts, beautiful location and clean facilities with warm water showers
Somewhere in the night the heaviest rain storm so far hit our tent. The tent held good, but the splashing from the jerry cans still caused the sides to get a bit wet.
We planned to get an early start, but then Caro remembered she was suppose to add images to her assignment. So she had to go and resubmit it. Just as we were about to close the tent (still wet) it started to drizzle again.
As we drove out of Mpulungu the drizzle turned into another proper storm with roads turning into rivers. The rain calmed a bit somewhere around Mbala just as the road turned to gravel. It was by far the worst road (non-4×4 route) that we drove on, huge ‘potholes’ (can’t really call it that, as there are no flat pieces of road for the ‘hole’ to be in) full of water.
We reached the border at 11:00. A small 2m by 2m building with two guys who sat under a tree. They processed our Carnet and stamped us out without any problems. They even called someone who had shillings for us the exchange.
On the Tanzanian side there were a few more buildings. We went into the immigration office where a guy who looked my age sat in civvies. Just as we sat down in his ‘office’ it started raining hard again and he excused himself to go and take his washing off the line. We filled in the immigration forms while he was gone and then on his return he stamped us in. For the Carnet we had to go to another building, but it was completely locked. The immigration guy came out and then went somewhere to try and find the guy. We waited at least half an hour for the guy to show up and then sat in his office for what felt like an hour for him to type all the vehicles details into the system with one finger. We had to pay $25, which the prefer by card, presumably in an attempt to curb corruption. The machine however didn’t work so we gave him shillings, but then he had to transfer the money from his M-Pesa account to get a receipt number to enter into the system. This also failed to work so in the end he just wrote a note. Immigration gave us two months, but the customs officer only gave the MonkeyMobile 1 month in Tanzania.
The whole process took almost two hours and we had to set our watches another hour later for Tanzania. So suddenly it was already 14:00.
The road from the border is small, but at least graded and easy going. Half way to Sumbawangu the road also turned into a proper tar road and got there by 16:00. We first filled up at Munrio fuel station at 2000 shillings (R12) a liter. We tried to ask where we van buy third party insurance, but this resulted in them going through great lengths to write us a receipt for the fuel. We thanked them as if that was what we asked for and went searching for a place to buy a SimCard. We stopped further down the road and Hugo went in search of Vodacom or Airtel. He found a shop selling Vodacom Sim Cards for 1500 Shillings. He had to give his passport of which photos were taken and had to wait some time for the registration to take place allin and M-Pesa transfers for various clients at the same time. Just as Hugo wanted to test whether the internet is working his phone died.
Back at the car we decided to leave the insurance and just head Lake Shore Lodge as it was already 16:50. The tar road lasted another 70km before it turned to gravel. They’re busy building a massive tar road all the way to Namanyere, so at times we had to drive next to the road on the detour road and other times we could drive on the build up road, but this was so muddy from all the rain and new soft sand that we were skidding all over the place. We also missed a turn-off and entered Namayere from the ‘wrong’ side. T4A didn’t even have the road or Namayere, but luckily we had OpenStreet Maps as well and it expertly navigated us through several small back roads past informal shops back to the correct road.
The road from Namanyere was almost just single track, but at least not as muddy. At one stage two trucks, looking like they were full of the bandits that a friend warned us against, flashed their lights warning us to move out of the way. We gave way, but then skidded into the ditch next to the road. We almost got stuck, but after several attempts we made it back onto the road.
We finally reached Lake Shore Lodge at 20:00. Chris and Lou was there to welcome us and to offer us a cold Kilimanjaro beer. We sat down for a few minutes, but got chased away by the mozzies, so we went to our campsite to put on long clothes. Caro made two minute noodles, while Hugo put up the tent. We took a warm shower for the first time in a week and then climbed into bed.
Day 67 Washing, snorkeling, working
Today we basically did washing. Caro immediately got going after we woke up and saw that the sky is blue. We washed everything we had. Some things like our Fleeces were washed for the first time since we started this trip. We had to put up almost 30m of washing line and everything was filled.
After lunch we went for a swim and did some snorkeling around the ‘harbour’. The water was a bit murky, but we still saw a lot of interesting fish including some bigger ones.
We finally received some work to do again so we set up shop in the restaurant area. The internet was excruciatingly slow, but we managed to download the necessary files and work offline.
Caro made Pap and Beef flavoured soya pieces with vegtables for dinner. We took our bowls and went to sit at the lake to view the sunset. We also ordered a big plunger of coffee, but then the mosquitoes started to eat us alive.
We continued to work at the restaurant and after all the staff left we had a nice chat with Chris’s sister who comes and help them out for 3-6 months a year.
We only put our heads down at 00:00 and set an alarm for 07:00 tomorrow morning.