Day 310 and 311, Friday / Saturday 09/10 November 2012 – Snake Park, Arusha, Tanzania
I had been looking forward to this day for a wee while. It was the day when everyone on the tour but me left for an overnight trip to the Serengeti. I had elected to not take the trip for a number of reasons, one of which was the cost, almost 600 NZD to stay in a tent overnight in the national park. Yes, I could afford it – sort of, and if I had a job to go to I probably would had done it. However two days of relaxing almost on my own was something I was really looking forward to. I have been used to being solo for so much of 2012. Forty one days of sharing my space with a group was draining me and I was starting to get a bit tetchy – and I was not the only one. Myself and the rest of the curmudgeon club were starting to get restless.
It was another restless night, very noisy again and it rained briefly but heavily around 2:30 am, fortunately Leonie heard it before me and got up to close the rain flaps on the tent while I stayed dry in my sleeping bag – yes it has been sleeping bag weather. I was really surprised that I have been using my sleeping bag so much, I am very glad I bought it.
It is the last full day with the truck for most people so Ebron cooked up bacon and eggs for breakfast. I was planning on not eating as I so badly over indulged the night before, but meh – bacon and eggs, they have to be eaten 🙂
Everyone was packed and off on the new adventure for 8:30
I helped clean up the site and pack the truck for our planned departure at 10:00. However, the truck battery was dead flat so it was another two hours of hanging around Kudu camp waiting for the battery to charge enough to start the truck. The battery final had enough charge just as the kettle boiled.
We were finally on the way back to Arusha and Snake Park just before 1:00. I rode up in the cab with Will and Ebron and I very much enjoyed the journey. Sitting up front does give you a whole new perspective on the roads and how to drive them – I got to experience first hand what all the honking was for. We arrived in Snake Park at 3:00 and had couple of their delicious home made burgers for lunch. I put up my tent and spent the rest of the day doing very little. With only having one mattress in the tent it was not configured normally – so the first time I went into it after setting it up I stood on my new Riy Don sun glasses and broke the arm off them. Damnit, The last pair lasted two years, this pair has lasted three days, lucky they were cheap.
I had a beer in the bar with Will and then went and watched a movie – Machete in the truck and then went to bed early, didn’t feel like eating after that late lunch and a night off was a good idea. Sadly the rest of the camp ground did not subscribe to that at all and made noise all night.
So I was a little grumpy when I woke on Saturday morning, the last full day of the tour. I had breakfast with Will and Ebron and they spent the rest of the day working on their part of the truck.
I mooched around for a bit, walked around and saw the snakes in their glass enclosures. Even behind glass they scare me !
I still had some data left on the plan I bought from Vodafone NZ so had a play and set my phone up as a wifi hotspot and managed to connect to the internet, reception was hopeless sadly so I didn’t get to post any blog entries but I did get a whole lot written. Once everyone had left the campsite I enjoyed a few hours of peace and quiet, with only my tent in sight.
The others all arrived back in camp a couple of hours earlier than expected and just before the rain set in. There was a quick rush to get all their tents up before the rain came down. We have been so lucky with the weather, this was really only the third shower we have had and the first one that eventually turned into quite a bit of rain.
Soon after they arrived back we cracked a cask of red wine and had a couple of pre-dinner drinks. It was our final meal together, a large spread catered by Snake Park. Post dinner turned into a bit of a drunken mess, most of us stayed up way past our bedtimes, spending the remains of the Tanzanian money in the Snake Park bar. I was wise and stuck to whisky and coke, no mixing drinks this time, except for the few rounds of Jagermeister shots that appeared throughout the evening. Even Bill and Dave, my fellow curmudgeons were up past their bedtimes. It was a good night and a nice way to end the tour.