Apr 7, 2012

Five seasons of riding

Headed out of Dodoma early, even though this luxury sleeping in 'hotels' doesn't really fit into my budget it does help getting up and going quite fast, backpack contaons everything i need for a night, while the tent and all the rest are on the panniers.

Was an interesting morning of riding, after the first section of roadworks (which continued on and off for the next 260km) there was a couple of tracks i wanted to explore. First few worked out really well and did some amazingly smooth singletrack riding, cattletracks rock! Lost my head a bit and went bombing down some random tracks into a boabab forest. Probably one of the highlights of the trips, realized how much i love the trees and how majestic they are. Soon after track splitting into track i was riding through some flower fields which similar to the boabab forest was probably just God playing around and having fun. So so beautiful! After a while realised i was getting further and further away from the road, couldn't even hear trucks going past just saw some dust in the distance. Started heading more east to go back but got caught on wrong side of thick bush and undergrowth, not that desperate yet. Eventually headed back wes to under the telephone poles, taking Marnitz freedom advice to another country. Worked out pretty well except for some seriously confused Masai. Still very friendly, especially the children. That is if they don't run away when they see me, not great for my image;).
Funnily enough i seem to get along great with the dogs or maybe they're just to lazy to chase me. I would also be in this heat. The chickens however are a different story, have beem chased by many a rooster. First time i've really played with the ION camera i'm using and hopefully will get some great footage from today, even better than the one where i tried to take a clip in traffic and went into a truck;). (mom i'm still ok and alive and it happened a week ago so chill)

The telephone pole theory paid off and eventually made it back to the main road with a fat smile on my face, which was soon jolted off by the corrugation. Unfortunately no tracks close to head off on, since going over mountain/hill.
Good thing i don't have a glass eye, would have been lost ages ago. So after some miserable climbing and generally feeling as though i'm riding a cactus home got to the top and hot a sweet downhill with more of the flowers. African tulips maybe? Don't know but they're really something to experience. Made some good progress and starting thinking might be able to push to campsite 50km past Iringa the next day. Tried helping a local fix his chain but doesn't fit into my chaonbreaker, too old school, felt bit bad to just leave him there but next village was not very far.
As things go that meant i rode into the next thunderstorm. Luckily missed the worst of it, still had rain for about an hour but playing in the mud was much less fun. To give an idea of the rain, the drainage ditches on the side was two rivers. After some walking and fixing bag to panniers (broke my african plan extension stick on the downhill) and finally figured way to tie everything down so that it doesn't hit my wheel. Some very much not friendly thoughts and words went around in that hour or so of mudsliding.

At last got through it, good news the rain seemed to clear up ahead. The bad news was that i was now walking through some sandy sections. With the extra weight on the backwheel i can actually get through quite bad sections, as ling as i crank it and keep going straight. A slight deviation from tbe straight and 2.1 narrow usually ends in a awkward stop.

Got onto ridge and had some sections where i could get onto that shiny new road, felt like tar only better. No bumpy ride for me. Although that didn't last long. Have been using my sparse chinese to great all of them at the sections that they are working on, and then found a signpost at one of their camps saying it is a Japanese sponsored project, bummer. The roadproject is huge though, they only way it could even remotely make financial sense is if Japan is going to take over Tanzania, although then they would firsy have to rewrite their constitution and rename their freedom force. (Japan is not allowed, as written in their constitution to maintain a standing army). How is that for trivia from inside my cosy reed camp.

The rest of the riding was bit of a drag to get some k's in. Spectacular dam where no pictures are allowed so took a few videos;). People at supper stop was relaxed as one can only be in africa so just grabbed some jipanti/chipati (basically an oily pancake) and left. Hopefully find a village early for breakfast.
The roadworks still going after 6, and heard the trucks for some time during the night, maybe making up for going pole pole all day;).

As it got dark pulled off just after another Japanese camp, with swimmming pool! and set up camp. The mozzies were like angry vampires and had my hands full getting camp up. Even in the tent they kept coming in between the fly sheet and rain cover to try their luck. No funny animals tonight, other campsites apparantly was very much in their country. Had first 'real'/big wild animals, some hippos, could hear them later at night but wasn't too keen on scouting to find them.
Tent mozzie free so time to get some sleep.

1 comment:

  1. Wow trip sounds amazing!! Dying to see some photos. I am fine as long as we get blogs etc. Did no km today real easter rain in Stellenbosch