Last night we stayed in Dodoma (the Capital City of Tanzania) and arrived late and as per usual this combined with a late arrival means problems finding somewhere to stay. For one, its dark and there's no street lights at all anywhere. We found somewhere just on the outskirts for 5000TSH including a shower in the morning and we were very happy. We camped in their carpark with security who got the 5000TSH in his pocket straight from the manager. This was the Rock Hotel near to the Lutheren Church and one the way to Dar Es Salaam.
Tonight we have done one better. The marvellous people at Dragonaires Bar and Restaurant in Morogoro have let us use a room for free !!!! would you believe it !!! Its like Christmas. They are being so nice. Its 6:30pm and we have somewhere to stay, somewhere to shower and somewhere to eat and drink !! The car is safe and sound and the manager here is being a star.
but i want to talk about it.
Two locals in their car $14usd
Two UK citizens in their car $420usd
now whats logical of fair in that. We chould charge all foreign tourists in the UK 3000% more.......Angry, you have no idea.
We left Mombasa and carried on back to Voi to go to Taveta to cross into Tanzania. We stopped at the same Total Petrol station to get lunch and ditch all the Kenyan money on fuel. Its cheaper here than Tanzania.
At the border the Kenyan side was easy. The Tanzania guys wanted me to pay again for the vehicle tax. Something i'd already paid last time and its valid for a month. They put up a strong fight but in the end they caved-in and we got through by paying the fuel levy only ($5). We'd asked at two separate borders last time if we needed to pay the vehicle tax when we came back in and both said "no, do not pay it you have paid it for a month" So when this one border insisted, i stood my ground. Two beats one in my book. We shall check another border (4th one) when we leave as either the first two borders were wrong or the third was. I want to know. It was $20usd saved. If we stay past the 16th we need to pay it again however.
We stayed outside a bar last night and they put the music on again at 8am this morning. We had a cool nights sleep.
Today we passed Kilimanjaro. Not much cloud. See Pictures.
Today we went to the Hotel where we stayed in 1991 when we were both young. This was the Nyali Beach Hotel in Mombasa and its not changed much. They still have dress restrictions in the restaurant and the pool where we both learnt to scuba dive was the same. We wandered around the gardens trying to figure out which room we stayed in. Hopefully when we get home we can figure out where we stayed. The hotel will always be in my mind as the one where i finished Super Mario Land on the Gameboy (5 hours) sat on the toilet after getting the worse food poisoning i've ever had from a prawn sandwich. Many weeks later we were still bad and this lasted of course when we returned home. We ate again in the bar today but only a samosa and some fries. My stomach is OK so far.....
Tea Plantations - Kericho, Kenya
Last night was the most uncomfortable we have been. It was very hot and humid all night. It was over 30c when we went to bed and stayed there almost all night. It may have gone down a bit but i didn't notice !
Its nights like this that make you wonder if a roof tent is any better. We have the fan in the "bedroom" and you don't get that in a roof tent. I even resorted to opening the sliding side windows for only the second time and the lack of wind contibuted to the difference the made....none ! The ventilation in a roof tent would be similar and no wind would make the tent very hot. Having not slept in one i can't comment but we are still thinking of getting one later on.
Henning has been hit by a bus and is injured and so is his bike. Its not major but not good. His bike needs some minor repair and so does his arm. One of the little taxi buses the same ones that broke my wing mirror. Yesterday i rammed one and he actually stopped to let me past. There's a first for everything. These buses are ruining africa's traffic and they are all death traps.
A good nights sleep was had by all and we found our first puncture in the rear wheel. Slow pucture at that as i had noticed it was low the day before pumped it up and it went down again. After removing the wheel it was the standard nail in the edge. They never seem to go in the middle. Always near the edge (about an inch in). Repaired with Tyre String and off we went.
A question for Mike or those that have...How long have you driven on a stringed tyre ? I know the official line is temporary but really can it last the life of the tyre. I understand it can quite easily. If i get it pluged properly it will need a balance so i'm lothed to get a roadside place to do it as they cannot balance it. I could get this done in mombasa but is a plug really needed ?
