Beyond the Bike
This stage was a bit of a mixture and rather exciting, involving cycling through remote North-Western Tanzania, a voyage on a 100 year old German warship and breaking out a new friend out of a Zambian prison...
After crossing into Tanzania we had several more tough days, even though the road was tarmac there were great swathes of sand, gravel and potholes and the hills continued. I was not happy. We had our first night seeking hospitality and camping in a homestead which was fun and we certainly amused the family when we put up our tent. The road then ‘officially’ turned to dirt and it started raining and as we were running out of time to get to Zambia we hopped on bus for a few hundred km. This was an interesting experience, we cannot quite believe that we, our panniers and our bikes all made it in one piece!
Stage 7, part II: Mikumi to Zanzibar & around, November 12-26th 502 km
The best part is that you get to cycle through Mikumi national park and be right in the middle of elephants, giraffe etc. Only national park in TZ you can ride a motorcycle and bike through… Whatever you do, do not ride this section at night. Lions and hyenas in Mikumi national park and if they don't get you, the trucks and buses will – haha”….Andres Perez’s warning about the trucks had been accurate. I didn’t fancy getting eaten by a lion either so I set off to cycle the 50km through the park feeling somewhat nervous…
Stage 7, part I: Mbeya to Mikumi. 3– 10 November, 512km
"You are now on a major trucking and bus route all the way to Arusha and the lack of shoulder and the strong wind is probably going to make it hairy. The tarmac has melted and the overloaded trucks have smudged it into treacherous tracks. As you probably know, the truckers and buses could not give two shits about a cyclist on the road and will not even consider accommodating you, especially in Tanzania”…. The words from Andres Perez, a seasoned motorcyclist in the region were with me as I set off from Mbeya, with approximately 800km to go before Dar-es-Saleem and the prospects of a week’s R&R on the beaches of Zanzibar.