02-22-2013, 06:49 AM
Living on a DR
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: New Delhi - new 'home' for post RTW
Tanzania, Part 2: sanDRina is Cured and the Journey Continues
November 14 - 25, 2012
I received the parts that I thought would fix sanDRina's issues and boarded the bus back to Tanzania with some trepidation, wondering what I would do if these parts also didn't fix the issue. Well, replacing the generator and all sorts of electrical components did not fix the issue but in the end, I did find the gremlin who was causing all the issues. The repeated failures were sapping away at my morale and I was at a real low moment, ready to give up; having no more energy to throw solutions at the bike. But, perseverance is my middle name and I stuck through it and triumphed; solving the issue once and for all. Elated at overcoming this major hurdle, I found a new energy to get back on the road and ride Africa.
Boarding the Ferrari bus in Nairobi that was heading for the border town of Sirare. It would take me three long buses to get back to sanDRina in Kibondo. This bus company only borrowed the name and livery of Ferrari but sadly not their speed or performance. Poor thing couldn't make it uphill without swerving left and right to gain tiny bits of momentum.
I was having a chai and chapati dinner before boarding my bus and struck up a conversation with Moses, here, a bus driver for another company. He was trying to convince me to buy a bus and start a transport company with him. I gave him my Kenyan number and told him to get in touch.
My last sight of Nairobi; downtown at night. I spent more than a year now, almost 14 months here, and made wonderful connections with so many people. Maybe I'll return one day...
I crossed into Tanzania at dawn and once again noted how different a border crossing was without having to clear a vehicle. This next bus on my journey, the Bunda Bus with a Real Madrid livery, would take me to Mwanza on Lake Victoria.
A little food stand at the border serving up some...
...chapati and chai. The chapati is made fresh right there and it tastes delicious when it's hot.
The Bunda wasn't really a chicken bus, but there was a chicken behind the driver.
Bananas and onions for sale at the Tarime bus stand.
I got some boiled maize but it could've used some salt and chili powder.
Nice scenery near the shores of Lake Victoria. I spent the bus journey listening to the audio book of Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I tried to read the book when I first got into motorcycles but most of it was over my head then except the part that it's a richer experience when you work on your own motorcycle rather than having someone else do it for you. This time around, I could grasp much more of the story and its deep message. The story is about a motorcycle journey but it's much more than that. It's a defense for choosing a life strategy that has abundances of quality. And what exactly quality means is a long and deep part of the book. I get it but it's hard to describe it in a few words. I think the book appeals to readers at various levels and I encourage you to get a copy and revisit this classic.
Having a meal of chips maai and a cold Coke in Mwanza. Maai is egg in Kiswahili and this is an omelet with french fries. Brilliant.
I slept a few hours in a dingy guest house next to the bus terminal and was woken up at 4 am to get ready for the last bus to Kibondo.
Mwanza sits on the southern shore of Lake Victoria and has these enigmatic rocks dotted along its shoreline.
Leaving Mwanza just as the sun was rising.
The sentinel rock leading our ferry out across the channel.
Our bus on the ferry across a channel of Lake Victoria. This prevented us having to make a big detour south around a lagoon.
An old dhow heading out for the early morning catch. Sadly, the grand lake is being overfished and the stock numbers are dropping.
The bus driver cooling down the engine, which resulted in lots of steam filling the already hot bus. Once the tar road ended, the journey became quite dusty and I realized that I'm more clean when I'm riding the bike than while taking public transport.
I arrived in Kibondo and rushed to the hotel and was thrilled to see that sanDRina was just where I had left her, patiently waiting for me.
The new generator (stator) going back on with a new gasket. I got the uprated stator from Procycle, which puts out 250W compared to the stock 200W.
I did a good 20 kms (12 mi) test ride and sanDRina was riding well. I figured the problem was solved, so let's go.
Thank you ladies for taking care of the bike.
Back on the road, after more than two months! It felt wonderful and I was thankful the rainy season hadn't kicked in, yet.
Enjoying some twisty tarmac on my down into Kigoma, a good 240 kms (150 mi) from Kibondo.
Fear not, I'm a Professional African Urban Rider with a forte in splitting traffic. There's a gap and I'm going for it.
I stayed with Elias, here, through CouchSurfing in Kigoma. He's from Dar-es-salaam but works here for the Jane Goodall Institute, who research chimpanzees at the Gombe Stream National Park. He was an accountant at the head office, so no chance to go visit the chimps. Elias was very hospitable and relaxed.