This time is just the nice police station in Masimba and we are camping in the front garden rather like last time. So please don't panic and start calling the embassy. We're quite safe here and not in a cell,,, but the bedroom does have a grill on its windows.....Matilda has window guards.
He left jungle junction a while ago and is due into Entebbe, Uganda tomorrow. His bike is fixed and he's wondering why he's travelling after such a long wait in JJ Nairobi. I've explained to him that to travel you need to move from one place to another. Something he seems to have forgotten. His confidence is rattled rather like my steering guard. He needs to tighten his nuts and get moving !!!
What the hell am i on about...... Henning.
There's also a girl involved......these things happen to a single bloke and sometimes to married men (no luck on that front for me as i'm still in love with the 22 year ball and chain). Maybe i will have more luck in south America.
Success. I've found the rattle. Turns out it was the steeing guard coming loose. I removed the water pump tensioner and replaced the water pump with a new one as it was leaking (like always) but seemed to be getting worse. I thought it might have been that but once re-filled the rattle was still there. So a bit of revving later and laying on my back under the car i spotted the offending loose bolt. So i now have a non-leaking water pump (fingers crossed) and a non-rattling car.
Nile River Explorers - Jinja - The source of the Nile.
Nabugab Holiday Centre - Lake Nabugabo Uganda
Ferry Port - Busisi Side to Kigonga
Spice Motel - Bukoba, Tanzania
Spice Motel - Bukoba, Tanzania
No Road - Being Built between Bujoba and Gieta
back at Jungle Junction.....bah !
Not too happy about being back here but they've fixed the light in the toilet so i can avoid peeing in the dark. They've also alegedly sorted out the internet access and seem to have followed the advice i gave someone about "patch tuesdays" and the windows updates. Theyv'e asked all not to download windows updates. I doubt anyone will listen.
The border crossing from Tanzania to Kenya was painless and super quick. No money was paid as we have all the visa's and stuff. If we have gone in Rwanda we would have had to pay again.
We like Tanzania ! Not only are the police nowhere near as bad as we were told they even gave use free accomodation. So to all those that say they are corrupt. So far none have been. Not a single dodgy ticket in any country for that matter. We shall no doubt break that rule in Mozambique but we shall see.
Tanzania ( 2500TSH to The Pound )
Once we decided that the post wasn't going to come we were almost lost as to where to go next. We can't afford the $150 per day for Matilda in the parks so we just wanted to travel round the lake. A few of the roads on the GPS said "Armed Escort" but I decided that it must be old info so off we went. Turns out i was right. The views on some of the stretches are stunning. Some of the places you can say for cheap also have stunning locations with views inland and onto the water. You'd think you we on the sea! The lake is fresh water though and although very tempted i resisted the urge to go swimming. The lake has that snail infestation and i don't want that with the peeing blood and all the other symptoms although i didn't catch it in Ethiopia at Tim and Kims (Miserable, Moaning Hideaway).
We paid nothing for camping outside a hotel in Bukoba (Spice Motel) and 18,000TSH for drinks and meals. At the moment we are in Mwanza and paying 20,000TSH to stay in the Yacht Club grounds right next door to the nicest hotel in town (Hotel Talapia) with some of the best views. The hotel has a pool, bar(of course) and numerous restaurants. They even have some old cars on display with one being a very nice SAAB and a Rolls Royce. We didn't get a ride in either and they were slightly older than Matilda who's 18 this year and comming of age. We also missed the Formula 1 and only managed to watch cricket. (We did catch the start the night after)
We've also met another couple (slightly younger) who are on their way home. 3 Years on the road !! They've been to all the places we want to go and would you believe it are on their honeymoon. We will link to their website so you can see who they are and what they are up to. They will be home in 12 weeks.
