Gutless wonder going up hills!

Sunday, July 05, 2009
Kilsolonza, Tanzania
The 4 travel days or 1,500 km from Dar Es Saleem in Tanzania to a few rest days in Malawi at Kande Beach on the shores of Lake Malawi was as expected over a bumpy and long tar seal road but we had ever changing scenery throughout the day.
We passed villages, more road side stalls where the locals hope that the few passing vehicles would stop and buy what they have either grown or made.

Day one of this relocate sector was in my previous entry.

We had a half day at Baobab Valley where we could wander around these trees and after lunch there, pack up as it was only a short 250 km drive to Kisolonza Farm House (The Old Farm House). We were told that they would have the cleanest long drop toilets on route!

Nearly every travel day I have seen an overturned truck and the last one was fatal. It was right in the middle of a village along a straight stretch of road so I do not know how it happened. It was early morning just after sunrise when the accident happened - tired driver?

This sequence of photos are not of that crash but another one that we drove by.

Tom, our Kenyan driver, has been driving overland trucks for 18 years now and Mandy, our South African guide, has been on the road for 3 years now. Both are really good keeping us on time to get us to the next evening's campsite before it got too dark to pitch our tents and cook dinner as well as giving us a small glimpse into African life. 

All Acacia's trucks are named after local rivers. Pagani, our particular MAN Evolution 2000 powered truck is a bit gutless going up hills with even the crowded inter town / inter city buses and other overland trucks are not only overtaking us on the flats but also going up the hills! Tom cruises at a steady 80 km. Better to arrive in one piece safe and sound than .... He missed his old truck. Thank you Tom for your driving skills!!!! Tom was more than just the driver. He wasn't far away from helping out where ever help was needed: whether with the food preparation, getting fires going, helping with the tents, loading the truck  ... you name it, Tom was always there willing to assist only if needed!

The day we had to travel 600 kms, we left Kilsolonza Farm House camp site just after the 6.30 sun rise at 7 am. We got into the Chitimba campsite at 4 pm having crossed a border and also a time zone by gaining an hour.

Oh yes, the Kisolonza Farm House long drop toilets were the cleanest that we used on the whole trip. It was an amazing place and I know why Acacia (and other overland companies) stays there. The neat little bar with its home made chocolate brownies are to die for.

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