Lake Eyasi - cultural

Trip Start Aug 23, 2005
1
9
21
Trip End Sep 09, 2005


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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Wed Aug 31
Lake Eyasi

pix: http://c-4-c.com/80days/Tanzania-MEDIA/08-31-05_Day7

I had my first HOT shower out here in the wild last night. The lodge never gave me a hot shower, & it felt good to get CLEAN! Before sunrise they blew a horn & chanted loudly in the valley at Lake Manyara where we camped (yes I slept in a tent!), & I ignored the pre-dawn ceremony. It is pagan & not worth losing the extra hour sleep! There are many other white people at this camp, all like myself with a driver & cook working for them. There are very expensive "hotels" (none are what we think of as hotels in USA) in these areas, but I am enjoying the more rugged way.

CHANGE OF PLANS. I was slow on VERY slow internet (it is remote, so slower than phone lines!!!), so we changed our timing - Bushmen will wait till Thur. We see Eyasi village, Totoga tribe & see Lake Eyasi sunset.

We walked a hot dry treeless trek through the Eyasi village where people herd cattle & goats, but do not have any grass for them. Other than cattle, the trade of the area is growing onions. Though Lake Eyasi is completely dry, there is a river & water under the surface which supplies water. Everything is salt water due to volcanic activity, so I don't know how it works. Anyhow, the lake is dry & dusty while the shore is totally green & thriving along where the river runs below the surface, so the onions do well.

I was taken on a touristy trek to the Totoga who live very primitive. One man with 10 wives. The wife builds the walls of the house(s) & the man does the roof. They make beads & other jewelry. Had no beaded stuff to sell - actually they had plenty but my interpreter was not good at all - he never got anything right in interpreting to or from me. I could not ask adequate questions. Frustrating. I was very frustrated that these people were expecting my money. I had not prepared for this, so I did very little as that is all I had.

I saw a political rally that was interesting & then walked to town to get cold Cokes for all (no electricity - carosene fridge). I also bought a nice sweat suit for approx $16 US (17,000 Tz shillings). I'll need this apparently at the crater & I had not packed for so much cold. There has been MUCH cold in Arusha where I could have used much heavier clothes. Where will I pack all this???

Later we drove back to dry lake & enjoyed a beautiful sunset - very peaceful & the wind finally was calmer (the wind is very strong here all the time - which actually helps with the heat).

Have you ever seen the Milky Way??? I have now. I have heard about it & maybe seen pictures, but this night we have seen the entire river of faraway stars that flow behind the stars we usually see on clear nights. It is INCREDIBLE. I heard a throaty animal a little too close as I slept, but no problems.
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