Distance: 309km (Cumulative: 10 499km)
Moving time: 7:14
Average speed: 43km/h
Road surface: 95% Tar
Kisolanza Farm - R120 p.p
Clean ablutions, hot shower, undercover table at some campsites.
We wanted to leave early again as by now we knew that when people say something is a five hour drive it will take us seven hours. As you can probably guess this didn’t happen and we only left the hotel by 10:00. In our defence we did have a big breakfast in the hotel. For breakfast they gave us each two slices of bread, two fried eggs, cooked cassava, a bowl of beef and vegetable soup, tea and juice.
We stopped in Mbeya to refuel, withdraw and exchange money (for backup dollars) and to try and by some groceries. Caro went to the Elegante supermarket, but again it was barely a few shelves and didn’t stock anything we wanted. She again just bought a few small items like spaghetti, ginger biscuits and mango atchar. On the outskirts of town we stopped to buy some fruit. Caro wanted to take 10 000 shillings as she said that’s how much she is prepared to pay for a basket full of avos. Hugo said it is way too much she must just take a few 1000 shilling notes. She got a bag full of avos and a bag full of bananas for only 4000 shillings.
We then basically drove for seven hours as predicted. The road was mostly good with just a few places where they are building a new tar road, where you then have to take a detour. So far we haven’t had any problems with ‘speeding’ buses or crazy driving. Yes, a few buses have passed us, but none of the horror stories we’ve heard.
We’ve been through our flashdisk of music a few times, but luckily found a podcast on the iPad that we used to listen to a year ago and somehow it continued to download every new episode. So we listened to probably 10 episodes, which made the long drive more bearable.
At 17:00 we finally reached Kisolanza Farm and was showed to our campsite ($9 per person), it had a boma with electricity and a light. The bathrooms are very clean and we could take a hot shower after dinner.
There were also a couple well from Austria, with an overland truck, but much smaller than the one from the Swiss-Italian couple we saw at Kapishya. Hugo went to talk in German with them, they couldn’t believe he was from South Africa and learned German in school. They’ve been in East Africa for almost 6 months, 3 in Tanzania alone. Hugo showed them the picture of the Swiss’ truck and they claim in probably cost at least 450 000 Euros, compared to their 30 year old small truck, which constantly breaks down, which only cost 30 000 Euros, less than a Land Cruiser.
While Hugo talked to the Austrians, Caro made spaghetti with soy mince, potato blocks, vegetables and mango atchar.
We went to bed quite early.
Day 74 Kisolanza Farm
Despite going to bed early Hugo and Caro managed to somehow sleep until 10:00 and 11:00 respectively. For breakfast we added some of the bananas to our usual porridge. Cornflakes for Hugo and the BTK mix (oats, nutrific, peanuts, raisins) for Caro.
After breakfast which lasted until 12:00 we went to the WiFi boma. Caro tried to study again, while Hugo got a shock with all the new items on their to-do list. Unfortunately the WiFi wasn’t super fast and also not unlimited so he could only do a few of the smaller items. By 15:00 Caro was hungry again despite eating a whole bag of popcorn since breakfast. Caro went to make potato chips with guacamole, which we ate around 16:00 followed by a leisurely stroll through the campsite, looking at the different cottages. This would make the ideal place for a 50th birthday or something where everyone can stay close together while still having their privacy and something to fit everyone’s budget. From camping at $9 to the two Luxury Cottages of $120 (actually not that bad, seeing that four people can sleep in one).
Since we had lunch so late we just had a small bread roll with cheese for dinner. We bought 6 rolls and 6 eggs from Kisolanza, apparently their shop is not open in the off-season, but they brought the items to our site after enquiring about it over sms.
We went to bed at 21:00 and then watched a Netflix movie that Hugo saved offline earlier. Somehow he managed to again download a movie that we have already seen before.