Monday, 14 January 2008

Living on the wild side

Monday I anticipated a quiet week in the office, working on the usual stuff. By the end of the day, I’d agreed to travel to Dar es Salaam, to accompany a colleague on the long 12 hour trip, leaving the next day and returning on Saturday. The trip up included a drive around Mikumi National Park (for the sake of a guest we were taking back to Dar to catch her plane). I had the fun of doing most of the driving in the park, where we saw lots of impala (a kind of antelope) and also zebras, buffalos, giraffes, wart hogs, hippos, crocodiles, birds, elephants and best of all, lions! There were several lionesses resting in the shade of trees, and their male majestically walking around. That made the whole trip worth it, despite the fact you could also drive for ages and not see anything much at all.

We had a lot of fun in Dar, particularly enjoyed eating by the ocean, and going shopping in a couple of big stores – seeing food items I had forgotten even existed, and stocking up on breakfast cereal, chocolate and other bits and bobs I can’t get in Mbeya.

Back on the road, returning to Mbeya, we had a good trip (including seeing elephants crossing the road ahead of us) until we got a puncture in the pouring rain. However, God miraculously provided for us, in the form of help from the owners of the Guest House we had stayed at a few days earlier, who just happened to be passing (though we were out in the middle of nowhere)! The scenery going back was stunning, and looking especially beautiful after the rains had made everywhere look that fresh new green of a spring in England.

Thought I’d put a picture in here of a typically overloaded vehicle! How do you fancy getting to town perched on a pick-up like that?

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Back up that mountain!

Loleza Peak, here I come again, to take a friend of a friend for a good leg stretch – her first time to climb a mountain, not exactly an easy place to start! The weather was perfect – some cloud cover to protect us from the fierceness of an African sun in summer (summertime now as we are south of the equator) and a refreshing wind (though I still got sunburnt). The views were particularly beautiful being fresh and green from the rains and God’s weird and wonderful creation was out in force with some strange bugs and beautiful flowers.

Below is a photo of Loleza Peak taken from town, so you can see how the whole mountain looks.