(Day 16) Dodoma to Lake Manyara – 15 April 2011

Distance for the day    – 323 km              Odometer – 6 531 km
Hours on the Bike        – 06:12
Donations up to date for Adelaide Hospital – R 47 864.00

We are heading for the halfway mark soon, the bodies are believingly strong with much less aches and pains than anticipated and the motorbikes are holding up. We decided not to request our spare tyres to be sent to Nairobi, because we think we should make the whole distance on the set we set off with in Cape Town. At this stage there seems to be very little to choose between the Michelin Annakee 2’s and the Heidenau K60’s.

The last two days were nearly identical with regards to distance, with +/- 600km’s of gravel for the two days. It was an amazing experience with a bigger challenge for the bikes than the riders. The condition of the roads do not allow you to average more than 50km/h and all loose items rattle to pieces.

Gravel road with a lot of potholes.

Road, sections with sand.

Stelios leading the way

Not the kind of road you want to be on when wet.

River crossing by low water bridge.

One has to regularly check everything and we took  a break every 50 km’s or so to get the shocks to cool down. Rufus’s bike lost an important bolt that secures the engine to the frame and before we left Dodoma we went on a wild goose chase into down town to source one. The bracket on his one pannier also broke and he tied the whole box onto his top box. This caused it to buckle the alue rack and break the bolts securing it to the bike. New plans had to be made.

Lots of surprises in the road surface.

Can not pass traffic in to much of a hurry.

The perfect Smile!

The actual riding time to Lake Manyara took us just over six hours. We stopped for another two and a half hours along the way. Yesterday it was eight hours stopping time. We once again saw some beautiful countryside and the exact same trees that you see in the Movie “The Lion King”. The people in this part of the country dress a little different with the Muslim head gear.  As we got closer to Lake Manyara the views just became overwhelming with big open areas and mountains in the background. We got back onto a beautiful tar road that now runs from Babati to Arusha and the last 20 km’s to our night stop was a dream.

Beautiful Trees.

Lion King.

Wetlands near Babati.

New Tar road from Babati to Manyara

Manyara Land Scape

We checked in at the Maramboi Tented Camp at Lake Manyara. It is idyllic and for $70p/p/night including dinner, bed and breakfast, it was exactly what the doctor ordered – highly recommended to anybody. The Manager, Elisha Marco gave us a brief introduction of the area and showed us to our luxurious tents with the most beautiful views, with Zebra and other game grazing within a few metres from the tents. We had a first-class dinner and the service was excellent. A night guard patrols the area at night and escorts the guests between the tents and the main entertainment area. Maramboi is on the edge of Lake Manyara and situated between two Nature Reserves with animals roaming freely between them. The eyes were heavy and the bodies longing for a bed, so it was an early night – at least for some of us.

Having a sundowner at Maramboi Tented Camp.

Maramboi Tented Camp

Zebra grazing a few meters from the camp.

Sunset at Lake Manyara

Tomorrow we are invited by Trish (Daughter of Dr. Pat Meyer, of Adelaide) & Rob Ferguson to visit one of their Lodges at Ngorogoro Crater. We will leave our bikes and go by vehicle for one day. This would definitely be one of the highlights of our trip and we are all very exited.


4 responses

  1. Wow what fantastic scenery,well done the photographer!Is that you Richie ???
    Love Chop

    April 17, 2011 at 10:15

  2. montyme

    What a time you are having … cannot believe the scenery – it is certainly making me wish to embark on a trip to so many places on that wonderful continent. “God’s own Land” as Dad used to say! I can assure you that you have landed a good and strong following from over here (Australia) with so many people telling me that they are going to go to this or that place! Well done … you are showing the Aussie’s what real life is all about. Enjoy your stay with Trish and family. And … glad all the bikes are now holding up. xxx

    April 17, 2011 at 01:58

  3. What incredible country side you lucky guys, have a great trip to the crater and for the record the dear doctor Pat is alive and well and living in Pretoria, Trish will have a laugh at that posting xx Bassie Price

    April 16, 2011 at 21:58

    • Oops, sorry about that one! Will do quick correction.

      April 16, 2011 at 22:25

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