Day 192 Tanzania : Riverside Camp - The Old Farmhouse

Day 192 Tanzania

Trip Distance 77km (48m) Total Distance 21145 km (13142 m)
Road Condition 100% tar with roadwork diversions    
Time to travel 2.5 hrs    
Cost of diesel TSH1525 (£0.73)    
The Old Farmhouse S8 08.755 E35 24.776 TSH10400 (US$8) - Fabulous setting, clean hot showers, spotless long drop loos and fresh veggie basket available for purchase.

We woke up at first light and after coffee and a shower and whilst Trevor started packing up, I made some jungle oats and Ben made some chappatis for breakfast.  Ben's chappatis are legendary and are the best we've tasted on the road.

Maria and Bob driving north to Portugal from South Africa in their Land Rover Discovery came over to say hello and we swapped notes on campsites and routes and exchanged some currency for our next countries.  We had been planning to go to The Crazy Crocodile - a new camp set up near Matema on the northern banks of Lake Malawi in Tanzania but after a chat to Maria and Bob about the state of the road to Matema (and the fact that they said The Crazy Crocodile had absolutely nothing not even an ablution block) we decided against going.  It would mean not seeing Thomas who was managing it for a month (he decided to do this when the owner approached him at Mikadi Beach and we had all promised to meet him there on the way to Malawi).  Once we had said goodbyes, we settled down for a quick breakfast and then set off to our next stop.

Trevor and I made our way into Iringa town but had somehow manage to co-ordinate (by luck NOT planning) that we arrived at the roadworks as they were allowing our side through so within 20minutes were in town.  Some internetting time later we set off for The Old Farmhouse. 

On the way down the hill, we again pushed our way passed the flag bearer trying to stop us whilst allowing other traffic through.  At the bottom of the hill, the traffic was in chaos as the matatus, busses and trucks fed in from all directions and caused a huge traffic jam.  Trevor and again pushed our way through (this is Africa, you have to drive like the Africans) and by some luck and a kind policeman, got waved through the worst of it and was on our way after only a 15 min delay.

We found The Old Farmhouse easily enough and in peaceful surroundings started to set up.  We booked for supper that night as we had heard such amazing stories of the food (despite it being US$18 each!!) and Ben and Kate were celebrating their 3 year anniversary of being together.  At 6:30pm we went into the bar for a pre-dinner drink and a chatb_IMG_5082.  At around 7pm one of the staff came to fetch us.  As we approached the restaurant, someone started drumming - it was a lovely experience to be welcomed like that.  A grass curtain was parted and we entered the restaurant.  The restaurant area has been divided by head height walls (way above my height!!) into individual private dining areas with chimineas (local clay braziers) burning with charcoal to fend off the cool night air and candles providing intimate light on each table.  What a place for a celebrationb_IMG_5085 .  The 3 course supper was fantastic and lived up to the reputation that had preceded it and stuffed full of soup, roast beef (reared and slaughtered on the farm), garlic creamed potatoes, steamed veggies (all grown on the farm and picked that day) and a banana and passionfruit cake for dessert we set off back to our tents.  We spent some time quietly watching the night sky, drinking a final cup of coffee and wondering how it was possible that so many stars could exist in 1 sky.