Day 10: The hanging tree and racing on the Cape Town-Nairobi highway

Mbeya is one of those place you won't rush back to... yet it has its purpose nevertheless. There is not much to see, although the Loleza and Mbeya peaks are looming graciously over the town. The semi-colonial town centre is bustling with life this Wednesday morning. People are crowding around the local market and the garages in town. We scooter around looking for the 'hanging tree' -- according to our guidebook believed to have been used by the Germans during the Maji Maji uprising to execute opponents of their oppressive rule. Yet here ends our sightseeing. (And we never manage to find the tree either). The locals we ask only think us mad. Trees don't hang, after all, they say.
Right they are. We make a short stop at an Internet point instead and tell our folks back home we're still alive. Around 11 we are back on the road and try not to run over locals who pop out of the blue from right and left. The town is on the main "highway" linking Nairobi with Cape Town so we seem to be on the right track. Just 20 km north, the road branches off south towards Malawi and its beautiful lake. For us, however, it means continue heading north towards far away Dar es Salaam. The 373-km drive for today goes smoothly although the roads are patchy once in a while. Rice fields and coffee plantations are the highlights of the day. We pass hill-covered Iringa and decide to go for a nearby campsite instead. The Riverside Camp is hidden down a curvy off-road track -- now try that in darkness on a over-loaded scooter! But nothing impossible for our two-wheeler (although best one of us walks parts of the way, just in case...). We arrive at the beautiful camp set beside the Little Ruaha river. Not many visitors to this British-run establishment this time around. All quiet around us and it's only 8 p.m. The whisper of our gas stove and the river running through are the only sounds we hear. It will be a restful night, indeed.

The cozy Sombrero Hotel

The turn-off to Malawi...

High-street fashion shop

Maybe pack some wood to keep ourselves warm...?

The rice fields around Mbeya

Good for posture :)

The local gas station

Are we back in a European forest... Have we missed the road?

Preparing dinner at Riverside Camp near Iringa

No comments:

Post a Comment