Well, I had made it to Mombasa in one piece, I was hoping the rest of my trip would be as smooth. I left the beautiful hotel early Monday morning and started the tougher part of the journey, from Mombasa cross-border to Tanga in Tanzania. I expected drama… punctured tires, broken suspension and walking through the middle of nowhere to get help…. I was wrong. I did get stopped by the cops a few times but all was good, they checked my license and if I have safety triangles, first aid kit and fire extinguisher and then let me on my way. The roads from Mombasa to the border are really bad and I managed only about 50km/hr average because any faster and I would be somewhere in the bushes on the side of the road.
Don’t know how to rotate the photo in the post, so turn your head. Some road was ok, like a km or two.
I eventually landed up at the Kenya- Tanzania border and handed over my documents, visa, id copy and car registration papers, the latter is for tempory import of a vehicle into Tanzania and was kept at the border until my return. I had to go through the same border on my return trip within the stipulated time. The next stop was immigration, no problems there, just beat a bus load of tourists to the office so was in and out within 30 minutes which is good going, didn’t even pay for a visa since I had a multiple entry from my last visit. So I was on my way to my final destination, Tanga. I was a bit surprised, newly tarred roads, new signs, cops every 5km’s, this was like an Autobahn compared to the roads on the Kenya side, somebody somewhere is doing something ok with regards to infrastructure.
The places I passed on the way to Tanga were quite amazing. People going about there business occasionally stopping to stare at the muzumgu going past. It was an uneventful journey and I eventually landed up at my hotel. A small lodge with some good views and some basic amenities. I arrived at about 1pm and got settled, the client I was going to see fetched my from the lodge and then it was off to work. I took a good photo from the top of the mill showing the Tanga surrounds.
Not much to look at but it was good when you’re there. I carried on with my work, taking measurements, chatting with the client about the red tape in Tanzania and how difficult is is to operate a business there. I was then on my way back to the lodge to enjoy a queit evening. Had some Tilapia at the restaurant, quite nice actually when compared with my expectations.
The next day I spent at the mill and finalised everything by about 12:00, I had checked out in the morning so it was time for my journey back. Wish I had spent another day or two but it was important to get back to the office. I set off at 12:30 after getting some red bull and some snacks for the road. The trip back across the border was quite relaxing, not too many truck, no police so all good. The border and immigration took about 30 minutes this time and I was on my way again on the rubbish road just inside of Kenya towards Mombasa. I reached South Mombasa, crossed to the North on the ferry and made my way towards Nairobi. I was only about a third of the way to Nairobi when it started getting dark, I had been a bit leisurely on my journey back and didn’t really think about driving at night with all those trucks towards Nairobi. I decided to stop in a town called Voi near the Tsavo national park, in fear of driving on the same road as 10 ton monsters that don’t look for a tiny Hilux in their rear view mirrors. It was a little difficult finding a place in the dark (no lights at all) so I started to have a small panic, cue google maps…. I found a great place called Lions Lodge, google my saviour. I phoned the lodge and found they were fully booked, I considered staying in a dodgy place close to the center of town but decided to look elsewhere (yes its snobby but the place really was quite dodge). I pulled into the nearest garage and asked a guy on a bike where was good. He mentioned he knew a lodge on a hill at the entrance to Tsavo national park and he would direct my there for about R20. I phoned the lodge he mentioned and found they had one single room left, I booked it and followed my new friend up the “hill”. It was not a hill…. it was a hectic “in construction” mountain path in the dark. I engaged 4 wheel drive and hoped I wouldn’t fall off the mountain. Of course my friend sped a along at about 60km/hr since he was used to this route, I kept up , it was fun and scary at the same time but oh boy was it worth it . I had found inland paradise. I was greeted with some champagne and a little towel elephant named “little blue elephant”. His friends were sleeping in their unfolded form in the top of the cupboard.
Ok I really wish I knew how to rotate the photos, I upload them correctly and then they get rotated, sorry. Anyways, I got settled in and got out of my driving clothes into lets relax a =nd go for dinner clothes. I had a fantastic dinner at the restaurant and made my way to bed. Little did I know what was waiting for me in the morning. On of the most spectacular views I’ve ever seen, the pictures don’t do it justice, it went on forever. Also there was a gigantic lizard, it was awesome and we sat together watching the sunrise on the sublime African plains. His name was “Gigantic lizard”, he was friendly and didn’t run away.
I had to leave eventually and left the lodge at about 10am after a nice breakfast. The mountain path on the way down was a little less terrifying and I wonder what all my fuss was about. Overall I had a spectacular journey and hope to do it again soon. Made my way back to Nairobi and straight to the office to get some work done.
Over and out peeps, just wait till you here about my beautiful trip to Murumvya in Burundi. More to come…..