With all this talk of us ‘getting the car ready’ and ‘leaving tomorrow,’ it came as a bit of a shock when we drove past Mlimani City Shopping Mall today that we are actually leaving Dar es Salaam and not going to there to buy that one safety pin we forgot to get.
We ultimately decided that the 8 hour drive to Iringa was a bit aggressive for our first day, so we opted for a much more manageable 3 hour trip to Morogoro. Aside from getting pulled over for going 57km/h in a 50km/h zone by overzealous policemen looking for a small gift, the first leg of our journey was exceptionally smooth.
Today’s drive, which brought us from Morogoro, thru Mikumi National Park, up into Tanzania’s Southern highlands, was simply spectacular. Driving across the vast rolling landscape with the lone baobab tree standing at a distance with families of baboons gazing at the ‘purple people eater’ while pumping Toto’s Africa out of our 3 working speakers was a surreal experience. It was one of those rare instances where the reality of my travel meets the expectations of my imagination.
The loud music blaring from Pub +255 next to our decrepit hotel in Iringa will challenge my self-proclaimed ability to sleep anywhere tonight. Hopefully I can get a restful night of sleep before exploring the forested highlands around Mufundi tomorrow, which one Lonely Planet writer claimed as ‘quite simply the best view I have ever seen.’
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