Tanzania - Part IIWritten by admin on January 22nd, 2009
Tanzania - Part II
Monday 12 January
Heading off a little later than we hoped we were on our way back to Tanzania to Dar Es Salaam. Bob’s brakes were deteriorating rapidly once we were in Tanzania, due to a leak from the brake pipe, so we stopped at a garage where the mechanic fixed it by wrapping a piece of cotton around the pipe! It did the job though (temporarily) and we made it to Dar to spend a couple of days visiting some community projects on the outskirts.
Wednesday 14 January
3pm we finally managed to leave Dar, after trying to leave since 08:00. First the mechanic who was looking at our car the day before had not finished, then we searched for a new tyre for Bob and then diesel started pouring from the fuel sedimenter while we were filling up. Just outside of Dar we were then pulled over by the Police and Marc was fined for speeding (again!). Marc felt it was a bit of a conspiracy, but not wanting to go to court on his birthday and both desperate to get out of Dar, we gave in to paying a bribe on this occasion. We were aiming to drive to Iringa about 600 km away, but by 20:30 we were tired and night driving is not ideal in Africa, so we stopped just after Mikumi for the night.
Thursday 15 January
We made it to Ruaha National Park mid-afternoon after having another brake failure on the dirt road leading to the park. The cotton was no longer a solution to the leak and we lost all of our brake fluid (we were also pretty P’d off with the mechanic in Dar who we had paid huge amounts of money to do work on the vehicle, but who had failed to fix the one thing we had taken in it in for). We appeared to be in the middle of nowhere, but after just a few minutes we were joined by some friendly locals who helped us to fix it in true African style. With a bit of wood we blocked off the pipe at the junction, topped up with our remaining brake fluid and drove on 3 brakes to the park to celebrate Marc’s 31st birthday!
We were staying at Ruaha River Lodge, which was in a lovely location and after a quick shower sat on a rock by the river and cracked open a bottle of champagne to celebrate. We then had a lovely dinner and the staff at the lodge (much to Marc’s embarrassment) sang Happy Birthday and had baked him a special birthday cake!
Friday 16 January
We had a great day in the Park game driving. We went out early, despite being told that they don’t really advise their guests to go out until after breakfast and that there was no good time for game viewing! We had a couple of lion sightings (one pride and two big males on their own) and enjoyed sitting watching a herd of elephants with their babies very close to the road.
We came back for breakfast and then headed out again for the day with our packed lunch.