Day 70- March 23 - Rest Day
|Ben, Judith and Michael|
Sunday: A well-deserved Rest Day in Mbeya, a Town founded as a gold mining town in the 1920's and later an important junction on the TAZAR (Tanzania-Zambia Railway Line) constructed by the Chinese in the late 1960's.
We took a room in the Mbeya Hotel yesterday evening, and had a late breakfast at the hotel in the morning, a pleasant change to our usual early and rushed breakfast.
Since we were now back cycling on relatively good tar roads, we decided to get off our mountain bike tires and back onto our smoother and faster slick tires (last used our slicks in Sudan). So I spent the morning changing Judith's and my tires.
We heard from the other riders that there was a good Coffee Shop and Bakery in Town, so a group of us went off to find the two establishments. We first spent some quality time at the newly-opened Ridge Coffee Shop, which we found out was owned and run by a South African. She enjoyed speaking to us and practicing a little Afrikaans too. Since the Coffee shop was invaded by TDA Riders, the Chocolate and Carrot Cake was soon sold out, whilst their Cup of Ice-cream was also very popular!
On the way back to the Hotel we stopped off at the Bakery and bought all sorts of confectionery to take back with us to be consumed later at our leisure - what a pleasure!
Ben the Over-lander, took his bike and went off into Town to find someone to fix his bike's right crank, the pedal had broken off and he needed to get it fixed. He had to catch a train from Zambia to Mbeya to meet up with us. He managed to find a backyard mechanic who could tap another pedal onto his crank, so he was a happy cyclist once again. He hopes to buy a new crank once he arrives in Nairobi.
Leo the Bike Mechanic, managed to do some minor repairs to my bike. I needed some broken spokes replaced (on the troublesome rear wheel).
I must admit, travelling through Tanzania has been better than I envisaged, in fact the people have been most friendly towards us riders. We cross over from Tanzania into Malawi tomorrow, it's not going to be an easy ride with lots of hills & long distances...
|Ben arrives in Mbeya to meet up with us on his way from Cape Town to England|
|Ben showing us the damage to his cycling shoes, the ones he bought in Prince Albert, RSA|
|Ndovu Beer my favourite Tanzanian Beer|
|Andrew enjoying ice cream for breakfast!|
|Marie & Judith at the Royal Oven Bakery|
|Pineapple's for sale from Street Vendor|
Judith having some retail therapy done in Old Town Mbeya
|The Mbeya Hotel grounds and camping facilities|
|Hotel instructions are quite self explanatory|
|Rob and Murray ordered double dinner. |
It might be a Rest Day but the Riders still get extremely hungry
|Riders' Briefing - Long hard ride into Malawi tomorrow|