Keep Truckin'

Trip Start Mar 13, 2010
1
7
45
Trip End Feb 13, 2011


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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Jambo from Zanzibar!

I'm typing this entry from a small internet cafe on a white sand beach with a gorgeous blue ocean outside. We've traveled a fair amount since Marks last entry and I'm not sure I'll be
able to cram everything we've done into one blog entry but you all have plenty of time to be bored by our many stories when we get home so for now I'll try and be as succinct as possible!

So on the first of May we set off in our big yellow Oasis truck to begin our journey down to Cape Town. Our group is a really nice bunch of people, everyone helps out with the cooking/ truck cleans and there are always plenty of games going on. For example anyone who says the word "mine" in response to a question has to do 10 press ups on the spot- no matter where you are. I've had to do a few in the back of the truck whilst its been moving as well across the seats in our landrover on Safari. Marks had to do a lot of them, notably in a hotel lobby and in the aisle of a mini bus.

There is also a "numpty" awarded to the person who has done the most stupid thing that day where you have to wear a pink dummy around your neck for the whole of the next day. (both Mark and I have already had it, I got a few strange looks on the ferry to Zanzibar!)

Aside from all the juvenile fun and games we've seen some pretty amazing stuff on our drive so far. Earlier in the week we visited the Ngorogoro crater which was absolutely spectacular! After a
steep climb over the jungle covered edge of the crater we drove down through the cloud line onto a vast plain. It was such a big area it was easy to forget you were inside a crater. The depth provides a fairly stable climate all year round which means animals there are plentiful and reasonably easy to spot.

Our first encounter was with a massive elephant wondering out of the jungle (on the rim of the
crater) along the road next to us. We also had some male lions come right up to our vehicle which was absolutely amazing! About 10 minutes drive on from where we had been viewing the lions we came across a massive stretch of water across the dirt road (it is rainy season
after all!) the other two landrovers containing the rest of the group had already driven through with some difficulty and churned up all the mud for us nicely. Our driver Robert valiently went for it but alas our vehicle was stuck within seconds. Water began seeping up through the front of the car us he spun his wheels fruitlessly and we were just starting to panic when there was some resisitance and he somehow managed to reverse back out to our starting position to great cheers from all of us.

Alas, instead of turning around and taking a different route around the water, Robert decided he wasn't going to be left behind by the other cars and went for it again, driving at speed into the water. Not suprisingly we were stuck again almost immediately except this time there was a solid thud where the chassy had hit the mud. Brave Robert simply took his shoes and socks off, rolled up his trousers and got OUT of the vehicle to check out the damage! I will re-iterate at the point that we were in the middle of a crater filled with lions/ leopards/ cheetahs/ hippos/ rhinos/ elephants/buffalo/ wilderbeast and who knows what else and Robert was wading around knee deep in mud outside! Soon the drivers from the other cars came to help with shovels and they were all at it! After about 15 minutes of fruitless digging by the drivers (and water seeping into the car), Robert had news....

We were all going to have to get out and wade our way over to the other land rovers.

Shoes came off, trousers were rolled up and we all piled out of the car. The suction of cold black mud between our toes was not the most unsettling thing as we all had our eyes on the long grass either side of the road (a big herd of elephant could be seen about 500m to our left) as we
began to wade over to the other landrover to the sound of much hilarity from its passengers!

Eventually after about 20 minutes of standing outside the other car (in which time one of the girls stupidly said m-i-n-e and had to do 10 press ups in the mud!) good old Robert and his mates got our car out and we waded back across the black mud to safety.

As it turns out (as no-one got eaten) it was quite a good experience, although we did start to lose our sense of humour a little when the landrover proceeded to break down a couple of times on the way back to lunch!

From the crater we traveled over to Dar es Salaam where we stayed for 1 night before catching the ferry over to Zanzibar. It's postcard perfect where we are staying and we've done one or two trips that have been really interesting but I'll write about all of that in our Zanzibar
entry at a later date.

I'm now going to try and upload some pictures of our Safari adventures but can't guarantee anything with the infamous African internet connection. Then we're heading to the beach!!

So goodbye for now - I'll have a cocktail for you! :) xx
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Comments

Anna on

Sounds like you've got a lot of memories to treasure :) Glad that it's going so well. Everyone here misses you lots; the pupils are always asking after you!

Anna on

P.S. Annie, Rahab told me about the pair of socks you made- well done! The cabbage hasn't been the same without you.

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