Day 171 Tanzania : Singida - Arusha

Day 171 Tanzania

Trip Distance 335 km (208 m) Total Distance 19398 km (12056 m)
Road Condition 65% dirt 35% tar  
Time to travel 8 hrs 2 hrs  
Cost of diesel TSH1570 (£0.75)    
Masai Campsite S3 23.119 E36 43.233 TSH13000 (US$10) - Basic hot showers & flushing loos - somewhat grubby.  Very loud disco open to locals every Friday & Saturday.  Avoid those days if possible.

The day started off calmly enough after a fabulous breakfast at the Aqua Vitea Resort.  On this note, I have finally persuaded Trevor over to the dark side and he actually enjoyed the local delicacy with fried eggs - liver and onions.  uuummm.  We set off at around 9am with a flask full of hot water (for cup-a-soup with lunch) and prepared for the long haul across 210km of dirt track before meeting the tarred road just beyond the entrance to Tangire National Park, about 60kms after Lake Babati.

The dirt road begins immediately as you leave Singida towards Arusha and things were going well for the first 50kms.  We crossed paths with a German couple riding bikes (yes, bicycles!!) from South Africa to Norway and spent a few minutes having a quick chat with them.  But as we drove off Sully started to behave rather oddly.  Normally at 5mph the ABS light goes off and only comes on when the system activates (when it's required, of course) but this time the light didn't go off and for no apparent reason the ABS and traction control was kicking in every time we reached 30kph.  Blast.  We stopped, Trevor had a look under Sully and everything seemed to be ok.  We set off again thinking that it might have been a one-off glitch - no such luck, as we pulled off again the same thing happened.  We stopped again and Trevor had another closer look under Sully.  This time he found that the dust cover on the back left tyre protecting the brakes had cracked and broken and was now hanging off on the axle.  Now we think that it was co-incidence that the ABS/Traction control started acting up at the same time but then we thought the 2 things related.  After a bit of head scratching and discussion, we decided to disable the ABS/Traction control module leaving Sully (sob!) as a normal landie.  A quick look at the workshop manual and we discovered that the module was under the drivers seat.  2 minutes later, job done and the module was disconnected.  We did a tentative test run ensuring that the brakes were working properly which there were and set off again with the ABS light on the dashboard to remind us that the system was de-activated.  No problem there.  We decided that we would have it looked at in Dar-es-Salaam where we heard there was a reputable dealership to help us out.

The rest of the drive was uneventful.  As we approached Arusha the Maserani Snakepark Campsite appeared so we pulled in for a look.  The grounds were really dusty and dry so we decided to try the Masai Campsite even though we had been warned off it.  We drove through Arusha traffic (not a pretty thing to do at rush hour) and found the Masai campsite.  It being Thursday we were happy to stay there but even the manager warned us that staying on Friday & Saturday would be tough - a loud disco was run there every on those nights. 

We got set up and went for a shower.  By the time we had finished, it was dark so we made our way to the restaurant and ordered in for supper.  An hour later we were tucked up in bed and fast asleep.