And we are off by 5am. Last night was another hot one, to the point I took off my shirt in the middle of the night to wipe the sweat off my face. It was great! We are told that tonight will be much cooler, and I really hope so! The goal today is to reach camp by 8pm, so it will be a long day driving… but this is over landing! Also, we have reached the portion of the trip, where other than at the campsites, toilets are now squat toilets, basically a ceramic hole on the ground that you literally squat at. The CEO was not wrong when she said I would come to appreciate bushy bushy stops, because I certainly miss them.
We packed lunch today, and I used the leftover Chapati to make a PB&J and a PB, banana and nutella sandwich, which I will be excited to eat.
Today we cross over the border to Tanzania, which takes about 2 hours to stamp out of Malawi and get a visa for Tanzania. It was suppose to be a $50 charge for the visa, and it was for everyone but myself and the other girl from the US who had to pay $100. We contested it, but was shown the rate sheet, and I literally think we were the only country on there that had to pay over the typical $50 fee. Also, they do not accept any USD that is older than 2006, which is really frustrating. When I left I had made sure that I had what I thought to be new notes, but I didn’t check the dates and I have $30 that they will not accept. Thankfully I brought extra, but it is really frustrating. Especially if you look at some of the currency we have been getting, that is acceptable but barely legible.
You can definitely see a difference between countries, and the houses have gotten bigger and nicer since arriving in Tanzania. This is a richer country and you can tell. There is also a lot of cops in Tanzania, and a good hour of our travels was spent being pulled over at police stops, where they are looking for bribes to get out of tickets. It is pretty corrupt, and as a tourist vehicle, we seem to be getting pulled over at every one. This is a known problem here, and our CEOs are trained and prepared to deal with these annoyances. We are in the mountains, and we have been having some cool breezes today, which has been such a treat!
I think when you prepare yourself for a long day driving, it isn’t so bad, although there are a few members of our group that have not handled the day as well as others. I don’t think everyone read about the trip before deciding to join it, as we have some people who complain about general aspects of the trip, like camping and over landing.
I bought some local mango today, which were meaty and delicious! I also bought some local chapati, which is one of my favorites!
We arrive at camp just before 7pm, which is ahead of schedule! We setup our tents, and head to dinner, which the camp has prepared for us! This was a welcomed treat, as most of us were pretty hungry and tired from a day of travel. We ate a carrot and peanut soup, which I actually really enjoyed, and then beef, potatoes and vegetables. Our CEO was right, and it was a bit chilly at camp, which we all appreciated. I had a hot chocolate for dessert and headed to bed, as we are starting tomorrow at 2:30am for another long day on the lando. This will be our last long drive day before 3 nights in Zanzibar.