Today 20 March we are staying in the Police (wait for it) Hotel...actually not an hotel at all but the Police and Army Club. This as it turns out is a rather nice Victoria Lake front Bar. The only downside so far is the new restaurant isn't open so we've had to make bolied potatoes, sausages and onion gravy (lovely). We must remember to put Adsa Gravy on out list of things to buy when we come home for our hoildays. We are in Musoma tonight and the manager has offered the car park to others that may be passing. So go past the airport runway, past the peninsular hotel and its on right past the modern looking deralict buliding (who knows what that was/is meant to be). So with this in mind i'm goign to say the police so far have not lived up the the hype....no stops, no tickets, no nothing and free accomodation to boot. We shall spread the word as things do seem to have changed here.
The sound in Matilda is still there and thanks to Julies finger tapping we don't get notifications of blog comments via Email so missed Lisa's comment on the guy in Kampala (damn and blast!!) so i'm still trying to think what it is. It may be Water Pump, Alternator, Tensioner or something more insideous. By that i mean Inside....eous. Hopefully not.
I've fixed the comments....so no more missed information. !!!
Nile River Explorers Camp - Jinja
ItandaFalls and the local rip off admission we didn't pay
Faze3 Restaurant - Entebbe
Franks - Entebbe Backpackers - Entebbe
Nabugabo Holiday Centre - Nabugabo Lake, Uganda
Ferry from Busisi to near Mwanza (southern ferry)
Yacht Club - Mwanza
Yacht Club - Mwanza
Police Club and Bar - Musoma
Police Club and Bar - Musoma
Yes i have shaved off the beard and its growning back nicely. Pic 3 shaved. Pic 1 Beard. Pic 10 on its way back.
I'm a bit mad. Turns out the Royal Mail has sent my important post as snail mail not on the 4 to 7 days they promised. So we wouldn't have got it for about another week and maybe more. So we've given up on it and told the very helpful postmaster in Entebbe to send it back to the UK. The post never even left the UK for 5 days and then would go to Kenya Nairobi, Kampala Uganda and then soemwhere else i don;t recognise before Entebbe. The Royal Mail AirSure service isn't available to Uganda but according to the Uganda Postal people they get it from a lot of other countries in 4 days. So Royal Mail you have let me down BADLY !!!
I'm currently now trying to call the UK (not easy) to get something else arranged.
We are moving on to Tazania in the hope of being further annoyed by the corrupt police. They are world famous for being very corrupt.
Been to the post office again and according to the tracking number the letter is still in the UK. Great !
The internet at the camp is rubbish. It lasts about 5 mins before cutting off and for some reason they have multiple routers and neither is set up correctly. I must resist the temptation to reconfigure them ;-)
So i'm currently running on mobile which is also broken and has just come on as 3.5G for the first time in a week. I'm presuming the transmitter was broken as its just come on full strength again.
Thanks to Margaret we have been doing some looking at the South Africa parks pass and its about 2200 rand which 185quid. We can then go into the park and pay for camping which is something under 20quid. Trouble is as Margaret pointed out we need to go to SA (Petoria) to get it ! This isn't quite as bad as it could be as Petoria is in Northern SA. So alucky break there.
Today i noticed that Matilda is making a funny noise at lowish revs. I'm a bit worried. ITs certainly in the Engine bay and possibly in the Engine itself ! I'm not sure what to do and without an expert ear it will be very difficult to diagnose. Ontop of that i've just given her a wax polish (i must be bored)
Waiting in Entebbe for post....campsite is 4quid per night so not too bad. They keep having power cuts so showers are delayed sometimes by hours ! This is no good as we can no longer go 5 or 7 days without a wash. The humidity is high and so is my moisture content. Julies smells like a fishermans wife....at least she thinks she does but to be honest i smell so bad i can't smell her. I might be exagerating a bit but you get the point.
Even Matilda's had a wash. I dream of a pressure-washer but its a kitchen sponge and a bucket in Africa.
Uganda is also too expensive. You know its $150 usd per day to take your car into a national park. The locals pay almost nothing (~7 quid). So to go into a park is about $200 per day plus camping which is $30 per night. Who can afford that ??? Its per 24 hours so to get anything done you need two days. We arn't going into any and will pay for a parks pass in South Africa and go in for days on end. Same animals,,, same difference.
