(Day 17) Lake Manyara to Ngorongoro – 16 April 2011
Distance for the day – 128 km Odometer – 6 659 km
Hours on the Bike – 02:06
Donations up to date for Adelaide Hospital – R 47 864.00
We had the most peaceful sleep you can dream of, because the tents are very well equipped with mosquito nets. The night was alive with sounds of Zebra chasing each other and the laughter of Hyenas very close to camp. The whole atmosphere of this camp and the professional service of the staff are worth mentioning and it is definitely a good consideration, to visit if you happen to be in the area.
We had a good breakfast and were ready to head for Ngorongoro Crater when the first curve ball of the day was thrown at us – Stelios could not get his bike to start. The diagnoses and suggestions of what could possibly be wrong came flying in from all directions, even a comment: “has anyone tried kicking the wheels?” We dismantled the tank and cleaned the plug and then it was just like a bad dream, the stubborn old mare came to life with the next attempt. We did something right but were not sure what it was.
It was a short ride to Karatu and then to Manor House +/- 10 km further, where we met with our guide, Noel of And Beyond Safaris Company. Now, just before we reached our destination, a thing that we were all waiting for happened. Richard had his turn to eat dust, with his first fall on the trip. It was a soft fall but his ego was shattered, because he had a bet with Rufus that he will be the only one to make it all the way without falling. To top it all, he did not do it in the conventional way, but in reverse. Some of you might remember when he rolled his truck in reverse the one time. He apparently stalled the bike at a steep turn and was too slow on the breaks. He started running backwards and the next thing….man down, indicator broken, gear leaver bent, handle bar protectors buckled and mouth shut. He still claims that it did not count for a fall, but the rest of us outvoted him – the count now: Rufus 3, Stelios 2, Norman 1 and Richard 1.
We left our bikes at the Manor House and continued by vehicle to Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. This is a top class Lodge that is situated on the Rim of the Crater.
Innes and Daniël Pruissen, of the late Richard Pruissen of Border Vet Bedford, with their personnel awaited us with cloths to wipe our faces and hands and a very nice cold beer. They made us feel like Royalty and we were astounded by the very smart Lodge and private houses where we were booked in. The detail and uniqueness of the decor are out of this world! Richard suggested that we make it our final destination and that he could even settle here forever – it felt like paradise.
Tomorrow we plan to do a game drive into the crater and will then leave for Arusha to spend the night with Rob and Trish Ferguson.