The landscape started changing again as the crossing neared ,  roadside activity increased and I could feel  change in the air .

 

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On the way to the border farming communities line the road.

On the way to the border farming communities line the road.

Just before the border Victoria and I came across our first water obstacle , to be navigated with the help of the local cyclists who in very few words and much gesturing got us to the other side.

 

How deep , what lies beneath?

How deep , what lies beneath?

The border crossing took around 15 minutes for both sides , very easy , but the purchasing of the insurance for Vic took a little longer with the cover starting at 100 USD and finally settling on 60 USD , back on the bike comesa in hand we made our way to Mbeya .

 

Just over the border the ranges come to meet you.

Just over the border the ranges come to meet you.

Within a few kilometres you feel the difference , see the difference ,  you are transported to a very lush place full of green with deep rich red earth , you have to remind yourself you are in Africa not the Alps in summer . The roads are full of life , very busy , full of trade , commerce and colour . Like the rich red earth Tanzania feels richer , the houses change from thatch and mud to brick and sheets of shiny tin , the transport up grades from bicycles to motorbikes , the people clothed in bright colours parade along the roadside in full splendour , fashion takes the place of function , just  more of everything .

The road was smooth , the scenery like nothing to date , Victoria and I felt alive again , with a fresh new country to explore , so I settled back to enjoy both. This was very short lived and both became very irrelevant and staying alive took pole position . We had our first contact with the drivers of Tanzania . Your lane is not yours , you share it with who ever comes your way , initially it feels like you are going  up a one way , when a bus or truck decides to commandeer your piece of asphalt to pass.

By the time I reached peak hour in Mbeya my hands were fused to the grips from fear , my jaw clenched so tight , I considered a life  on liquids and I had only travelled a 100 odd kilometres .  The best way to describe the difference in environment’s ,  is arriving in Mbeya in peak hour traffic is like getting that big needle from pulp fiction thrust  into your heart , the adrenaline takes you to fight mode and so Victoria and I started our transformation from scooterist and scooter to fighter pilot and spitfire , more on this later.

All that been said the energy , the pulse and the place was electrifying and I rode the next 20 kilometres wide eyed and inspired , I was loving it .  Victoria and I made our way to Utengule lodge on a coffee plantation for the night , I had a hot shower to try and loosen the tension in my body and then enjoyed a well deserved glass of red and a sunset to match.

 

The pool at sunset

The pool at sunset

So the end of a day brings a brand new country , never touched by my eyes or Victoria’s tyres , I think we are going to love it here.

 

Victoria , the sunset from her parking place .

Victoria , the sunset from her parking place .

A good nights rest and we will be ready for anything come sunrise , tomorrow will take us to Kisolansa , to the old farmhouse  for the next leg of our journey as we make our way to Arusha .

What a day so exhilarating , now in this peaceful place Mbeya seems a world away , sleep takes me to my room and tomorrow we suit up again.

Good night , to dream in Tanzania

Good night , to dream in Tanzania

Until we meet again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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