Distance: 258km (Cumulative: 12 476km)
Moving time: 5:49
Average speed: 44km/h
Road surface: 95% Tar, 5% Gravel
Mama Simba's Homebase - R110 p.p
Best room so far
We woke up at 06:00 with the sound of heavy rain drops on the tent. We tried to mentally block it out (and the consequences) and hoped for it to go away, but when the clock ticked passed 08:00 we knew we had problems. Hugo checked yr.no for the latest weather update and saw that it is going to rain the whole day – a lot. We thus decided we had to pack up in the rain as the roads could only get worse and waiting another day could even result in being stuck on the mountain.
We made 2-minute noodles for breakfast to try and wait for a small window of opportunity to close the tent, but non arrived. We loosened all the clips from tent rain cover and then quickly closed the tent and pulled out the cover at the last moment. This way the rest of the tent stayed relatively dry.
We managed to leave by 10:00 after paying at reception and getting an update on the road. It didn’t sound too good, but they were confident that we could do it with the 4×4. Going down was actually easier than coming up, but the mud was definitely worse and the road more slippery. The mountain sides were covered with massive landslides. Some of which went right through maize fields and other crops. At one section we had to wait for a bulldozer to clear the road from massive rocks that fell down.
From Mombo the was in excellent condition egain all the way to Moshi. The towns were also further apart, so for the first time in Tanzania Hugo put the MonkeyMobile in 5th gear. Hugo found a place in Moshi on AirBnB, but didn’t book it. We found the place on Google Maps and tried to get there ourselves. Google Maps, however, lacks quite a lot of roads in Moshi (T4A has even fewer roads). Google Maps took us on a wide detour on the only roads that was on there and then we still had to drive in the ‘unknown’ to get closer to the pin. We stopped to ask someone if they know Mama Simba’s Homebase – we were right in front of it. They guy knocked on the unmarked gate and they opened up.
Mama Simba wasn’t there herself, but her son Peter who studied in the US and could speak good English welcomed us. They showed us the room and quoted $18, which is actually much lower than what the price was on AirBnB. We agreed and settled in. They offered us coffee and we had long conversations with Peter.
We bought a massive Jack Fruit in the Usambaras, which Caro went to cut with the help of the staff. It is a sticky business and takes a lot of time. Hugo took this opportunity to go to town to buy some things for Caro’s birthday tomorrow, which he made sure not to forget after what happened on his birthday – remember Day 21.
On the way out Hugo took the correct road which is just 500m from the main tar road, this road was actually on Open Street Maps, but the one we came in on wasn’t on there (as one can see on the map below). Hugo went to the Nakumatt in search of chocolate, but they literally did not have any kind of chocolate. They did have a wider variety of cheese and other ‘scarce’ items. Hugo ended up buying a heart shaped sponge cake, whipped cream, yoghurt, some drinks, Pringles and Amarula. At the Kilimanjaro Supermarket, Hugo did find chocolates and bought some Mars bars and Cadbury slabs as well as Nutella. All of this was hided in the back of the MonkeyMobile.
Back at the guest house Caro and Peter was still chatting over a plate of Jack Fruit. They allowed us to make our own food in the kitchen, so we prepared some spaghetti with beef stock and milk – the way Mario made it in Namibia. We also had a Salsa salad again.
After dinner Hugo surprised Caro with the Amarula as a pre-birthday build up.
Day 99: Caro’s Birthday
Hugo got up at 07:00 and started to prepare a surprise breakfast in bed for Caro. His birthday tradition is to make Eggs Benedict, but each time some improvisation was needed. He managed to make poached eggs on a soft roll and substituted the hollandaise sauce with Heinz mayonnaise. Slices of cheese and Pringles were placed on the plate in lieu of ham or bacon.
Afterwards the cake was brought out. Hugo soaked it with milk to make it less dry and covered it in Nutella. The Whipped cream was used to write the number 27 on the cake.
We stayed in bed for another 2 hours after breakfast. At 10:00 we could see sun rays and opened up the tent to put the rain cover back on that we hanged up to dry yesterday. We also fixed the rear number plate that came loose and did some washing.
For the rest of the day we just relaxed and updated this blog. We only had lunch at 18:00.