Tanga to Ushongo

15 Dec

Tanga was difficult to leave. Not because I liked the place. I liked the sweaty side-road bar with the customary iron grill to pass the money and drinks through, with premiership football, lazy mamas and a comically crap local pool shark, but that aside Tanga was comatose.

Tanga was difficult to leave because the guesthouse staff made getting breakfast, bottled water or checking out before 9 a.m. impossible. The shops were all still shut too. Then getting anything other than random, yet confident, guesses in response to my asking directions to the coastal road took an hour. Several people didn’t even know which way the friggin sea was in. Even my compass seemed stuck in a kind of Bermuda Triangle vortex.

Chasing down a couple of guys on a motorbike simply because they greeted me in English was the answer. They offered to escort me to the right road. I bought us all a round of celebratory pop and was on my way by 10 a.m.

The coastal road was a rocky, bumpy path at best. At it’s worst small boulders blocked off my panniers, tearing them from the trailer. During the next 4 hours I switch to wearing 2 backpacks and long sleeves, a couple of Westerners in jeeps stop to chat. One German couple offers to let me stay at theirs. I was grateful but declined, I had plans to be cycling through Saadani Game Reserve by the day after tomorrow.

After a ferry crossing at Pangani river, the path became much more interesting. Thinner, quieter and thick with sand. I slip-slided into to a beachside campsite at 5.30.



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