Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dodoma to almost Moshi .

I set off early from Dodoma with the intention of making it to Mei Mei a small village about 40 km out of Dodoma , Small village was an understatement , on arrival at Mei Mei it turnout to be only about three huts and a tiny shop . I decided to push on to the next village which turned out to be larger but was not much better. I did not really feel like socializing as I was starting to feel a bit ill again so I pushed on. At about 2:30 pm I stopped and made some food for myself. . I then headed slowly up the mountain pass through a beautiful lush forest area. I saw a little hunter

just after 3 pm and by 6:30 pm I had not seen a soul in over three hours I decided to duck in to the bushes and set up camp. I found a stunning little clearing in some dense undergrowth and setup camp and crawled into my tent. I was feeling terrible again. Some in the forest near my tent I heard a troop of baboons going absolutely mogey. I briefly wondered what the cause was because I was told that leopards still roamed the forests but I banished that thought from my mind and went to sleep.

I slept without waking until 5 am next morning. Sleep always makes me feel better.

The police at the checkpoint which I found after about 5km the next morning were pretty shocked to see this white man come roaming out of the forest at 6 am in the morning and ask me f I had not been bothered by wild animals. The day turned out top is a pretty big day. I was met but two \vodacom technicians who donated a can of Red bull before heading on their way and then I just kept going. I can seem to keep any food in me and am feeling weak and tired a lot of the time. Eventually after 70 slow km I came to the village of Keleme , I was met but a young chap named Johnson who assured me that he had the only guest house in town . I was worn out and tire and followed him to a house that did not look like any type of guesthouse to me but I was shown to a simple room that had a decent bed. The price was more than double what I had paid before but I decided not to argue as I just wanted to sleep. I did make sure that when I handed over the money ( much to Johnson’s horror) that I did so in front of the old lady who seemed to own the house . I think the price he had told me and what she was expecting were not the same. ….hehehe…..

I pushed on to Kondoa the next morning and was feeling much better. Got to town found a really cheap place to stay called “the new white house “and settled in. I headed up to the market where I came across two student nurses from Holland. We chatted for a while and they (Geetz Floor and Aulye) showed me around the market. When I got back to the guest house the lady in charge was very excited to tell me that two” musungu” girls had put a note under my door . It was an invitation from the students to have dinner. The dinner was great and they were good company, I think they were as starved for company as I was. They had been in Kondoa for 6 weeks and had 2 weeks remaining. I headed back just before dark and my stomach cramps returned with a vengeance later that evening...

It rained that night, and rained and rained and rained. When I woke up me t was still raining so I decided to stay in bed.

But as is my impatient nature when the rain eased I hit the road ………. Big mistake.

In the next 9 hours I covered only 27 km and everything was wet and muddy, the hills were big and the mud was slippery clay and it was a really hard effort to get to the village of Kolo.

Woke up today and the first thought in my mind was “happy valentines Sam “ . It was the 14th Feb. . . . It’s amazing how the road that was a pure slip and slide had dried over night. I made the uphill haul to Berko (40 km) by midday where I met three German motor cyclists, Torstein, Oliver and Peter. They said the road improved and that I was almost at the top of the hill and then there was about 30 km of stunning down hill.

I decided at that point that today I was going to get to babati and take a rest and try and get well. The run down the mountain was awesome. The road was red clay but nice and hard and smooth as can be most of the time. By the time the day was done I had 83 km under the belt and was feeling quite chuffed. McFadden from Dodoma was in Babati when I got there and had already organized a place to stay.

We then went out (bad stomach and all) and I got nicely smashed on Kilimanjaro lager, think McFadden was not far behind me. It was a great evening.

I took the next day off.

Babati signaled the end of the dirt and I was back on tar. I head for minjingo and made it no time at all, was felling much better, although it’s very worrying why this sickness just keeps coming back, I suspect its some form of dysentery. During the morning I met Larry and Sharon from grahmstown who were on their way to Europe . It was great to chat to fellow South Africans

. The next day was no fun, just felt terrible the whole way to Makyohini.

Met an American engineer who was staying in town and he gave me some medicine that should help if I have the parasite version of dysentery.

Left early in the darkness the next morning and had gone about 5 km when a noise in the bush caught my attention, I had not seen the normal early morning traffic of people on bikes or on foot, I turned on my head lamp and shone it in the bush. I got the fright of my life when looking back at me was about 100 pairs of glowing eyes in the dark. I was pretty quick to figure out that hey were mainly Zebra and Wildebeests but if there were zebra and wildebeest then what about predators. ….. I immediately stopped running and settled into a slow and nervous walk, wishing that sun rise would hurry up.

Eventually the sun stuck its head over the horizon and I started to feel much better. I met up with Silas on his bicyle and we had a good chat , I just loved his mobile radio .

Two day later and I am arriving in Arusha. I got a message from the people at Vodacom to ask in I could meet then just outside town.

I waited at the cultural heritage museum and at 12 pm a whole bunch of people showed up. I was caught a bit off guard as the ministry of tourism in Tanzania had sent there pro person as well as a whole pile of journalist and a local TV crew.

