In the last 2 weeks I was again far from Dar. I traveled westward, to Tabora, for one of my workshop. That was easy, I used the plane. We actually first stopped in Kigoma, and so I gave a glance to Lake Tanganyka. Which looks like lake Maggiore in shape, and it has almost the same surface……. + 32’000 kmq!!! Tabora is far from everything, in the middle of the central plateau, very dry and windy. But I hadn’t visited that area before, so I decided to make a big loop on the way back to Dar. It took me 6 hours to reach Mpanda, and the road was not that bad. It was amazing crossing the forest, with very very little human presence. There are chimps over there instead.
While I was taking pictures with the window down, I heard a strong noise … we got a punch, while the driver was pushing up the speed. Luckily the road was straight and he managed to stop safely.
Most people were quite curious about me since Tabora, they don’t see many Wazungu around there. In proximity of Mpanda the forest started to open up and leave room to the shamba.
Kilimo kwanza means “Agriculture first”, and it’s one of the policy for improvement of farming sector. It is much debated whether it really contributed to increase or productivity or just pushed more land conversion. (Kanunu za kilimo bora means “rules for best agricultural practices”)
Once in Mpanda I waited 2 hours at the bus stand for another bus, but it never came and people were going on mocking at me, the only Mzungu appeared there for very long time maybe, so I gave up. Jua ilikuwa kali sana, my head was boiled, I asked for help to a Bishop I met at the workshop and finally I could take some rest in a cool guest house.
The morning after I left, again at 5am, for one of the worst trips of my life. Mpanda-Sumbawanga-break-Mbeya. 12 hours, sitting on the space next to the driver, ready to fly into the front window in case of a sudden break….
I couldn’t even see anything, except on the route across Katavi national park, which was populated with cupsized trucks, though it wasn’t even possible to imagine of driving faster than 30 km/ph. In Sumbawanga we had lunch break, but sun was very kali again.. We reached Tunduma, on the border with Zambia, and then from there it’s still more almost 2 hours.. I was exhausted when I finally arrived in Mbeya, dreaming of an expensive hotel with a jacuzzu, and I ended up in a cheap gh with the only comfort of mosquito net and cold shower. One minute after being in the bed I was sleeping. Since it was only 8.30 pm, then I woke up very early, in time for the 4 am prey… I took a bus to Njombe, my final destination, at 8.15. After 1 and half hours we were still around Mbeya collecting passengers! After 4 hours of songs full of Mungu mungu (God) and alleluya, we reached Makambako and I asked the “konda” (conducter) to give me a break and shift to another music channel.
Finally after almost other 2 hours I arrived in Njombe, the cool air little Poland/Germany/Finland, where a friend was waiting for me.