Tuesday 29th April
Repacked the car, said our goodbyes to Clifton and off to find Shoprite. What a disappointment, empty shelves, could not get half the things we needed. Not even 5 litre bottled water! Not the Shoprite we’d found in the rest of Africa. Koos was right again. They’re not doing well. Found Game in the same centre – so much better, got water and other necessities, chocs etc!
Goodbye Dar, this time north to Peponi, 360kms and 5 hours driving. Started off slowly in heavy city traffic, but sped up as villages got further apart. Actually managed to get up to 80km/h between villages. Sleeping policemen (huge speed humps at entrances to villages) slowed us down to less than 40. The smaller speed bumps, 3 close together, we called ‘dead traffic cop’s ribs’. But hey, do they do their job to slow traffic through busy areas!
We needed to stretch our legs and have a drink. Stopped at a small village restaurant / pub. We must have been the first mzungus there judging by the stares we got. But everybody greeted us and a well dressed man came over, introduced himself, welcomed us and shook hands. We made wonderful contact. For our sceptical friends back home, there wasn’t a scary moment!
Amazingly, we arrived before dark! A good thing too as the last 25kms was over a muddy track after the heavy rains in the area.
Peponi campsite is located 30kms south of Tanga and 20 km north of Pangani on the coast in paradise. Beautifully run by friendly delightful people.
Very well organised layout, lovely ablutions, hot water, electricity, wi-fi, pool, plenty of shade under palms and huge trees, a banda with a coconut palm leaf thatch providing each site with shelter from the sun and rain.
We set up our camp practically on the beach and our cooking and eating area under a banda.
Hot hot hot and humid. Swam in pool, walked across intratidal zone at low tide, across sand bars and coral plates.
Local fishermen in their dhows pulling out nets filled with fish. They had placed the nets at high tide. Star fish, little fish, shark eggs, sea anemones, sea urchins, crabs, beautiful stones with holes. What a picture!
Woke up early to staff cleaning the beach in front of us – all natural seaweeds etc. to one side. Then shit from, I do not know where, plastic,
old shoes, old clothes, tins. Wheelbarrow loads taken away. Has this stuff been tossed overboard from boats sailing the Indian ocean? Think it has come down the nearby rivers. Day spent chilling, catching up with email, blogs etc.
Took long walk down beach and came across fossilized coral rock faces, mangroves, fossilized coral outcrops looking like mushrooms, Women and men digging for prawns. Were told the fossilized coral was left behind as the sea receded after the last ice age.
We were both armed with photo equipment and down came the rain. Poured, tried to find shelter to no avail. Literally drenched, tried to protect gear under our clothes – hopeless, we were soaked. Getting wet was actually fun – don’t get cold, but camera gear another story. Ian anxious, camera only worked in program mode, all creative modes not functional. Fortunately the lens still worked, aperture and auto focus were ok! Immobiliser remote for car also not funtional (also got wet).
All issues were solved – Ian took camera and immobiliser remote apart and dried them. Then placed all stuff next to Engel Freezer exhaust – warm air there, and voila, the next day to Ian’s huge relief all were working and back to normal!!!! How the hell does Sven cope with rain, mud, back of motorbikes and cycling!!!????
Met great young Dutch couple also overlanding, been on the road for a couple of years. Came down West coast of Africa, worked in Cape Town for 5 months (advertising world) and now on way northwards on East coast. Making their way back home to Holland. Maybe we’ll hitch up with them through difficult north route. We shall see.
Such a great couple, innovative and clever. Had great camper too, Landcruiser with original roof cut out and new tilting roof with bed lifting up. Enough headroom inside to sit and cook etc. Similar to the Alu-Cab Signature, but made in Germany. Will definitely be looking into that when we return – If the fire is still burning inside us to continue this lifestyle?
Next door to Peponi is Capricorn – another lodge with 4 or 5 cottages. They have a restaurant, pizza oven, deli and BOUTIQUE!!!!! What a nice lady the owner Annabel is, clever too. She started designing her own casual wear, got 2 seamstresses (one a man though – is that a seamer?) Also bakes bread. Pizzas are excellent and believe their fish pate is to die for. Place is for Sale!! $460000. Anyone out there interested? Thought about it, we’re just a bit too old. Ha ha Beautiful, large, treed, flowers, and well decorated – even Baobabs on property.
First time I bought any clothing, tempted and succumbed – ordered African skirt for myself.
Had lotsa rain every day. Met 2 South African brothers, one from Somerset West and other JBay. Born in Tanzania and doing a recce around East Africa.
Next day collected skirt and had another pizza.
Met Jacob (New Zealander from Christchurch) and Lisa (French). Such nice people. Jacob been working in Arusha and Lisa visiting.
Off to the big “city”, Tanga to north. Gravel road.
Crossed flooded river. Arrived at market in pouring rain – wrong one – this one really African and for the locals. Sooo interesting, people friendly and welcoming.
Bought fruit and vegetables. Had a drink right on point of Tanga beyond yacht club – also a real African place. OMG Flies!!!!. Then found town market and SD Supermarket. Got all necessary supplies and more fruit. Met Norwegian couple. They run a conference centre, quite a setup, and bring lots of Norwegians out to Tanzania. Part of the aid in education I think. Her name is Ruth and she comes from Tonsberg. Discovered Tanga Fresh – yoghurt manufacturers. Bought a box full.
Next day booked out, paid, then had breakfast and decided to stay another day!!! And stayed two!
Ian went snorkeling with his Go Pro.
Went to a nearby reef on a dhow. Stunning coral and colourful fish. Videos not clear because of cloudy water from flooding rivers. He had lunch on a sandspit. All in all, a wonderful experience. Meanwhile, I spent lazy day, lying on lounger, reading between intermittent rain showers. Soooo need to wash clothes – but cannot get anything dry – humidity and rain a problem. Any walking is like wading through”hot air”!!!!
Those of you that know me well – know that I am not a “foodie”. Only eat cos I have to. But that could all change. Simple eating is sooo good. Changed our shopping habits. Visit local markets. oh my word, this is sooo different to supermarkets back home. Fresh fresh vegetables and fruit. Okay, often covered in flies – but nothing a bit of good washing can’t put right. Vegetables sooo tasty – plucked from fields (or backgardens) when they are ripe. Fruit just as good.
Tomatoes, red onions, numerous varieties potatoes,cabbage, broccoli, beans, carrots, Brinjal, red and green peppers, cucumbers.
What is missing is lettuce, but made up by other leafy greens.
Pawpaws, mangoes, pineapples, coconut, oranges, naartjies, bananas, lemons and limes.
Every imaginable spice is available due to Arabic and Indian influences. Bought Chipatis, uncooked and frozen. Delightful as a base fried in a pan. Emmanthal cheese melted on top – then salad of tomato, avocado, onion, garlic, cucumber, broccoli tossed together with Balsamic Vinegar and a little sweet chili sauce. Placed on top of cheesy Chipatis – soooo good – to die for!!! Not missing not having meat with every meal. The creativity of creating something out of what you have or can get is sooo good.
We must leave Pepino and continue our mission. Soooo sad!! Had coffee and last minute chat with Jacob, Lisa and Jane (daughter of owner).
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