I had some interviews and was presented with a bag of local coffee beans, a stunning wooden carving and a Masai blanket. We then set off towards the Mount Meru hotel. Nguvu Kamando from Vodacom joined me on the road, which was a blessing as I would have got seriously lost in Arusha.

We arrived to a tremendous welcome at the Mount Meru hotel and I was asked to open a bottle of bubbly with a sword. I managed this without destroying the bottle. There was a reception in the hotel where stunning snacks (real food) were served, more pictures; Vodacom had put up some banners.

I eventually got to meet max from Wild frontiers that I will see in Moshi again for the Marathon.

The team at Mount Meru went out of there way to assist me and I stayed three nights in the most stunning luxury you can imagine. I got some antibiotics and they seem top have done the trick. I can recommend the strawberry milk shake to anyone who ever stay there.

After fter i had settled in i got to have a super massage by Boby Madina from Madelona Beauty (Arusha,Tanzania)

The hotly leant me a scale on arrival and I was down to 73 kg which is a bit worrying but by the time I left I was back at 77 kg simply because I ate everything I could find . Ruben in the kitchen of the Mount Meru Hotel was real star.

On Monday 21st Feb at 8:56 am I was heading for Moshi and I saw the Mountain forteh first time ..Awesome

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mbeya to Dodoma

Mbeya to Iringa was all aout km's . the total of 337 km was done in 5 days , 65 km , 73 km , 34 km , 85km ,33,km, and 47 km . I will not dwell on this week too much as I am once again limited for time but a few interesting moments caught my attention .
On the morning that I left Mybeya I was flying along , welli thoght i was flying as it was predominantly downhill and i was even running onthe ups quite well . it was stil dark and i heard foot falls behind me and i assume it was just another runner as i had seen one or two on the road .
Well i was right , it was another two runners and they were flying up this pretty steep hill . they were both dressed inthe karate outfits and had a brick in their hands which were clasped firmly behind thier backs .
I caughtthem later onthe other side ofteh hill and they were praticing some kicks before running back to town .

I aslo met my first South Afican cyclist . Uptill now i have met 7 cyclists but Josch Thilo from city bowl in capetown was my first South african . he has come all the way from europe on his bike and just like me seem really happy to chat to another person from home. We both lingered a while as the company was good .

I then met Johan the travelling sales man . He was busy hauling his shop up a mountain . I was quite taken by he efforts and even though i did not really need anything decided to make a few purchases to support his efforts of his mobile shop considering we were at least 7 km for the village he was heading towards .

The last night before Iringa I spent at the home of Mark Knightingale . What a fascinating guy this is . He has walked across more than 16 differnet countries in his life so far iwhich included , cananda and europe from north to south . Although we did nothave much chance to chat i found him very inspiring and took a good couple of tips from him

from Iringa to Dodoma the gong got tough .
The dirt roads were really bad and i was starting to feel ill . By lunch time i had a severe case or dihorea and my urine had turned a nastry red/brown colour . I tried eating and drinking more but it did not help . I stagered on until i reach Nyangolo where i was fortunate that teh loclChairman was aound and they put me in a room in one of teh elders houses . I was feeling slightly better so i jioned the chairman and his clan for a bit of African beer . Not my favourite stuff but i thought i would try .
The village sangoma( not sur eof Swahilli term) took a reall fancy to me and sat right up against me on th enorro bench and rattled on incestantly in swahili in my ear . The chairman thought this was really funny and told me that she was declaring her love for me . Thanksfully she evenually got told to leave by the chairman . next it was the tur nof all the small cildren who wanted to feel either the hair on my legs or on my head.

The next few days are mixture of exaustion , and feeling horrific . my boddily functions almost ceased completely at one point and I got preety worried . The heat was also compltely through the roof which did not help .

I spent one night in the bush as i ended up with no where to stay and darkness was closing in

On one of the days a got to a villge and all the kids froma schoool came charging out to see me . They were quite aggresive in there demands for sweets and i was pretty anoyyed so told them quite emphaticlly that there would eb no sweets today . With that one of them threw a small ston at my prams wheels .
The next thing I knew thay were all throwing stones at me . mainly at my feet and at my pram wheels but soem were as big as tennis balls .
luckily an adult stepped in and sent thm scattering .

I eventually crawled into Dodoma and got to stay a complimentary night at the New Dodoma hotel

I ate and drank and ate and drank somemore and by midnight my body was starting to act like normal again . i was really relived as i had been pretty concerned about it .
I met the GM of teh hotel Wellingtone and he made my stay a real pleasure and picked up my food and drink account as well . He then got the CEo of Vodacom Tanzania on the line and he told me that his regional Sales exec would come and see me .

Macfadyne arrived and treated like a king . He assited in every way possible . got some photos taken , drove me around to find new tyres as my one tyre had split . Made sure I had accomadation and food for the rest of my run inthe form a sponship of electrinic funds on my phone . What a good guy , He went well out of his way to assist me . Thanks Mac !!!!!!