Our trip to Ngorongoro was a well timed break for Andy – he then went into 7 consecutive days of riding; unpaved roads, mountains and for three days, no internet contact. It’s hard to work out exactly the route they took but it must have been through the Ruaha valley…and getting here on a bike must have hurt.
Road conditions didn’t help either with embedded stones and hard rocky bits.
In a different life I’ve done the drive from Zambia through the Ruaha valley and still remember an unpaved road through beautiful scenery with a lot of heavy truck traffic…the kind of road where a cyclist wouldn’t be looking at the scenery.
The ride ended up in Mbeya and on to the border with Malawi. This comment is from Emily, one of the TDA staff members who was riding ‘sweep’ at the back of the pack that day
The last day cycling into Mbeya had all the riders working real hard for the cold beer waiting at the end. With a good 2130m to climb, we cycled on the highest road in Tanzania, and were rewarded with spectacular views of the Great Rift Vally, before descending into the city.
Mbeya was busy and the Mount Livingstone offered unremarkable accommodation.
Reward for all the effort came with a rest day at Chitimba Beach camp ground on the shore of Lake Malawi…beach party, spit roast piglet an’ all. More importantly, the campground also offered cold beer and rooms with showers… cold showers, like the beer….
The respite was short.The morning after, started with in Andy’s words, a ‘monstrous’ hill – 1000 meters of climb in 26 kms – as they headed down the west margin of the lake through Mzuzu and Kasungu.
In Lilongwe on 28 and 29 March, the Burley Guest house offered more luxurious accommodations and dinner at Latitude 13 Hotel on Saturday night was, I’m told, excellent. Latitude 13 is definitely a place to visit.
Monday morning Day 81 0f the ride, takes them into another country, Zambia. It’s the 7th of the trip, with only Botswana, Namibia and South Africa to go. In Cairo the TDA people said ‘Enjoy every day. It’s going to go more quickly than you think.’ It feels like it has…although I haven’t cycled every hill…