Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --- Mark Twain

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Estonians in Tanzania – Sao Hill

Day 293
30585 km since the beginning of the journey


It took me 11 hours to reach Sao Hill, the place that is 600 km from Dar Es Salami, although it was said that it could be covered in 9 hours. Usually the typical "lying policemen" will take the speed off . And driving over them in great speed can end sadly . Namely, this kind of a barrier exists in Africa not only in the town streets but also in most settlements, and the height of the barrier is about twenty centimetres and usually they are marked. Emphasis on the word "usually". So it is essential to decelerate the speed.


The concrete trench prevents from driving to the oncoming lane.



Red and white painted barrel, or to be more precise - the local traffic warning sign. This barrel should indicate that the road is freshly coated. These barrels are usually full of holes so that no one should have an idea to own them.

And besides the barrels and “lying policemen “ the standing policemen take off the speed .
The experience of the previous weeks was that while being stopped the usual questions like – Where are coming from and where are you going to – are asked and then “have a good journey “is said.

This time it took a longer . The men in white uniforms are checking the cars. I slow down. One raises his hand and I make a stop. He checks the
car windshield wipers . They are in perfect order and so is the windshield

The only thing that is missing is a large reflector sticker behind the car on both sides. It is not enough that there are reflectors inside the lights. OK, I can continue in 15 minutes.


Later, I put these luminous stickers on the back door. Let`s hope that there are no more deficiencies by the car to be found.

Tanzania is one of the few African countries where speed limits should be considered, because there are the radar. Actually in Uganda the radar was also in use. And then what happens is the following - I am driving, the settlement is almost left behind, I add a little speed and then there is the police far ahead. I make a stop , first of all I am asked for drivers' licenses, then I am shown their speed – measurer , which displays the number of 62 and then I am pointed out that the here the area of 50 will come to an end in about 100 metres. Anyway - friendly terms - Jambo and How are you,- do not help, and I am fined. I explain that it was the first time that I had exceeded the speed and it had happened quite unintentionally. But it didn`t help. The protocol is formalized and I must pay 30,000 Tanzanian shillings, that is 12.3 euro, and then I can get my driving license back.


Local money


The road to inland gets more and more mountainous.



Evening in Tanzania.


Another road sign.

I reach Sao Hill in the dark, Imre is sending me the coordinates by SMS in case I want to look for the right place by myself, but then comes to meet me on the high road by motorbike. And we have potatoes and sauerkraft for dinner. Like in real Estonia .


Estonians living in Tanzania. A super-duper place for the last couple of weeks after the 10-month adventure period . At first the intention was to stop for some days , but thanks to the excellent living conditions the some days turned into two weeks. The household was really gorgeous. Starting with laundryman and dish-washer , and internet (wifi) extending through the window.




Imre at work


Aadu demonstrated a mug decorated in Africa -!???
To learn more about the everyday activities of Aadu and Imre I recommend you to read their blog -


Muhu village in Tanzania??

Making a half-day tour by car in the neighbourhood.


Visiting Ismail with Imre



Stone axes


And natural pillars with high-voltage line in the background.



Forest fire in the evening.


And further on more technical talk and corresponding images.

For several times this kind of thing has happened that the back door of the car refuses to be closed. Which means that the lock should be taken off, cleaned and then put back. This is an hour-long activity, because to access the locking-system the padding of the back door and the handle should be removed. So I take off the lock, clean it, check how it works. Works enough. I put the lock back, put the padding and the handle back, turn the screws. Now it should be in order again. Then try to close the door and no success. Just like at the beginning before cleaning. Try to swing the door closed, but nothing happens. Check the lock-system again, all seems fine. And it is fine , because later I found that the closing failed because of a hand brush, which happened to be in the wrong place. Things happen.

Next, an unscheduled exchange of the pads of the front brakes. It took two days because there are no pads for Mazda hereabout.

Similar pads are still used by Kia Besta, and I think by Ford Econoline, a good thing is that there is the internet here, so I look for additional information – and Mitsubishi Pajero IV and a few more are added to my list. But this is of little help. Because most of the cars here are Toyotas. So I will take the brake pads with and drive to Iringa, the town located 80 km from here . And start to look for pads which are as similar as possible.


After having visited about 10 or 15 shops I got the brake pads, that was more or less similar to the existing one.


All Zeb King, and Genuine Parts and everything. The main thing that - made in China, otherwise who can afford to buy them here. The price was 50,000 of local money that is 21 euros. Could not use them at once of course, because the width of the new skid was bigger.


The two brake pads


A little working with the power-cutter and the pads has the correct size. By the way, the power cutter was taken with by the principle „There is always a power-cutter in the right household, and all of a sudden it will be needed“. And so it was...


Thus, this exchange took place. The wheel is supported according to local customs.

The tarpaulin on the roof rack is now new and local - white on one side and pot - blue on the other – so any fly will not sit down on it. The green covers purchased in Estonia are worn out over time.


The new one is like the blue - hanging over the fence. I ask the size, it is said to be 4x8metres. Actually it is 3x6. And they all are of the same size - take it or leave it. I'll take - Tzh 25,000 (10.27 EUR)

I spread the tarpaulin on the roof so that the white is outside and blue is inside - it is certain that now any fly will not make a nest under the tarpaulin and the white colour looks nicer on the roof.


And for a long time already I have been trying to work out the most optimal route for the next couple of months.


It's like solving a puzzle - the names from some of the pieces - Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana ....

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