After spending the night at the st Vincent’s diocese mission we had an early breakfast and headed south west towards the Tanzanian boarder. On the road the villagers are out working and trading at 7am. It is a very aggressive business community. We stop to watch soap stone carving before the boarder.
The boarder crossing into Tanzania was an experience to say the least. We had to disembark from our “super you beaut” vehicle and walk into what was effectively no mans land. The Kenyan immigration office was a simple event, the Tanzanian office was a different kettle of fish. Line up with your passport, immigration card and fifty bucks ($100 for Americans) and then have to interpret hand signals to get across the boarder.
We arrived at Lake Victoria to stand on the shores of this majestic and dangerous lake. This lake is not for the faint-hearted. If you didn’t grow up around it you will never swim in it. The water has a parasitic decease in it called Bilharzia. Bilharzia (Schistosomiasis) is a type of infection caused by parasites that live in fresh water, such as rivers or lakes and in subtropical and tropical regions worldwide. I won’t go into detail about the effects as you’ll possibly throw up. Do your own research if you are so inclined.
The local people fish the lake for all sorts of produce, however for fifteen days every month they are legally allowed to fish and net for sardines. These tiny little fish stacked on tarpaulins in piles drying in the sun all day are then raked into nylon sacks and placed on trucks for transport to Uganda, Kenya and the Congo overnight.
This was just part of the local culture we took in on our two hour bicycle ride around the town. This was an event entirely unto itself with the bikes falling apart for some of our team and there were a couple tumbles due to the roads being bumpy, dusty tracks more than thoroughfares for public use.
We then headed to a local church/community centre to watch the locals practicing dancing for church on Sunday and the kids came put in droves to see the Muzoongu (foreigners) that had come to town. Whilst cycling to the church the kids ran beside our bikes and held our hands, excited and yelling loudly.
Riding was a great way to loosen up our bodies and do something a little more physical than sit on a bus seat for hours. We made our way back to the campground without to much difficulty after the massive culture shock of riding the streets. Dusty red dirt encases every inch of your being, it is truly a dust bowl.
We arrived back at the campground by the lake just in time to see one of the first of many amazing sunsets. Insect repellant is required as the mosquito’s are in plaque proportions and malaria is definitely on the menu.