Tanzania - Bwanga Junction
At Munganza port I caught a minibus that I was assured would get me to Biharamulo - a town where I’d be sure to get an onward connection to Rwanda the next day. We stopped in Munganza town while the driver had some "chai" (sweet tea) and "mandazi" (local donut). I joined him and tried to confirm I was going the right way. It turned out that the minibus was going to Bwanga junction, still 90km from where I wanted to be, but surely on such a busy road I’ll be able to get a lift.
Shortly after we set off the minibus had a puncture. The passengers were generally philosophical about this and we all waited patiently in the shade until we were recalled. The second puncture was the same wheel and more of a blow out. The conductor hurried off up the road, ostensibly to get help while the driver looked for rocks to stop the vehicle rolling down the hill. Passengers were very unimpressed. They became very angry and started asking for their money back – "ask the conductor" the driver said - we were in the middle of nowhere. A flashy land cruiser drove past and a realised I needed to get my rucsac off the roof before I could even dream of catching a lift. A young chap called Stephen helped me, my bag was at the bottom of the pile, under several ropes and tarpaulins and a lot of other people’s luggage including a bicycle! At least the other passengers were grateful to have their luggage off loaded. I retrieved some of my fare off the driver and we started walking. Soon Stephen found a bicycle taxi and agreed a fair price to the next town where I would be sure to get a lift.
The cyclist had considerable difficulty starting off, understandably given the sandy road and the weight of me and my rucsac. We found that him starting without me, and then me running and jumping on was the best way - although in the midday heat running with my luggage was getting more difficult each time. The bicycle soon left the motor road and we took a broad path through open small holdings and scrub ground - all the time going gently down hill - back towards the lake. It was rather beautiful but unfortunately, as you’ll appreciate, difficult to photograph.
We got to Chato about 30 minutes later and I gave cyclist the change the driver had given me. I found a café in the shade and ordered a cold drink. I hadn’t finished before a minibus arrived going in my direction. I hurriedly paid and dashed over - only to discover it was the same minibus I’d been on earlier - now fixed and unfortunately looking for passengers once again. I got on board and soon I was at Bwanga junction.
Tanzania - Bwanga Junction