Thursday, December 13, 2007

Its Not Easy

Its bloody tough, I am been tested time and time again and whats happened to me recently you may not enjoy reading but its all apart of the adventure. After getting on with the job at hand and trying for a positive on the road ahead I was met with hurdle after hurdle. I made it to Dar Es Salam, Tanzania's major city on the coast, the reason for going there was to take a trip to the famous once Arab slave trading island of Zanzibar, also know as the spice island. Leaving the mother ship parked up for a few days was a welcome break, I took the ferry across to the island and although the seas were calm and smooth my tummy did not feel right, upon arrival the steady ground did not ease the problem, I was coming down with something but I had an island to explore. I spent the remainder of the day exploring the tiny narrow streets of Stonetown, reminded me a lot of the Morrocan Medinas, just a maze of streets to get lost in.

By night I felt worse, laying in bed wondering if I gad malaria again, it seemed to be heading in that direction. After a sleepless night I decided to go get a malaria test, I sat in the little medical room waiting for the doctor to study my blood under the microscope, eventually negative was the result, great I though but why do I feel so ill? He said I was run down and to take some panadol, yeah that will work was my immediate thought. After another sleepless night I headed back to Dar with a disappointing trip to Zanzibar behind me. I felt a little better on my ferry ride back but by evening I was sliding down hill fast again, finally my stomach gave way and the result was something of a green pond matter that I have never witnessed before, I was ill alright! Good fortune has it that there was a lady there who works in the medical line in Africa and immediately diagnosed me with Ghardia, after I told her my symptoms, how did I get it I asked, the answer I did not want to know-basically you get it from consuming fesses, great I had managed to eat shit!! The owner of the campsite went and got me the pills and after 3 days I was riding west toward Burundi.

Parking in the foyer

Dissecting Tanzania from East to West got me off the tourist trail with a 1000 k's of African dirt roads and back into a bit of bush camping. Also I had my first flat tire since leaving South Africa. Three days later I reached the west part of Tanzania and this bought with it the red rich soil and green jungles akin to Central Africa. After a few days camping I wanted some comfort so found a hotel/brothel with plenty of traffic throughout the night to not let me get to much rest, but my mind was at ease with the stead as they let me park it in the foyer of the hotel.

I will go left!
Since leaving Dar I had been developing a sore on my thigh, it was getting painful and bigger, I tried squeezing it but no result just making it sorer and figured it was a boil which I have never had before but it needed to take its course so I left it alone. So I pushed on and was glad to leave Tanzania behind me and headed for Burundi, quite worried entering a country that has just only finished a civil war not to long ago. On my own its hard to now if your decisions are right without been able to consult someone else for their concerns and thoughts, its all my decision, I went anyway. I was pleasantly surprised, the scenery was spectacular as the road climbed high into the mountains then down to the shores of Lake Tanginyka, I saw hippos from the road and of course loads of soldiers with AK-47's and an array of other dads army weapons, a sign that things are still on edge. Its only a small country so I road onto the capital and whilst looking for a place to stay the generosity of David(USA) and Gloria(Burundian) found me and invited me to stay with them, a hot shower, nice bed and great food was a paradise I needed. Then onto Rwanda, again the scenery was stunning, high mountains, huge lakes, a scene from Jurasic Park.

Boys hitching a ride up the hill.

Burundian Women collecting fire wood

Imagine this down hill and no brakes!!

Very econimical I suppose!

My leg was getting sorer every day, I could not stand it any more and thought I will have to lance it with my leatherman, not up for that I decided to squeeze it as hard as I could, my eyes watered, I squeezed then pop, relief at last, I wiped my finger across what came from my leg, I bought it up for a closer look and there wriggling on the end of my finger was a maggot! I felt ill, I could not believe that this thing was growing in me. Upon some research I discovered it is from a certain fly laying eggs on ones clothes whilst they are drying on a line then once you put the clothes on the eggs hatch and burrow into your skin and begin to grow inside you, never again!

Out of Rwanda and into Uganda, the people seemed more pleasant here, with a rest day in a little border town I rode through a national park, seeing elephants, antelope, loads of birds and a lion sitting in a tree by the road, I stopped nervously to take a photo as it watched me from its perch.

First the Equator in Uganda......

Another broken wheel bearing in the middle of nowhere and some more beautiful scenery, I crossed the equator into the northern hemisphere again, thinking next time I do this will be in Malaysia, another world away. Uganda has a lot to offer, I went trekking with the chimps and kayaked the source of the Nile Rivers Rapids.

........and again back to the Southern Hemisphere in Kenya.

Wheel bearings again!

Its testing on my own, some times to tired to cook at night but having to find the energy to do the routine things, the good days outweigh the bad but its getting tough. I am tired of playing involuntary chicken with the crazy drivers on the road, concentrating every second of every moment, dodging animals, cars and people, I think how long can I play this game before its my turn to loose, I hope I will not. Only the other day an old lady walked straight onto the road without looking, I swerved hard and only missing her by a matter of centimeters, how I don't know.

I am now in Nairobi, Kenya, sorting out an Ethiopian visa and logistics of traveling to Ethiopia via lake Turkana into the Omo Valley region of Ethiopia, apperently a high light of Africa if you are game, more bandits and therefor more machine guns! Also I have just received news from my contact in China assisting with the hope of crossing China that it is not at all possible, so that leaves me a bit up in the air on what to do, well I have a few months to try and come up with a solution.

I suppose nobody ever said that it was going to be easy.