TIA you say? Once again it's proven that even when you get used to
do one thing a day; get ready to spend almost a full day in a bus or
even worse, a minibus; get up at 6.30 to catch an early bus around 7
– 7.30; planning to wait an hour or two until the bus departs;
expect to be 300 kms further around 6 or 7 hours later; you still end
up discouraged when the bus finally starts its engine to go nowhere.
Let me explain. I got up at 6.30 that morning to catch an early
bus that should've let me arrive in Iringa around 2 or 3 in the
afternoon, with plenty of time to go find an internet access and get
organized for the following days. But then, after an hour waiting in
the bus, the driver finally started its engine to warm it up before
leaving. They usually do that about 15 minutes before leaving (no
exact science though). But it soon became apparent that the engine
didn't want to cooperate, and it turned off all the time. That's the
lack of maintenance. I really want to tell them, but to what avail?
Anyway, after trying to get out (with a police woman on board) we
stop again in a side road in town. Then another bus comes along and
stops in front of us. I thought this one was there to help us. Our
driver kept trying the engine again and again. A lot of people were
talking and arguing outside. I kept on reading my Herman Hesse's
Steppenwolf. After another long time we managed to take the bus to
the police station, which astonished me a bit.
In the second bus there were two white girls who apparently
understood what was going on as they seemed to speak fluently
Kiswahili. A third bus came along and took all the passengers from
the second bus with it. Before this happened I quickly asked the
girls what was going on, and they told me the buses should have left,
but as they were almost empty, they wanted to wait longer. So the
police said they wouldn't leave the police station again this day.
She told me another bus was going to fetch us as well. When it
finally arrived after another 15 minutes or so, it turned out to be
one of the medium sized minibuses. Great. I had a nice seat in a big
bus that was now swapped with a squeeze-in seat in a minibus.
Awesome. I really enjoyed the previous squeeze-in minibus rides and I
really want to do it again and again as many times as possible before
leaving this place. Sarcasm. So after having spent about 3 hours
waiting for any bus to take me to Iringa, I got uncomfortably
squeezed into that minibus.
When the bus or minibus starts, it usually does about 10 stops
before leaving for good. It picks up another half thousand people
until it gets finally so fully squeezed-in that even the operator
says it's full. Hardly believable? But it happened.
|a church that look like all the others in Tanzania|
We then went on our way at a good speed. I thought we would
finally make it to Iringa around 4 this afternoon when we arrived in
Makambako. But that was without counting on the road that was
currently being rebuilt and thus limited to 50 km/h. Unfortunately
the driver seemed to over-respect the limitation and drive at 40 km/h
even if there was no one ahead of us. But then, luckily he sped up a
little after leaving the town. We managed to be there around 5.30.
I had to skip my supper because the wireless place's restaurant
was closed in the evening and I had to be back in the guesthouse at
10. If I had known I would have bought one of these avocados while
walking to the wireless place. Because when I walked back, the lady
selling them was gone.
So I checked my mail, got the good news that I would be working at
Paleo and booked my return ticket to Switzerland. Didn't have the
time nor the opportunity to plan for Ruaha yet.
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