Lake Eysai to south of Unyambwa

I packed up at Lake Eysai. It had been a good campsite. My new solar controller and solar panel connection improvements showed with power soon after dawn.

I followed my tracks back to the road and headed south. The road was no large but it was well graded. Very little traffic, a few motorcycles, no cars. I suddenly ended up at a dry river bed and I could not figure out were the road went. I took a track and asked a lady washing where the town was on the main road. She sent me east, and I drove between piles of mud bricks to eventually see a crossing of the river. The road then got very vague. I was following my GPS, but I would often be 200m away from the road as shown on the GPS. A motorcycle went past and I followed his track for a while. The road just meandered through the scrub. There were little village compounds every now and then, surrounded by spikey african thorn bush. I don’t know if this is to keep animals out of keep animals in. I was all very primitive, and every village I went past, people stopped to stare at me.

After 20km or so I came across another river, this one with water in it. There was a barrier across the road and a couple of locals standing around. I got out to talk to them figuring they wanted money. They just put their hand out. I asked “how much”, but they didn’t understand. I went back to the car and got 1,000Tsh. I offered this, but another older man came along and shoke his head and held out a fist. I didn’t get this, eventually he counted out 5 fingers, so I gave him 5,000Tsh (about $A3). They took the barriers down, I walked the river just to check the bottom, but it was sandy and no deeper than 30cm. I locked the hubs, engaged 4wd, and easily crossed the river.

The road continued to meander. I passed a couple of villages who were pulling water out of wells dug in dried sandy river beds. This was definitely not Dar es Salaam. I got close to the town on the main road. Here I crossed another dried river bed with wells dug in it. There were dozens of people carted drums of water on two wheeled carts away from the river bed. It all looked pretty grim.

I got on the main road, which was still dirt. I headed over a newly build bridge over a river and flood plain.

It was then a wander around different side roads, all dirt until I got to Singida. About 20km out of Singida was the first police stop I had been through in 3 days. However they were friendly and let me go quickly. Once through Singida it was down the bitumen of the T3 looking for wild camping opportunities. I decided as it got closer to 6pm, I would wait for the turn-off from the T3 to the T22 that headed to Mbeya. I turned of and was very surprised that the T22 was dirt. This meant I had 518km of dirt road to drive down to get to Mbeya.

Only about 1km after the turn off I saw a track to the side. I backed up drove into the track, then walked further down. It looked like an abandoned field. I drove about 150m down and parked on the side. It was pretty invisible from the road, and I didn’t see anyone all night.


Negotiating the price for the extortion barrier across the road
Checking the bottom of the river
Crossing the river
The faint track meandering around south of Lake Eyias
Sunset at wild camp south of the T3 T22 intersection



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