So here i am in Mikumi after a manageable slog through the reserve. When arriving at the park entrance there were just two empty huts either side of the rd with neither a gate or any fences in site, just speed limiting signs and those warning of the fines imposed on wildlife road kills. Dr Zanzibar had explained there was around a 30km stretch of rd where it was not advisable to be cycling with the risk of large wild animals so i had expected the entrance to be guarded. No such thing so beyond i peddaled.
Only once caught a glimpse of the rear end of an antelope as it fled into the thick bush near a spruit surrounded by greener than surrounding bush. For the most part, the park looked quite dry and all the riverbeds were too. The weather was rather overcast for which i was thankful, as it was still hot work cycling. Earlier, before reaching the reserve area, i had stopped at a typical settlement for a drink. I wanted tea and was asked if needed milk. Yes please my reply, and for a big cup. Along came a large steaming cup of milk which was just fine and i drank it gratefully. So thus fortified, i had the energy to make good progress through the park. A shady clump of trees encouraged a rest for a drink of water and one of the oranges I had bought earlier. Sitting in a rock about to tuck into my quartered fruit, a lorry pulled up and the driver warned me about dangerous animals, even lions. I said that i was sure that if a lion caught my sent, it would most likely run away. This I believe to be the case, but at the same time felt unwilling to prove this with experiment. The driver acknowledged my authoritative expression and after thanking me buy declining a share of the orange, trundled off with his truck.
Later there was an antelope road kill which was being fed upon by two rather hungry and menacingly looking vultures. Many buck and some zebra were gathered around a lake some 100m from the rd. The bush on the other side was rather dense with both large and smaller trees, but what drew my attention were up to 30 vultures swirling around some ground also some 100m away. I could not see what they were even from the good height of the lorry cab in which i sat, but likely a kill and not from a vehicle.
Earlier, I began to overtake a lorry which was just crawling past some speed bumps that were many. I attracted Paul the drivers attention and asked if he could carry me. Within 2 minutes, my bike was loaded behind a container, and I had joined him in his high up cab.
|Paul, helping with my bike.|
Excellent vantage point , possibly safer and certainly more relaxing, lazy place to be. Paul was delivering 28000kgs of Malaysian cooking oil from Dar to somewhere were it was peaceful in the Congo. The cost to carry this Maersk load was, he said but perhaps exagerating, 10000US so without the sea carry cost, and that of production along with profits in the chain, each litre of oil costs 2.80 dollars plus? ...!
He carries copper back from the Congo, a weekly journey each way I believe.
So have arrived here partly by lorry, but covering 70 % of the way from morogoro by bike.
After joining Paul and paying for lunch, i found a room for under £5 which again is clean and comfortable. About 2kms up the road out skirting the village is a 55US a night hotel where I had a cold drink and popcorn (salty to encourage dinking more, even the free water from its cooler) then attempted unsuccessfully to use their very slow WiFi.
Had a couple a beers last night down the road at an establishment Owen by Saiid, a short but very large friendly man who earlier allowed me a bottle to take away on the understanding that I would return the same.
Slept well and have breakfasted on the beans and rice left overs plus an avo from supper last night. It is 0805hrs and I must decide whether to continue on the Iringa rd or take a detour 60kms to the south where there is another reserve with mountains and waterfalls. Tempting, but I must find out what restrictions there are if any with the bike. Has rained heavily last night and overnight. Locals watched in surprise when I ventured out in the deluge in the evening which was most enjoyable. The rain cooled and washed me and my cycling togs down. Wonderful. This morning there is much sweeping of leaves and standing water.
Alleluia its pouring again. Might make the traffic a bit dodgier though. Being in the deluge is good as cold isn't an issue.
|A Police station I passed where one of rather a few severely dented vehicles I saw along my way.|