So if you look on Google images at images of Uganda....you've seen more than us !
for those that wonder about my tool box. Its a three draw affair bolted in the back of the landy. The small battery drill i got my father as a present somehow ended up in the landorver and he got my large proper drill. Before he says anything about battery life...i ended up with the better deal. The Dremel lives in the same small bag as the drill. The bottle jack live under the drivers seat with some jumpleads and winch stuff. The torque wrench lives down the side of the rear draw as its quite a long tool. Thats it really.
For the commentators....The odd large tool slipped into a little box doesn't alter the sleeping arrangements at all. There's plenty of room for that as well.......
We found a good camp in the name of the above. Its meant to be $5 per night but we did a deal and pay slightly less. We decided to stay 2 nights...maybe three. I'm tempted to pay the $125 and go rafting...not sure. Its expensive and we've done it before but just not here.
We've also met another English couple called Mark and Jinny in a rented Foley's Land Rover. We met them at Naiberi and then at Sipi and now here in Explorer's. They've travelled up from Namibia and have three months off work living the dream. They are both self employed so they can make the time off. The package from Foley's seems good at about 70 quid per day. We've also met a team of rugby coaches doing and African tour teaching rugby. They are a mixed nationality group but they are also in Foley vehicles and one of the team is Nick Foley the son of the owner. Needless to say he get lumbered with all the fix it jobs that need doing. He's rather like me in that respect.
I forgot to mention yesterday they our awning was blown over the top of the car at Sipi. Much damage resulted and the awning was almost knackered. I managed to fix it with numerous rivits and bolts. Its not quite as new but not far off. Thankfully i decided to bring the rivit gun and a selection of rivits as i wouldn't have been able to fix it without them. The Drill and Dremell also got some use.....
The other day (1/3/12) we left the campsite in Naiberi near Eldoret and travelled the Uganda. The border crossing was easy and apart from being fined for not paying road tax in Kenya it all went smoothly. We had another 100usd to pay for the uganda visa and this time we also bought their road tax. We changed some money on the Kenya side to pay for the road tax and it ammounted to just under 50000Ush.
2000USH = ~0.55p
There was a lot of people wanting to help me on the Kenya side but i told
them all to go away as the process is easy. Immegration, Customs for Carnet, Pay Fee for Tax, Collect Carnet from customs and then get a police stamp on the carnet. Easy.
The Uganda side was easier. Go to Immigration and present passports, Pay for
Visa and get stamp in passport. Go to Customs and hand over carnet and then go upstairs to pay for road tax at Stanbic Bank, back down to customs to collect
stamped carnet once you present them with a receipt for the tax.
There were a lot of money changers on the Uganda end and they all looked like
ducklings in their yellow long overcoats. Same type of long coat/overall as a
doctor but in bright yellow. Must have been 20 of them clucking around for your business. One of them got mine and wanted his flawless US dollar notes in
exchange for his tatty (toilet paper) Uganda notes.
We drove toward Jinga and i decided the camp sites were too expensive. (one was $48USD a night !!!!) After all it was our 15th wedding aniversary so i decided what we needed was to sleep on the side of the road. Actully we both had the sane idea.....go to the Chinese restaurant, pay for a meal and ask permission to stay in the car park. Worked a treat. The meal was OK but julie had a slightly dodgy stomach the day after. All in all about the same price as one of the good campsites and we got food included ! We then got up and yet again decided to backtrack. Sipi Falls.....
In Sipi we are at the crows nest and it has a good view of the (biggest)
bottom falls from the bar and most of the camp. We paid for the guide to take us on the walk to the bottom and the middle falls. We also went to a small coffee plantation and for caves on route. Not too bad considering it was 9 quid and a couple of hours in duration. We resisted the urge to buy anything and and missed out the "craft shop" on the way back. For the benefit of my Dad the guide was called Patrick and we have taken a photo as proof that my hand went into my pocket to pay for an official guide.
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