19 March: Singida to field in paddock

Today we have 133 km to ride, only 420 meters of climbing and 700 down.

Yay the iPod has charged overnight and appears to be working again.

Before leaving I had a flat tyre on my bike as did a number of other riders. Enough to wonder if there had been a bit of sabotage during the night.

The town is very busy as we are leaving with children getting to school and adults heading off to work.

The bigger tyres make it slightly harder going on the tarmac. There are lots of fields of beautiful sunflowers and interesting rock formations.

There were a number of stalls selling what we thought at first were small containers of petrol but turned out it was honey. There must be a lot of hives around here, although we haven’t seen any yet.


Honey Stall

Good riding to lunch with rolling hills. Lots of friendly children smiling and waving and saying “good morning how are you”.

The dirt road began at 90 km. As soon as we turned onto the dirt road it was really hot. Mostly the surface was ok but at times you were slipping and sliding on rock and sand, and at times you had to get off and push.


Turn for Mbeya and the start of the dirt

The afternoon seemed to drag on and on, and with an average speed of 15 km we weren’t making fast progress.

At 114 k we stopped for a drink, and when we were about to leave we discovered Brett had a flat tyre.

Finally we arrived at camp. Every day when you come into camp there is a salty veg soup waiting for you, to rehydrate and keep you going until dinner time. Plus hot water for tea and coffee.

In addition we had locals selling lukewarm beer and buckets of cold water for cleaning yourself (10 litre paint pail size). This seemed like a good idea until I discovered that you had to wash in a revolting smelly long drop – balancing over a stinking long drop. Hoping nothing would slip in and nowhere to put your clothes plus you had to hold the door shut! Not an experience I am planning to repeat.

After the wash and putting up the tent I decided to have a beer. Unfortunately when its lukewarm it really does not hit the spot. Should have stuck to tea or water.

For dinner we had really tough steak, coleslaw and baked potato. Luckily there were three very hungry looking dogs around the camp site who benefited as most riders didn’t get through their steak. I am seriously consider becoming a vegetarian.


Bagged charcoal for sale roadside

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