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The Solo Scooterist

Documenting my travels on a Vespa

Date: June 21, 2014

Lazy Days in Arusha

The days are taken up doing chores , planning for time in the bush , tracking down a place to do a full service on Victoria and the nights are full of home cooking , conversation and live music courtesy of Janelle on guitar and Gabby on vocals, just fantastic to be in the heart of a home . One thing that I think is true for all travellers , is that when you come across a washing machine it is like finding the pot at the end of the rainbow. Before you have even put the washing in you start fantasising  about that clean fresh smell as you pull the shirt over your head , the smell of softener and soap fills your senses , so thank you Janelle , staff and machine for being so kind and helping remove the road scent from my clothing.

Tim and Craig sorted out the safari for me and Tim found a motorcycle expert to help with Victoria. Dates booked all sorted out in two days , I felt much better for getting the admin stuff out of the way. The next day Victoria and I following Tim in a taxi finally  arrived at Per’s place who owns the service centre were I was welcomed with spice cake , cookies and tea and met Gifty who was going to service Victoria. ( Vespa Wynberg please take note )

We started just after 10h00 and finished just after 15h00 having done a major service and health check. We put the spare on the rear , changed belt and rollers , checked the brake pads , changed oil and all the filters , checked the clutch , the shocks , changed the spark plug and so the list goes on and on . Gifty was incredible and if ever anybody has bike issues in and around Arusha or anywhere in this great country this is the only place to take your loved ones.

www.tecnixbike.wordpress.com .

 

Gifty and the art of scooter maintenance

Gifty and the art of scooter maintenance

The major service

The major service

I was hoping to do the service at 10 000 but I felt that when you find a great facility and very capable workmanship grab it with both hands . We have travelled just over 8500 km to get here , If I had travelled the most direct route to Arusha from Johannesburg it would have been a smidgen over 3600km , the beauty of been lost in Africa. Thank you Gifty we both appreciate your meticulous and thorough work , I really enjoyed our hours together with chats and tunes playing over the speakers , while we tinkered and torqued the time away

All done and all that was left was to get ready for my safari. What is really cool about Tanzanians is that anything that involves a getaway or a weekend break , not necessarily to the bush is referred to as a safari. When people ask about our journey , the comment is wow that is a long safari you are doing or what a great safari . I love being on safari. The other very  cool thing about being in Arusha are the people that I have had the pleasure of meeting and being welcomed with open arms into their homes. Thank you Arushans see after safari.

Until we meet again.

 

 

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Lake Manyara and lions in trees

The day finally arrived it was safari time , I really was so excited and found myself wide awake in the early hours of the morning counting down to launch. What was so exciting about the operator Tim had found me was that he has his own tented camps in the national parks , and what made it even more unique was the fact I would be solo safariest as I had booked my trip when the camps had no guests except me .

Jean the owner of the Safari company collected me with a few of his friends as they were driving up to Lake Manyara and offered me a lift to the camp . It was about a 2 hour drive and we arrived in Mosquito town , were I met Chrisple who was to be my guide and game companion.

 

On the way to market.

On the way to market.

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Beautiful forests as you enter the park watered by the underground river .

Beautiful forests as you enter the park watered by the underground river .

Our game drive started as we jumped into the jeep , Chris giving me an in depth understanding of the surrounding area , the park and what I could expect from my time in Manyara . The park has woodland , forest , plains and of course the lake , so the game diversity in one area is amazing.

 

The pink of flamingos as they line the lake for as far as the eye can see.

The pink of flamingos as they line the lake for as far as the eye can see.

Millions of flamingos on a lake is a sight to behold , it truly is a once in a life time experience ,  the amount of colour that lines the horizon resembles the  pink of a sunset or sunrise not a million birds feeding , I stood on the jeep field glasses in hand , mouth a gasp with wonder as the line of pink went on kilometre after kilometre un broken in  colour and amazement . My mind took me to a national geographic card my sister had given me before I left to cross Africa , the card a picture of a million Flamingos , a wonder on the card a wonder in life. Once again I felt the gift of this experience , the words of encouragement  my sister had left for me on that card and now the picture brought to life.

 

Sunset of flamingos

Sunset of flamingos

The plain and the lake.

The plain and the lake.

After our time enjoying the plains game and the spectacular bird life on the lake it was time to head for camp to un pack and have some lunch before we set off once again at 16h00 for yet more of Manyara.

 

Arriving at camp

Arriving at camp

The waterfall , that reminds you of the ocean as you drift off to sleep.

The waterfall , that reminds you of the ocean as you drift off to sleep.

It was just perfect , the camp on the river bank  , the elephants drinking , the tents nestled  in the greenery , I felt my heart lift as I was welcomed by Seti to his camp on the river.

My room

My room

 

 

My shower , my view

My shower , my view

Welcoming party

Welcoming party

I had lunch on the beach followed by a nap , only to be woken by the gentle voice of Chrisple calling me to our evening drive , and what was to be a wonderful first day in the bush , Tanzanian style. Enjoy the pictures of Manyara.

 

Pelican brief

Pelican brief

Oh so Africa

Oh so Africa

Wow

Wow

What a great day out , we drove back to camp in a midge storm , arrived back in camp covered in a million midges both dead and alive as Chris and I rolled with laughter at the sight of the midge covered humans. Time to shower , dine and dream , for tomorrow we press play and the wonder starts again.

 

Breaking my fast , morning press and eggs

Breaking my fast , morning press and eggs

We would spend most of the day out , just driving , sitting in wonder at nature and her beauty or quietly observing  life around us. The pictures from that dreamy day , enjoy.

 

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Madonna and child

Madonna and child

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A small wonder

A small wonder

After dinner it was off to bed , the waterfall inducing sleep . Tomorrow  we planned to do our  game drive early because I had to fly up to central Serengeti for the next leg of my safari later that afternoon , and what a swan song it was going to be.

We had been out for about an hour when we came across a pride of about 8 lion and spent the next hour with the mother and her cubs playing around us , just Chris and I with these beautiful cats at play.

 

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The power and the beauty

The power and the beauty

 

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Sadly we had to get back to camp to pack and get to the airport by 14h00 , Chris said that we would drive back this way to the airport to try and see them again. The lions of Manyara are world famous for their life in the trees , they escape the flies by leaving the ground and spending the day up a tree in the shade dozing above the flies   . I was so hoping to see it before I left.

Back to camp a quick lunch then farewell to all , packed up and then back to the jeep for my final game drive in Manyara.

 

Seti , who cared for my every need in camp and my trusted guide Chris .

Seti , who cared for my every need in camp and my trusted guide Chris .

 

Farewell Manyara

Farewell Manyara

 

So we drove in search of the lions to say our farewells and the final hour drive to the gate , What a wonderful place , with fantastic people , so sad to go , but thank you .

 

And so we found them

And so we found them

 

Lions in trees

Lions in trees

 

The tree lions of Manyara

The tree lions of Manyara

A last farewell to Lake Manyara

A last farewell to Lake Manyara

And so a wonderful experience runs out of time as Chris and I make our way to the airport , Within hours I will be in the Serengeti , flying over the crater en route to a new destination and experience.

Until we meet again.

 

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