Day 12: A pricey, used spare tyre and the manual we don't have

We get off to an early start but to no use. There is no tyre that will fit our scooter in the whole of Iringa. The Chinese imports on the market have a bigger wheel, almost double the size of the Vespa. Alberto follows one of the locals around town all morning looking for a possible replacement, but nothing can be done. A local mechanic promises he will be able to organise 'something', but we are doubtful. After all, the country's economic centre is still hundreds of kilometres away and our schedule is tight. But miracles happen...
and a few hours later someone stops by with a used tyre that might just fit. It's not a tubeless one, but at least it may get us to Dar. We don't want to think how much a USED spare tyre cost us in the end. Yet our hopes of leaving the town early are dashed... it takes some three hours to change that cursed tyre. Turns out it's not as easy to dismount a Vespa's back wheel as it may seem at first. And the locals have never seen a scooter this type before. Maybe we should have carried the extra weight of that Vespa manual after all... but when one tries to cut all extra grams even that little booklet counts! Finally we can refuel and off we go. Passing across the mountain and the Baobab Valley feels like a true deja vu. We focus on the road ahead and try not to think of what may happen. We get to Mikumi way after the sun has set. The police man that stops us just before the entrance into the national park we need to pass leans over towards me, points his flashlight straight at my face and says with those big, popping eyes and that whispery, lazy tone: "Aren't you afraid of the elephants and lions ahead, ma'am?" That is enough to make me insist on sleeping over at the Tanzanian-Swiss campsite just BEFORE the park. Lions may eat us by day as well, but maybe better if one can see it coming, right?

The town of Iringa

Breakfast at M.R. Hotel in Iringa

The hair salon waiting room...?

How many mechanics does it take to change a tyre?

And we are functional again!

The stone-printed advertising of first-quality tyres.

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