Monday, March 2, 2009

Did we just panda that mlima?! A week in Iringa

See the cross? Think we make it all the way up there?
...Might as well try.
Not only was there a cross, but an entire church was waiting for us at the end of our no-set-path-because-there-is-no-path hike.
Then the rains came.
At least we have shelter... fuck, stone shingles. They block the sun- the DO NOT keep out the rain.

We rented bikes:
My knees came above the handles bars each time I peddled and surely the seat was filled with rocks. Damn my butt hurts.
Rain. Again. One and a half hours of biking through the most beautiful place I've ever had a bike and a droplet hit my cheek. First we took shelter at a road side stand- ordered black current juice (sugar water) and waited. When it seemed safe, we decided to forge ahead (Isimila Stone Age Site was our destination). Ten minutes passed, I shifted forward and backward on the seat- no relief.
Seriously? Rain, again?
Quick! There's a cemetery, let's hide under the trees.
Woah, this really isn't lightening up.
"Karibu ndani"
We turned around and saw two young brothers motioning us out from under the tree. One took Samuel's bike and we followed them down a dirt path (that was quickly becoming a mud stream) to their home. A girl named Lilian greeted us- she looked no older than 20.
Lilian, Samuel, and I sat quietly in the living room. None of us having the same first language.
For over an hour Samuel and I looked around at the wall hangings and tried our best to decipher the meanings:
"Don't like it like a poor person"
That doesn't make sense...
More silence.
Our pants were damp, our bags were soaked.
The clouds still looked menacing but the thunder had mostly subsided. Back to the bikes.
We never made it to Isimila- maybe another day.

The trek back:
A peep of a horn would honk and moments later a huge bus would whip by within a couple of feet of our bikes, each spraying us with muddy rain water mixed with exhaust.
An opening in the clouds allowed for sun rays to illuminate individual regions on the mountain sides. With my eyes glued to one of these sun spots to my right, my bike drifted nearly running Samuel off the road.

Ah the sunflowers made the wet workout worth it. The mountains made it worth it. Lilian made it worth it.


  1. So there IS another cool Lillian out there somewhere? huh. weird.

  2. haha yes there is indeed, and she flashes me all the damn time. too bad i never have minutes either! haha... i'll get in touch with her the next time i'm in the southern highlands though

    (she's cool, but not as cool as you!)