Shuttle to Arusha + Ahadi Lodge
The Impala shuttle left 40 minutes late and took six hours instead
of the suggested five, so we didn't get to Arusha until nearly 9pm.
a temporary diversion road
The road was being rebuilt and the stretches that had been finished
where really good, without much traffic, but there were long diversions
on bumpy roads around the sections that were being worked on.
We stopped about half-way, at a "Paradise Gallery" which would have
offered a good view of Kilimanjaro if it hadn't been under cloud. At the
border, in Namanga, we got our Tanzanian visas; they didn't ask for our
yellow fever vaccination certificates.
Fortunately it was a short drive from the shuttle dropoff to the Ahadi
Lodge where we were spending the night; we were picked up by Simon,
who was to be our guide.
The Ahadi Lodge is a little way up a rough dirt side road, and surrounded
by a pretty solid wall. Inside the gates, however, it's a haven, with a
pool, comfortable chairs on a verandah outside a restaurant, and so forth.
The rooms were nice and dinner, which we were relieved to find they were
still serving, was the fanciest meal of the trip.
We also met Mamie, who was one of the three other people on the tour we
Sunday 20th March
There was no problem leaving stuff here while we were doing the tour, so
Camilla left all her purchases so far and I left the netbook, associated
electronics, and some surplus books.
Mamie and I were both keen to get Internet
access. She had a blog post to finish for work, while I wanted
to do a bank transfer.
The passwords we were given didn't work, but eventually
the lodge manager Fiona turned up with the right password and, after an
initial hiccup and a router reboot, we had slow but usable Internet connectivity.
We met the other people we would be travelling with, Janet and Brian
and our driver Muba and cook Jackson.
Our first stop heading out of town was a shopping centre, where Camilla
failed to buy a rainjacket (the camping store was shut), but we got
snacks and an umbrella from a supermarket.
Brian, Janet, Camilla, Simon, Mamie
We got into our campsite in the village of Mto wa Mbu, around noon.
The roads were notable for extensive use of speed humps and the presence
of tiny little three-wheel cars — and, as Kassim had suggested,
a gap between cheap and very expensive vehicles.
After lunch we left Jackson to put up the tents, with some local help,
and set off for Lake Manyara National Park, which is just nearby.
Next: Lake Manyara: part 1
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