A Park with a View

Friday, February 22, 2013
Arusha Region, Tanzania
We drove 288 miles today and  were not stopped once by the police, perhaps they are having a “be nice to tourists day”.  We swapped our Land Cruiser for a Land Rover with Safari Drive for yet more repairs before checking into the Colobus lodge next to the Arusha National Park.  It  is a strange place. Reception looks like a bad 1960's hotel, it is badly lit, 1960 furniture and varnished wood. The reception did not have a pen, my heart sank. But the cottages are really good, the showers are the best yet and the staff are delightful. We were the only guests, dinner was soup (vgood) fish and chips (OK and deep fried bananas (not so good) but the chef and two waitresses stood and watched us as we ate our dinner, the only guests in a large dining room. Next morning were handed a packed lunch (unexpected) and off we went into Arusha NP. We were the first people in, the receptionist was most unhelpful and the gatemans office was chaotic. The park was nice though, not many tourists, nice views of Kilimanjaro and some interesting lakes. They have a very high fluoride content so all the hippos have nice teeth.
We were finished by 2pm so drove into Arusha to get some shopping (food for next weeks camping) and email access. I found a nice internet cafe run by a couple of ladies, very fast connection which was good although the place was packed with a big overland bus group.
The Land Cruiser was returned by the Indian mechanic who I almost hit. Instead of changing the battery he rewired the connections and put new shock absorbers on (not something we asked for or wanted). He is a complete law unto himself which Mike and Liz do not manage at all well.
Dinner was another gloomy affair on our own with two waitresses, food was OK though
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