Distance: 309km (Cumulative: 12 016km)
Moving time: 6:35
Average speed: 47km/h
Road surface: 90% Tar, 10% rough gravel
Peponi Beach Resort - R100 p.p
Beautiful beach, hot showers, WiFi, swimming pool
We packed up everything the night before, so we managed to leave at 08:13. We stopped at the new Total just outside Bagamoyo to refuel and then proceeded to retrace our route back to Msata. The flooding next to the road seemed much more than when we entered, with lots of structures (houses) in the water. The road looked very new and was in excellent condition. T4A didn’t even have it yet, so we were driving in the white zone parallel to the ‘old’ road which was certainly way underwater. Unfortunately, we can’t submit our trace to T4A as the GPS ‘snapped’ to the wrong road a few times.
In Msata we turned right and finally, after almost two weeks we were heading North again. We listened to some engaging Podcasts again, enjoying the drive. Then just before Muheza, 40km from Tanga the police stopped us. As soon as they asked for Hugo’s driver’s licence we knew it was for a speeding fine, but we were going super slow the whole time. Hugo had to get out again, this time they had a photo of the MonkeyMobile with 68 written over it. There’s not much you can do to dispute this and they proceeded to write out a fine for 30 000 TZS, at least we got an official receipt and everything.
We made it to Tanga at 13:40 and followed Susan (our GPS) to the Main Market (as marked on T4A). Caro stayed in the car while Hugo went shopping. A few minutes later Hugo returned with a bag full of vegetables (green pepper, onions, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, and garlic) and fruits (avocado, banana, and limes), all for only 6000 TZS. This really puts into perspective how expensive a meal in a restaurant is, especially those on Zanzibar that we paid up to 20 000 TZS for.
We then went looking for an ATM the first one was out of order and the second one was too expensive. The cheapest two we found so far was NMB and CRDB Bank, both charge around 8000 TZS in transaction fees per withdrawal, which is limited to 400 000 TZS. Some other banks like Exim and Barclays charge up to 15 000 TZS per withdrawal at their ATMs.
On our way out of Tanga, a train blocked our way, it seemed that it was going to stand still for a while as all the traffic took a left, so we followed. Some blocks away we probably entered a one way as few people on motorbikes hooted at us and pointed to a side road that we should turn into. Eventually, we got back to the main road on the other side of the train and proceeded to Pangani.
The gravel road was in a terrible condition immediately after leaving the tar. There was still deep puddles of water. Twelve kilometres from Tanga we came to a stand still as the road had been washed away. Caro thought we had to turn around, but to our left a bus which was stuck on the detour managed to get free with lots of cheering from the crowd.
We engaged 4×4 and turned off the road, we easily made it through with just the middle man being a bit too high and scraping against the underbody. We arrived at Peponi Beach Resort just passed 15:00. Camping is only $7.5 and we got a spot right next to the beach. We were the only self-campers. Four young people from the Netherlands stayed in one of the tents for hire.
Clouds were quickly gathering so we opened the tent and put up our tarpaulin for the first time, using guy ropes and pegs and everything.
The wind and rain came with a vengeance, blowing in sideways from the ocean. The tarpaulin which was open on the side thus didn’t help much, but we could at least hide behind the vehicle and under the tent hangover.
After delicious spaghetti with vegetable stir-fry and lots of soya sauce, we ran to the showers in our underwear as we lost our umbrella. The Dutch guys and girls did the same so it wasn’t too weird. The showers had the hottest and best warm water we’ve had in weeks (or rather the first real warm water we’ve had since Iringa).
Day 93 – 95 Peponi
We did a lot of computering during these three days. In the evenings we had a small routine of going for a swim in the warm ocean water before moving to the swimming pool followed by a hot shower.
The weather was mostly good with lots of sun and some clouds. Only the last morning it rained again, but our tarpaulin and tent provided enough cover for us to make breakfast.
We mostly cooked our own food: Toasted cheese and tomato sandwiches, noodle stir fry and rice with dhal. Only on the last evening, we ate out. The Indian lady from Capricorn Cottages next to Peponi convinced Hugo to try their pizzas which everyone apparently loves – even Italians. We checked the reviews and people did mention the pizzas.
We were, however, severely disappointed and wondered whether these reviewers have ever tasted Col’Caccios or dare I say even Romans, Debonairs or Dominos. We were left with a bill of 40 000 TZS, just 2000 TZS less than what a seafood platter at Peponi would have cost. We almost wanted to stay another night just to redeem ourselves and order the seafood platter.
Lesson learned: when near the ocean order seafood and not pizza.