Approaching Mbeya

Beyond the Saddle ....Cairo to Cape Town
Howard Fairbank
Tue 27 Mar 2007 17:23
Position: 08:48.246S 34:17.570E

About 100km north of Mbeya, at a bush camp just off the main cycling road.

Cycled 135 km today.

Firstly, apologies for the wrong date appearing on notes to this blog.
Michelle has pointed out that my PC clock has been running one day
ahead.....I have been cycling well but not so well that its taken me into
the future! All corrected now!

The route today saw us cycling through the same forests from the day before
for about 30km, with good roead surface and gentle rolling hills. Thereafter
the terrain changed to thick, and lush green tropical shrubery. The locals
have huge sunflower plantations which made a colourful contrast every now
again to the natural vegetation.

Went through the town of Makambako, which although very attractive was
surprisingly large..

The last 60km saw us entering the rift valley proper again as we use it to
get down to Lake Malawi. Very peasant slight down hill ride, with undulating
hills, and the volcanic sides of the valley on either side.

Pace was slow as Ruth gets into the 120+ cycling days that are now routine
foor us riders who have been doing this for 80 days now.

Overall the scenerery while pleasant is not spectacular, with bird and
wildlife at a surprising low for the trip. I am expecting things to pick up
again from south of Mbeya, where we will be tomorrow night.

Otherwise my septic knee is well on the mend, after going through a worring
time about 6 days ago.

While I was on my solo trip last week 3 of the riders had really bad
accidents due to road conditions. The 1 ended up in hospital at Iringa and
is now out of the tour....serious stuff!

Till tomorow...bye