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    • Day 32


      February 6, 2020 in Tanzania ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

      Il est temps de filer en Tanzanie. Tuk-tuk, matatu, boda-boda (taxi-moto) jusqu'à la frontière et c'est parti pour un peu d'administratif. D'abord, on nous dit de nous laver les mains et on nous vérifie la température. Il y a des panneaux plein de conseils anti-ebola un peu partout. Un petit tour des bureaux pour donner nos passeports, empreintes, frais de visa. Ambiance très pépère à cette frontière. Une femme est grimpée sur un bureau pour y faire la sieste. On n'y avait encore jamais pensé ! A tenter.

      De l'autre côté, on se fait comme toujours assaillir par des gens qui veulent nous amener au bus qui est juste à 2 mètres, prendre nos sacs pour décider de les mettre dans le tuk tuk du copain, etc. On monte dans le dala dala (minibus) et là... youhouuu c'est parti pour un tetris humain. C'est un peu comme une partie de Twister, mais dans un bus. Et ça dure des heures car on prend de nouveaux joueurs un peu partout le long de la route. Nous les mzungus on a pas le droit de participer, on nous a assigné les places de devant, avec le chauffeur. Arrivée à Tanga, petit port tranquille où on fait étape sur la route de Dar es Salaam.
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    • Day 95


      March 21, 2020 in Tanzania ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

      I want to move north along the coast to Tanga today but the coastal road is - again again again - not drivable as it is partially destroyed by flooded rivers. After reading how big this city is I loose interest and anyway, while processing north the Usambara mountains enrol in front of me and I feel a strong gravitational field deflecting my path strongly to the west away from Tanga.

      Today I travel in company of my personal Maasai warrior Alamayani. He works at the lodge/camp where I stayed the last days and wants to visit his family south of Arusha. He carries three major items: A wooden stick, a traditional sword (ol alem) with which he once cut a lion's neck and a smartphone which shows better battery runtime than mine. We have a slight communication problem though because my Kiswahili is nearly as good as his English ;-)
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    • Day 96


      March 22, 2020 in Tanzania ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

      Brown, heavy bread, jucy avocado, aromatic tomatoes, citronpeppar from Sweden, locally made rosmary gouda and passion fruit jam, accompanied with Tanzanian freshly ground coffee from fincas south of Kilimanjaro =)

      Apart from calling me "Jesus!" all the time, since yesterday the young generation sympathizes with the new nickname "Corona!" for all non-locals. From heaven to hell in one day! -_-
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    • Day 96

      Perfectly in time for a short rhyme

      March 22, 2020 in Tanzania ⋅ 🌙 20 °C

      I arrive at 1,810 m just in time for the sunset! A dog approaches and whispers something with a ladyish voice in Polish to me. Wahhhhoo, whoat? Okay, behind the fur there is the lodge's owner hiding :D

      The village of Mambo killed my time schedule because its "roads" are so narrow and washed out that some locals had to bend a wooden fence in order for me to get through and at the end they even had to lift the protruding roof of a house because of my stuff on the rack. We all had fun =)

      Shortly after arrival I get an e-mail from the German embassy in Dar that the Foreign Office organised two retrieval flights for Tuesday afternoon. One from Mombasa and one from Zanzibar. If I wanted to get out of the country, I would have to decide until tomorrow morning. Mombasa is closer but the border impenetrable. And what would happen with the car? Cheese!
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    • Day 97

      Going to hell. Not.

      March 23, 2020 in Tanzania ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      The Zanzibar flight is restricted to 50 persons and primarily designated for island tourists. According to the embassy my chances to get a slot are small so I don't risk all the stress getting there in half the time I would need. The mainland airport in Dar-es-Salaam is still in regular operation even though the flights to Germany are sparse with obscure transits for prices I would not pay right now where "thinks are still normal here". There might be skylifts planned later for all the other volunteers and expats scattered around but Tanzania has low priority at this moment. The embassy is currently gathering info about all people left in the country. All land borders are closed so whatever I will be doing, it'll all be branded "Tanzanian experience 2.0" ;-)

      As for now, I keep enjoying my coffee and fix some pending issues around the car. Maybe I continue tomorrow. Maybe not. This spot is just too pretty!

      If necessary, from here I can be in Dar within one day and the chances are high that my new mechanics' friends could take care of my car at their well-guared lawn.
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    • Day 98


      March 24, 2020 in Tanzania ⋅ ☁️ 23 °C

      Here at the lodge they constantly employ some 17 villagers (as long as there are tourists ...) and whenever renovation work has to be done they make use of their professionals' network and rotate additional employees weekly in order to give others the chance to also earn some money. Most supplies are acquired in Mambo, water comes from the forest and power brings the sun.Read more

    • Day 99

      Home office?

