Bye bye Tanzania…Hello Kenya! 7/13 – 7/18
Our last real stop in Tanzania was to a great mountain town called Lushoto, in the very Northeast corner of the country. Besides the cool air, beautiful scenery, and friendly people, it was unique to see the remnants of German occupation (every other building or school was related to the Lutheran Church).
It has been easy to remember places and activities by the “guide” we had, and here was no different. Goodluck (seriously, he claims that is his real name) scooped us up on the sly. Pretending that he was heading to the same hotel, he walked well in front of us and never looked back to see if we were still there. Once we figured out our accommodations I skeptically asked Goodluck what he did, expecting he would tell us that he is a guide and could offer us the best deal. He told us that he was involved in traditional medicine. He informed us about special roots that can cure malaria, but when we told him we had heard it makes you vomit (from what our Maasai guide Samuel had told us in Lake Natron), he looked confused then was forced to come clean…he actually was a guide. Go figure.
But he was willing to give us a GREAT price, so the next day we were off on a 12 km hike to the Irente Viewpoint, overlooking the Western Usambara mountains. It was GORGEOUS! Wow! Definitely different mountains than in Colorado, so it was really cool. We loved seeing the small villages with the kids all yelling “Jambo!” and asking to have their photos taken. Lunch at Irente Biodiversity Reserve was AMAZING – fresh vegetables, homemade rye bread and cheese, loquat and plum jams and passionfruit juice. We bought some jam and cheese to add to our ever-growing collection of snacks and food for long bus rides, brown bag lunches and supplements if we misjudged being able to share dinner/it turned out not so great. (On a side note, we were thrilled to have ordered guacamole here (they have LOADS of avocados here!), and even when it came out as a tan paste/did not taste remotely like guac and was served with white bread, it turned out to be pretty good:) The cream of onion soup from the same place more than made up for it…the best soup I have had in Africa to date!)
Our 19 km hike to Mzuku Waterfallwas great – I got to learn some new Swahili slang from Goodluck, and Elizabeth and I had fun throwing around some wedding ideas through the Magamba forest (top secret surprises of course:) We weren’t too tired too enjoy some Konyagi (while we could still get it before leaving Tanzania) with our new Dutch friends, Barry and Judith, at our hotel, so it made for a fun night! Between all of that, we slept very well:)
We were headed out on an early bus the next morning, destination Tanga (still Tanzania)…even if only for a stopover to catch a bus to Shimoni on the Kenyan coast. So begins nearly 3 weeks of fun, sun and relaxing on the Swahili coast in Kenya…wahoo!!!!!
Tanzania went by quickly, as I’m sure Kenya will too (we bit on a good deal for a flight from Mombasa to Kampala so we are only in Kenya until August 7th)…but even though 4 and a half months seems like a long time to travel, we are realizing it’s not enough to see everything:( We’re thinking we left enough of Tanzania and mainland Kenya left to see that we will HAVE to come back someday.
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