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Africa 2006
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Tuesday 31st January 2006

After our disturbed night, and a simple breakfast - of tea, porridge, fruit juice and toast, and curiously, an extra charge of 1,000  shillings (50p) for an egg, we had a walk around the town, taking in all the sights, sounds and smells of this well-populated town,and its random untidy rows of various businesses, hair salons, stationers, food stalls, and all manner of shops. We picked up some local vegetable samosas, bananas and some simple sponge cakes for our picnic lunch later that day.  Then, it was with some relief at 11 am, that we left the hustle and bustle of  Iringa, looking forward to quieter nights.

   


Though the sounds of the bush and its inhabitants were to make sound sleep a little elusive sometimes - it was to prove quite pleasurable - trying to separate and identify individual elements amongst the  cacophony of noise - particularly without the neighbourhood dog!! As we headed out of Iringa an earlier shower of rain had helped to damp down the dusty road. We encountered some animals on route to  Tonge Malanga for our picnic lunch-stop.. Following lunch, we continued our journey through some beautiful scenery, encountering yet more animals - zebra, giraffe, impala -  and for the Land Cruiser in front - a sighting of an agitated elephant in company with a youngster - its agitation being directed at the close proximity of the vehicles. We were unable to see the elephant, but could certainly hear the loud trumpeting of the restless mother. As we entered the Ruaha National Park, we stopped at a river bridge crossing. Here we could see hippo and several crocodiles basking below, along with a fair selection of birds. Lucy completed the formalities of entry into the park, and we were guided to our accommodation for the next three nights,

         


We had a wonderful evening meal - of tomato soup with organic bread, followed by pork schnitzel, talapia schnitzel, rice, veg and ratatouille, served with mashed potatoes. Fruit flan and cream followed for dessert. After a couple of "Kilis" (Kilimanjaro beers), we were all ready for an early night. To ensure our safety, we were escorted by a Masai warrior to our bandas, and were soon falling asleep to a wrap-around chorus of frogs, toads and crickets filling the night air, only to be woken later by the sound of a hippo grazing alongside the tent. All par for the course in the African Bush !!

     

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