      March 25, 2020 in Tanzania ⋅ 🌧 22 °C

      Fight nature with nature: Toast à la Cheesus with onions, garlic, aromatic habanero and tomato for lunch (germ-free zone), polska szarlotka in the afternoons (Dagmara knows her business!), coffee all around the clock und nen guaden Grappa for sun set. Our night watchman patrols with a
      small brown sheep and the bush baby in the nearby tree always has an eye on me. Doesn't sound like the end of the world, does it?
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    • Day 100

      Back in time 30 million years

      March 26, 2020 in Tanzania ⋅ 🌧 23 °C

      Since March 22nd I’m relaxing here on the spot and preparing my mind for the dawning apocalypse. Today I break out for a hike into Shagayu Forest Reserve (part of Usambara mountains) with the local guides Joseph and David accompanied by five dogs from the camp, of which three are Dagmara’s imported stray dogs from Morocco (all Poles I know are crazy about dogs!). We accomplish more than 21 km within seven hours and again I feel the past three months of sitting behind the driving wheel. Back home I will have to order a replacement element for my left knee on eBay :-P

      The path leads us from Mambo through monotonous pine and eucalyptus forests which have been planted by Germans and/or Brits during colonial times, primarily to obtain fast-growing firewood and building material. Already back then the natives’ settlement pressure was intense in this fertile and smoothly-climatised region that the whites feared to loose more and more of the precious, pristine rain forest. This is why they erected a wall of eucalyptus trees to denominate a border between cultivated land and the Shagayu forest which has been declared a forest reserve during the nineteenhundrets. This tree wall persists until today and looks somewhat strange. The locals say that this system still works pretty well as they are allowed to gather firewood from the pine and eucalyptus plantations any time whereas from the primary forest they may only collect dead wood which indeed is strongly controlled by the current government. At least they seem to have realised that this old forest is the only source for fresh water during the dry season. It even sources water during droughts when it does not rain for two years in a row!

      This "firewood thing" is really a problem. Tanzania is poor and has a huge population which uses wood and charcoal for cooking and heating all year long. Getting a hot shower in rural areas involves firing an oven. But in Zambia it is even worse! There the water reservoirs are depleting which also leads to hydro power shortages and whole Zambia’s economy and life seems to be concentrated around “where do I get firewood and where do I get charcoal?”. Even in Lusaka we experienced power cut-offs from early morning till the evening and running water was not available from 9 am to 3 pm. In their fuckin’ capital they cook daily lunch on charcoal! Here in Usambara mountains 30 % of the ladies are carrying veggies on their head and 70 % are carrying ... firewood. By the way, I don’t see any guys working here. They are just hiding or sitting around on crappy Chinese motorbikes (they say that they fall apart after one year).

      So, back to Shagayu forest: it’s nice, you should go there. Don’t fear any leopards, they don’t come any more.
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    • Day 103

      Pa pa!

      March 29, 2020 in Tanzania ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      Didn't expect to having been talking and thinking a whole week in Polish during this trip. After seven nights camping deluxe I say "Pa pa!" to my new family at the heaven's gate and descend via Lushoto (stopping for cheese, local coffee and jam) in direction to Mkomazi National Park which is north "just around the corner". The whole day submerges into a melancholic atmosphere. Why did I leave? Will I return one day? Maybe even very soon ...Read more

    • Day 113

      Pushing rains uphill

      April 8, 2020 in Tanzania ⋅ 🌧 18 °C

      Again I climb into the Usambara mountains and join two other overlanding Germans, Jutta and Gerd, in Lushoto at the Paradise Eco Lodge where we are hosted by Uwe from Germany who is living here with his Tanzanian wife, 3 kids and his mom. With me I bring rain for the next three days.

      Jutta and Gerd are travelling in their mobile home, an old Bundeswehr Kategorie-1 4x4 truck (13-litre air-cooled V8 diesel), through the world without any time schedule and within the last 4-5 years they managed to get from Germany around the Arabic peninsula not further than down to here. Wonderful! :-D They tell me many valuable things about the coming countries up north on my planned route and also motivate me to think about Oman. I enjoy family breakfasts, lunches and dinners and finally continue "back home" to Mambo View Point over Easter.

      Check out Jutta's and Gerd's website: https://im-kat-zuhause.jimdofree.com
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Tanga Region, Tanga, Mkoa wa Tanga

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