Monday, June 10, 2013

Into the Countryside

Today, we drove toward Lake Eyasi, as I wanted the chance to visit 2 more groups of people who live in this area. They are the Hadzabe, who are one of the only tribes of bushmen living today in Africa, and the Datoga people who are metalworkers.

As always in Tanzania, it takes a long way to get anywhere. This is because of the roads. There is only 1 paved road going in each direction, and once you get off this, you are traveling on dirt and rocks. There are almost no level roads to go anywhere. They are extremely bumpy, and very dusty, and it takes a long time to travel, as you can' t go very fast. I always feel sorry for the many people who are walking on the roads who get the cloud of dust in their faces for every vehicle which passes. There is a layer of dust on all nearby plants or homes also.

I love to see the variety of different homes along the various roads we have traveled. Most are very small, but are made in different shapes, from different materials, and constructed differently. Most have no electricity or running water. You often see people or donkeys or bicycles carrying jugs to go get the water. Some towns are getting modern conveniences, mostly because of the tourist trade.

Today we passed into farm country. We passed many millet and bean farms. When we got closer to the Eyasi area, there were large onion farms. It was fun to wave at all of the children as we passed by. They hope that you will stop to give them pipi (candy) or money, but I just waved. The environment in this area was much different from either Tarangire or Manyara. I did not see any animals, but was told there are some smaller ones around.

We arrived at Tindiga Camp, another tented camp similar to Whistling Thorn in the setup, but set in the middle of onion farms and filled with cacti. This area is very dry. We went down to Lake Eyasi to view the nice sunset, and watched fishermen. It was extremely windy. This lake is also saltwater, and what looks like a sandy beach is actually made of salt crystals. Early to bed tonight, as we need to be gone by 5:30 in the morning to meet the tribes.

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