Tanzania (delayed post)

It is 10:12pm, and I am sitting on my hotel bed in Mbeya, Tanzania and I have just finished a vigourous scratching of my bottom which has been ravaged by tse-tse flies. Too much information perhaps, but this journey forces one to drop any facades one may have and simply become real. No longer does one hesitate to ask about the progress of a riders diarrhea, nausea or injuries. The belching and release of other body gases goes on unannouced and without apologies these days…and no one really cares. In fact, of more concern to most is the identification of the loud and constant snorers. They are like pariahs…released to the extreme edges of the campsite…isolated because of a flap of tissue that refuses to stay in place. Oh well, at least these same few are treated with love and kindness during the day. This is what riding a bicycle through Africa can do to a person. It is a stripping down like no other.

We have just finished eight straight days of riding, four of which were off-road days. Off-road in Tanzania meant gravel, sand, red mud, huge dug outs created by previously stuck vehicle wheels, stones, stones and more stones…and finally the biting tse-tse flies. It was a wild and challenging eight days and my only goal was to ride all of them and remain on my bike. I did fall once, but it was in a deep sandy part, so no harm was done. Another rider was not so lucky as he fell while avoiding a bus, and separated his shoulder. The count for separated shoulders on this trip is now up to three. and we are all hoping that it will stop there.

Tanzania has been a warm and welcoming country. The people break into smiles and laughter easily and they seem like very happy people. I am told that the country is progressing well under its’ current government and there is a general feeling of well-being in the air. Geographically, the Tanzanian countryside has been stunning. The land is lush and the soil seems to support crops of all types with ease. In fact, at times one could have confused Tanzania with Ireland or Switzerland or even parts of Northern Ontario. The air was always typically pregnant with moisture, but other than one evening of a downpour, we managed to escape with no rain at all. What a relief that has been as riding on the off-road sections in the rain and mud would have been brutally difficult. Furthermore, our support truck would have definitely got stuck in the mud, meaning no access to tents or food or clothing for the evening. It would have taken the expedition to a new and horrible level!

Here are some memories of Tanzania:

Coke stops galore; chai and chapati stops every 20km for some and Serengeti beer stops for others; chipsy amayi stops…translation is french fries cooked with one or two eggs…yum. Mangoes, pineapples, miniature bananas, passion fruit, avocados…and…cheese. Yes, cheese has been rare on this trip and is a welcome sight at the lunch stop!

Tomorrow, we leave Tanzania and enter in to the sixth country of the tour which is Malawi. I know very little about this country and am looking forward to it…however, Tanzania was a real jewel of a country and was loved by all.

It is 10:12pm, and I am sitting on my hotel bed in Mbeya, Tanzania and I have just finished a vigourous scratching of my bottom which has been ravaged by tse-tse flies. Too much information perhaps, but this journey forces one to drop any facades one may have and simply become real. No longer does one hesitate to ask about the progress of a riders diarrhea, nausea or injuries. The belching and release of other body gases goes on unannouced and without apologies these days…and no one really cares. In fact, of more concern to most is the identification of the loud and constant snorers. They are like pariahs…released to the extreme edges of the campsite…isolated because of a flap of tissue that refuses to stay in place. Oh well, at least these same few are treated with love and kindness during the day. This is what riding a bicycle through Africa can do to a person. It is a stripping down like no other.

We have just finished eight straight days of riding, four of which were off-road days. Off-road in Tanzania meant gravel, sand, red mud, huge dug outs created by previously stuck vehicle wheels, stones, stones and more stones…and finally the biting tse-tse flies. It was a wild and challenging eight days and my only goal was to ride all of them and remain on my bike. I did fall once, but it was in a deep sandy part, so no harm was done. Another rider was not so lucky as he fell while avoiding a bus, and separated his shoulder. The count for separated shoulders on this trip is now up to three. and we are all hoping that it will stop there.

Tanzania has been a warm and welcoming country. The people break into smiles and laughter easily and they seem like very happy people. I am told that the country is progressing well under its’ current government and there is a general feeling of well-being in the air. Geographically, the Tanzanian countryside has been stunning. The land is lush and the soil seems to support crops of all types with ease. In fact, at times one could have confused Tanzania with Ireland or Switzerland or even parts of Northern Ontario. The air was always typically pregnant with moisture, but other than one evening of a downpour, we managed to escape with no rain at all. What a relief that has been as riding on the off-road sections in the rain and mud would have been brutally difficult. Furthermore, our support truck would have definitely got stuck in the mud, meaning no access to tents or food or clothing for the evening. It would have taken the expedition to a new and horrible level!

Here are some memories of Tanzania:

Coke stops galore; chai and chapati stops every 20km for some and Serengeti beer stops for others; chipsy amayi stops…translation is french fries cooked with one or two eggs…yum. Mangoes, pineapples, miniature bananas, passion fruit, avocados…and…cheese. Yes, cheese has been rare on this trip and is a welcome sight at the lunch stop!

Tomorrow, we leave Tanzania and enter in to the sixth country of the tour which is Malawi. I know very little about this country and am looking forward to it…however, Tanzania was a real jewel of a country and was loved by all.

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2 Responses to Tanzania (delayed post)

  1. Ann BG says:

    I’m sure it’s a chore to write when your head must be swimming with new experiences, but trust me, every word is precious and appreciated by those who want you back safe and wish they could be having the same fabulous experience. Onward!!

  2. Hazel Babu says:

    Hey Ms Price!
    Happy Easter! How are you doing? Tanzania sounds like a wonderful place! I wish I could see all these places! Much better than watching Discovery channel! Of course, there would have to be some teleportation method of travelling considering how I sob and whine every time I run up and down the stairs for Track. How did you like Chapati? Its a staple in my house.
    I hope your team mate (who dislocated his shoulder) is recovering well!

    Stay safe and have lots of fun as you continue to advocate for a very noble cause!
    By the way, Im sure you could challenge and defeat Lance Armstrong by now!

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