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Published: October 24th 2008
The African dawn in the bush is a wonderful sight and today was no exception. We did hear female voices very early, as we were getting up, but our luck held and they never found us. We felt sure they were out in the bush cutting down the trees to make charcoal - a thriving industry in many parts of Africa but one which tends to denude the country of its trees. We faced a long day’s drive, hoping to reach Morogoro by teatime.
are very beautiful, well watered with many plantations, predominantly sisal, along the plain at the foot hills. Very like the Indian Ocean coastline, there were palm trees and mangos in profusion. About half way down the mountain range there is a turning eastwards towards the town of Loshoto
. We could not resist it and diverted up this road for some 8 miles or so. The road wound its way up and up, with the vegitation getting greener and lusher by the mile. The road was probably built in the days of German East Africa early in the last century. The bridges over the tumbling streams were beautifully constructed with gracious arches. The road was frequently lined with Jacaranda trees, all in full bloom which was quite spectacular.
We stopped frequently to admire and enjoy the views, often with the centre piece being a waterfall tumbling several hundred feet down the gorges. It was a pity we had no more time to explore further - perhaps another day!
Soon after Korogwe
, the town at the southern tip of the Usumbaras, the road turns just west of south and passes through undulating countryside, quite heavily populated and cultivated. The road was wide and smooth but punctuated by irregular speed humps, albeit very well marked - unlike those in Kenya. And there were rumble strips which one had to cross at 60 mph so as not to feel - not advisable in a 30 mph limit - or else at 10 mph, which made a mockery of the otherwise wonderful road. They drove Ian to exasperation!
Every village had a speed limit of 50 kph and we had heard rumours of police speed traps, with instant cash fines if the limits were exceeded. We have survived so far although we have generally and genuinely slowed down whenever required.
Our destination at Morogoro
was the home of Kate and Graham Kayes, friends of my daughter, whom I had met in Shipton about a month ago and who had invited us to stop over if we were passing. Graham works for a large tobacco company, locally based, and they live in a wonderful house miles in the bush. We were made so welcome and really enjoyed their house and garden. It was slightly bizarre to see our cars parked on the lawn next to the pool, in which we enjoyed a refreshing swim. Kate and Graham were so very kind and we hope one day we will be able to repay their generous hospitality.
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