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