Monday, January 18, 2010

from mara to musoma

5 Jan. Our departure from Masai Mara was a bit delayed - first by the deluge, then sleeping in, then the gutsy blue-balled vervet that stole our pasta, a side trip to see some lions, and the road to Lolgorien "paved" with 3-foot deep mucky muck. We reached the border at Isebania and then continued south on Tanzania's beautiful tarmac roads, hoping to reach camp just outside Serengeti's Ndabaka Gate before nightfall. It was ambitious.

With the waning light painting a magical horizon around us, we tried once again to find that idyllic off-the-road spot that eluded us in Kisii. We pulled off to see about camping on a farmer's property, and were quickly surrounded by every Tanzanian in a 5-mile radius - none of whom could speak English. We drew pictures of tents and tried our best to convey our need for a scenic and private campsite, but to no avail.

We pressed on in the dark, eventually arriving at Tembo Beach Hotel in Musoma - a small town on the shores of Lake Victoria. Tembo Beach is a common stopping point for ginormous overland trucks, and when we pulled into the car park, there was a circle of travelers chatting next to one of the large, lumbering vehicles. We set up our tent in a sandy spot and cooked chicken spaghetti. I turned in early and left Danny to the devices of an older woman from the overland group - who'd taken a liking to him and his scotch.

Upon leaving the next morning, we saw what we'd missed in the cover of night. Musoma is a really neat town, with sand-swept streets and a languid beachy feel. As we drove through on our way to Serengeti, we were both sad that we didn't have time to walk around and get a better feel for the place.

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