Friday, 14 October 2011

The long and bumpy Tanzania

I loved Kenya, I think in Swahili you'd say 'Napenda Kenya'. I've got a soft spot for Kenya and will go back as soon as I can. Everyone we met was so friendly and although it was cold at times and we were camping, we saw a lot of it in the three days we spent there.

I didn't realise just how far away Kenya was from Tanzania especially when on a bumpy rickety truck...our first attempt to cross the border didn't go so well. The truck broke down just outside of Kericho, where they grow the tea. Tea? I love tea! Well we couldn't have chosen a better spot to break down in my opinion!

Anyone got a kettle?

Funny story behind this picture (apart from the fact I've made a T shape in front of a tea plantation) - as we climbed out of the truck to see the plantations, I didn't realise that we were parked on a sloping valley, so as I climbed down the steps to get out I jumped out of the truck, totally misread the landing, tumbled over and tried to jump up the valley and ended up flat in front of everyone, but then the next three people to climb out after me did the same thing - tumble town, total lolz. I'd recovered for the photo.

Anyway, the truck stops and we sit and wait to be told what to do, like every other part of the trip. JJ, our tour guide opens the door and says 'OK guys, keep youselves busy for ten minutes whilst we check out under the truck'...five hours later, we're keeping busy sunbathing, eating and reading Glamour magazine when we're told we're going to have to stay in a hotel for the night...result! Tents away guys! Woo hoo! I've never been so happy to see a hotel before in my life.

We stayed at the Tea Hotel in Kericho which was great, wanna know why? The beer was cheap and I could unpack my child sized rucksack and work out what the hell was going on in there! As far as I was concerned, a monkey kept going in there and messing it all up.

We were on holiday now alright, the beer started flowing at 4pm and we played cards right up until dinner time, a buffet that we did well on, the rounded off the meal not with a cup of tea, but with a cup of Milo malted hot milk! Even though we were in the Tea can't buy Milo over here!

So after a refreshing overnight stay, we hit the lumpy tarmac once more! Only to break down again two hours later...after we'd literally just been joking that we'd break down again today...oops.

Ahh yes I see what the problem is here...
Anyway, it was fine, we had a roadside lunch and a bush toilet trip (actually getting quite used to bush toilets, better than smelly public toilets) and whole lot of interest from the locals driving past and seeing 17 mazungus (Swahili for white person) eating lunch at the roadside, we were off again! Tanzania bound!

I have nothing of interest to say about the Kenya - Tanzania border crossing, apart from the fact the toilets smelled so bad I had to put suncream up my nostrils to stop the smell permeating my nez.

We hit the shores of Lake Victoria at sunset and were lucky enough to see the beautiful sunset...whilst growling at our tents we were putting up at the same time. Grrrrrrrr flaming tents.

We had beers by the shore and when the sun went down we sat under a blanket of stars talking about a range of topics with the rest of the group. We all seemed to have a favourite topic - toilets! Everyone has a toilet story!

That night Nayani and I fell in to blissful slumber, only to be awoken a few hours later by thunder and lightning...we'd all forgotten to throw the rain covers on our tent the previous evening...gaaaah! Rain in Africa is literally like turning a tap on, it starts falling so heavily that you have about ten seconds before you're drenched. Anyway, we got the cover on and fell back to sleep...only to be awoken by the mosque next door calling to prayer at 5am...gaaaaaaah! Call to prayer is terrifying when you have NO idea what on earth is happening! Nayani and I were convinced someone was coming for us!

So...not the best night of sleep I've ever had. But it was fine, it's fun to put a tent down in the rain; character building and that. Besides, we had sausages for breakfast, so I'm happy!

Next stop...the's a hint of what's to come...

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