The Adventure Box

Well it’s been an interesting few days of adventure. 

We ended up having to stay an extra day in Dar Es Salem after a very rough ride back on the ferry from Zanzibar. So rough in fact that I had the joy of finding out what my fellow Tanzanian passengers had for dinner the night before. Truly, we are all the same on the inside. 

Getting out of Dar was a nightmare with endless traffic jams in scorching heat. My bikes fan decided it didn’t want to go to spin class so my temperature gauge  was pegged in the red, which meant endless turning it off and turning it on again. It might work for computers, but not for motorbikes.  By the way, we’ve noticed that a certain South African has named two of his bikes Laura Croft and Jolie. So, noticing a trend and bearing in mind her temperamental nature, my bike is now called Mrs. Smith. 

Eventually we got out of town and hit some beautiful country. We rode 400k through Mikuni National Park past Giraffe and Zebra, then into the stunning Valley of the Baobobs and stopped at Crocodile Camp, an oasis we found in the middle of nowhere, run by the wonderful Frank and Jennifer.

They cooked us a beautiful meal and exhausted after a baking day, I fell asleep in a camp armchair, but not before filling in the required box in the registration that asked what tribe I was. Gryffindor of course. 

We planned an early day and were on the road by 7:30. And that’s when Frank and a Jennifer became our saviours. 

As well as the three bikes, Andrew and Les follow along in Herbie the Adventure Box, where Danielle and Faith also used to hang out before they saw the light and moved to Zanzibar. Andrew calls it that because he says that’s what it’s like when his dog gets into it. She hasn’t got a clue if she’s going to the park, or the beach, or the vets to get a great big needle jammed up her....whatever. It’s just one big adventure. Generally we don’t have a clue what the day holds either. But today, the adventure box went to the vet. 

50km down the road in a desolate stretch of Southern Tanzania the motor cut out and the adventure box ground to a halt. We all pulled up and offered various advice to expert mechanic Andrew, who was no doubt overjoyed to get it. Two hours later still no joy and even the Zen motor master had to admit defeat. 

So off Lenard, Lee Ann and I rocked on the bikes, Mrs. Smith running hard for Crocodile Camp to find help. And help we found as Frank came to the rescue. 

Jumping into his truck. He took of like a scorched cat, with Mrs Smith doing her best to try and keep up. Poor thing, she just doesn’t have the stamina. By the time we got to the adventure box, he had contacted a mechanic who we picked up on the tow back. Genius guy! He fixed it in an hour. It’s interesting that in Canada, we would have needed a new part, (an electronic control unit to be precise) but this resourceful Tanzanian small town mechanic figured out a fix and got the box running. I guess our disposable society isn’t so awesome really. 

I had already ridden 200km back and forth and found myself sitting in the same armchair I started from, so at 3:30 pm when we hit the road pretty hard, I told Mrs Smith she had to get me 170 km to Iringa, before dark or we were looking at a divorce. 

And this is where she got me. 

We’re camping at 6,500 feet up in the mountains, which is a bit chilly, but what a super fun little camp restaurant. We’re eating a three course meal, having a nice drink and hey, we’re still smiling. 

It’s true that if you put the right face on it, life is always an adventure. Especially in Herbie, the adventure box.