Friday, February 26, 2010

The Green Hills of Africa

Once a journey is designed, equipped and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality and uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip, a trip takes us.
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

Mount Meru, from Rivertrees, Usa River.

On the road, Dar es Salaam to Arusha (Usa River), the most beautiful 9 hour journey made slightly more endurable by the presence of g&t's.

To start with: the drive from Dar es Salaam to Arusha has a reputation close to that of Tiger Woods at the moment - happily poo poo'ed by everyone. We were slightly hesitant but determined to drive, and in retrospect I am so glad we did - it's now up there in our 'must dos' for those living in Dar es Salaam.

Roughly 600km, it took exactly 9hrs each way. Sisal bushes changed into coffee plantations, and by mid afternoon we had reached Rivertrees. We were warmly welcomed in true Tanzanian style, by Joel the assistant manager. The setting is quite exquisite, perfectly manicured lawns littered with grand old trees.

After humid and heated Dar, the green oasis was a relief. The rooms are simple but very comforting, and the four poster beds well- pillowed. Delicious meals were served in the dining room, complete with a blazing fire and large glasses of red wine. Msafiri was always happy to supply yet another fresh bread roll - straight from the oven and lathered with butter. I am not sure who could resist?! All in all exactly what we needed, coming from a totally different climate, and most definitely a relaxing start to a surprisingly energetic safari.

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