London 2012? This time for Africa!

Trip Start Jul 24, 2012
Trip End Aug 19, 2012

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Flag of Tanzania  ,
Monday, August 13, 2012

We woke up to a loud bang on the door – oh shit they were here for the 15 Dollars! Thankfully it was Callum and his dulcet Kiwi tones, who had come to give us a 5.15am wake-up call as we had packed everything including the alarm clock in the bags that were on the truck due to Andrew's extreme paranoia.  On a positive note we hadn’t been murdered in our beds.  We got dressed by candle light.  It was still dark when we joined the rest of the group for a breakfast of eggy bread which was quite frankly delicious – that so I had two pieces.  We were in for another long drive in to Mwanza, Tanzania’s economic hub and the second largest city in Tanzania - on the shores of Lake Victoria . 

We decided to pay our dues at the back of the bus today (the African roads make it a sometimes hellish experience so we all rotate around to give everyone the chance of the luxury at the front) – and were sat with Liam and Matt.  We had a bit of a sleep, a read and about an hour playing Who am I?  This killed some time and after a quick loo stop we all decided it would be a good time to start our homage to the Olympics that myself, Andrew, Liam & Hannah had masterminded and proposed to the group a couple of nights ago – THE TRUCK OLYMPICS WERE HERE!  Matt hit the music and 'Chariots of Fire’ blasted from the speakers – everyone fell about laughing!

The first event that we had decided on was the ‘relay race’ which involved passing a bottle as quick as possible up and down the bus – we were competing side against side (two groups of two on each side).  Now bear in mind we had Ariel sat right at the front of the bus on our side – with a free seat at the side of him, hence he was taking 2 peoples goes – now Ariel loves to sleep on the bus and in the most inexplicable contorted ways – so we just hoped he would stay awake long enough to complete the challenge. After a practise session – which we won – it was time for the race.  3-2-1 Go!  We won!  3 points to everyone on our side – 2 to all the LOSERS! 

Everyone was in the mood and pumped for another event and as we were on a particularly stretch of bumpy road we decided it was an ideal opportunity to hold the ‘Last man standing’ event.  Basically this involved 4 people in heats, standing at the back of the bus (on really bumpy African roads) and trying to stand up as long as they possibly could – if you managed one minute and there were still a couple in it was then one legged.  Hilarity began and everyone’s competitive nature came out.  After a little controversy with Renee over whether it was legal to change leg – the final came down to Erin, Tom & Mike.  Tom did a Haka and then we were underway.   It was a close call – Tom out first, then Erin – Mike was the champion!  He did his lap of honour up the bus high fiving everyone.

We pulled up in a small port town to board a ferry across a body of water that I’m still not sure the name of.  We all grabbed some lunch while we waited for the ferry to arrive – a chip omelette!!! Divine!!! Cooked from a market stall and served in a small black plastic bag with a toothpick which acted as a fork – I smothered it in ketchup – it was the best lunch I’d had in ages!  Made a change from stale bread and crisps at least.  We all sat at the ‘terminal’ and got accosted by a drunk local who was asking everyone for money – he took a liking to Tom who was just sat laughing in his face.  The ferry only took about 20 minutes, with banging music played the whole time – it even had a bar – cool!  Another hour after boarding the bus again and we arrived in Mwanza where we were to stock up on groceries for the next four days. 

We stopped at a ‘supermarket’ which was the size of a papershop and had trolleys.  My group had planned to make fajitas for our night of cooking but as we could find no chappatis or flat bread and were then told that we also couldn’t have meat under duress we agreed to make a vegetable curry as there wasn’t any other options.  Mike, who is always eating and always has at least seconds – I don’t know where he puts it all – was mortified.

We arrived at the campsite which was a spare piece of land adjoined to a small sailing club and on the banks of Lake Victoria.  Nice – the only trouble was, once again we struggled to get the truck through the gates.  After quite a lot of manoeuvring Temba got us in and we set up the tents and Andrew and I went off to find some Wifi to get the blog up to date.  We found a lovely little hotel that had a bar and we paid for two hours of Wifi which was relatively cheap and had a few beers as we watched the sun go down. 

We had a delicious dinner back at camp of home-made chicken and beef burgers with guacamole, fried onions and salad then my group washed up.  Some of the group retired to the bar but knowing that I was on cooking duty in the morning and that Andrew was designated fire-boy we got an early night.
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