Sunday, April 13, 2014

The trip to Dar es Salaam with Rita and Fletcher

We very much enjoyed Rita's visit to Kibidula.  For her return trip to Dar es Salaam, which is where she took her flight to return to America, the trip was broken into parts, including the safari.  The pictures for the safari were posted previously. 
We drove a new road (for us) to get to the game park.  It was a good thing we got really good directions, had plenty of time and had four-wheel drive.  It was too dark to take pictures of the road for the first few hours.  We started very early. 
We had a nice time in the game park, and we toward Dar es Salaam via Iringa about 5 pm. 
The road between the park and Iringa was tremendously rough (and a bit long.)  It took over 3 hours to get to Iringa.  The main road that we had taken on the previous trip was too flooded to pass.  The low-water bridge was impassable.  So we took the "Never Ending Road to Iringa."  That is actually the name of it.  It was actually a great road.  It was fairly smooth, but only one lane.  It then met up with the main road somewhere after the low-water bridge.
We stayed at the Veta Hostel in Iringa.  The prices there are very good (almost $10 a night for a room with toilet and shower and close to half that for the ones without.)
The next morning we started toward Morogoro and Dar es Salaam.  About an hour or so out of Iringa we start into the mountains.  We stopped just as we started the first decline to get some roasted field corn to finish up our breakfast.  Here is a picture of the place we stopped followed by the corn roasting.
Quick stop before entering the steep mountain passes.
Corn being roasted by the road. (Fast food - well, not very fast.)
As we started down the mountain, I asked if we could pull off to get a pictures of the beautiful cascading river that runs down the valley that is alongside the road.  Since we were not in a rush, I got my request.  There had been too much rain and we had seen lots of mud and flooding here and there.  The river was flowing brownish red.  It is still beautiful.
Part of the river that runs along the mountain pass
Some colorful people along the way

We saw more accidents and broken down vehicles on this trip than any previous one.  It is very dangerous when the trucks breakdown on the mountain passes.  Many places there is no shoulder to the road or pull-off place.  MANY trucks breakdown in the steep mountains.  And most of them will remain right in that place where they broke down until they are fixed.  This means that the road becomes much more dangerous. Very often you can not know if it is safe to pass the broken-down vehicle.  If you meet a very large vehicle at high-speed, it is quite unsafe.
One of many broken-down trucks on the mountain pass AND on a curve.
Often we see baboons along the road in the mountains.
There are several places along the main highway where there is now deep ruts in the road.  These ruts make for very tricky and even dangerous driving. 
Deep ruts in the road.
There are different types of traffic jams here.  This particular one was on the moooove.

Tanzanian traffic jam.
They had some SERIOUSLY big horns.
After exiting the mountains, the main highway passes through Mikumi National Park.  We actually saw more animals (in quantity) driving through this stretch of the park (50 km) than we did in our entire day in the other national park!
Cape Buffalo
African White-backed Vulture
This little one looks rather new to me.
Marabou Stork
Impala youth learning to spar and a White Stork.
So that's why they have a long neck.
There had been so much rain, that there had also been much flooding.  One of the bridges between the park and Morogoro had been completely closed and the road was covered with water, just the day before we passed.  When we passed the water was off the road and the bridge had one lane open.  We still saw many fields, crops, and even trees badly damaged by all the flooding.
Water damaged fields
I still like to try to take pictures of large loads on bicycles and motorcycles.  In the following picture there are two people on this motorcycle (most likely a motorcycle taxi.) with the big purchase.
Two people with a new mattress.
In Morogoro a man with a cart (car wheels with a bed and handles) was pulling a huge load.  He was going downhill in this picture and he was keeping up with traffic. 
Man with cart with many white bags of cargo in front of the red Toyo.
We stopped to get fuel and use the facilities.  We saw this big lizard.  After looking at him and comparing him to the pictures in our books, we think it is a baby monitor lizard!  I don't know what he was doing IN TOWN!?!
Baby Monitor Lizard
We did the requested shopping in Morogoro (fabric), and we headed down the road for the last stretch to Dar es Salaam.  It was dark and quite late by the time we arrived at the hotel.
The following day the Masai Market was first on our list so Rita could find gifts for the people back home.  There were LOTS and LOTS of booths.  As she shopped, we looked around.  There were some very interesting things to watch, such as this man with his hand-powered lathe.  He was making candlesticks.  Joshua really enjoyed watching him for extended amounts of time.  All his tools were hand-made.  I enjoyed watching him shape the ebony wood.
hand-made and hand-powered lathe
After market things were complete, we took the trip out to the peninsula to the family hut beach.  For about $6 US we got permission to access the beach and use a primitive hut.  We all enjoyed some fresh coconut water.  Fletcher, Joshua and Rita enjoyed the water.  We all enjoyed the lack of traffic, people and "things."  The scenery was beautiful.  The water was so pretty.
Fletcher and Rita heading to the water.  (Joshua is already in)
Fletcher, Rita and Joshua enjoying the Indian Ocean.
After taking Rita to the airport and saying our goodbye's we were back in the thick of Dar es Salaam trying to get a few supplies for ourselves and others back at the mission post.  One can see all kinds of things in Dar es Salaam.
Bicycle cargo style complete with helmet
Traffic jam
Oldie but goodie? 
Almost "abnormal" but abnomal will due.
More flooding on the way home.
We saw this accident at night coming to Dar es Salaam Monday night.  Thursday evening it was still not cleared from the road.  This is what we were praying would NOT happen to our container.  We praise God for His protection.
Accident on the highway.  Container still there after four days.
bridge damaged by the flooding, only one lane open
More animals on the way back through the park!
Mountain pass along the river
another accident

I didn't get pictures of most of the wrecks or breakdowns.  Some were so bad that I don't know if anyone could have survived.  Each day is a gift.  I am thankful for the gift of time today.

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