Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 2014, Sumbawanga – Kisi: Let The Adventure Begin

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on May - 15 - 2016

Distance: 115.2 km
Ride time: 7:11:11
Average: 16.0 km/h
Max speed: 55.1 km/h
Total: 48974 km

I had been looking forward to hit the dirt roads of Tanzania – with a certain amount of anxiety mixed in. The ride from Sumbawanga to Kigoma is supposed to be very rough and very remote. Before leaving town I stocked up on food and water – something I haven’t been needing to carry much of for a long time.

The road certainly got very rough as the tarmac ended. The first couple of kilometers I was paying attention to the new spoke. Luckily everything seemed to hold up fine, and I was sending good thoughts to the bike mechanic in Sumbawanga.

I had only been riding for half an hour when I car stopped. Peter and his friends from South Africa and Spain jumped out to say hi. It turned out that Peter (on the right) was from Denmark and bought a bike in Nairobi to ride down to Cape Town! Peter had decided to hitch a ride through this remote part of Tanzania – making him the 3rd cyclist I have met who skipped it. I wonder how I will fare… At any rate, quite a chance meeting out here in the middle of nowhere!

Back on the dirt I was enjoying myself. Progress was obviously not as fast as on the tarmac, but after all this is not a race. Instead it was a great experience cycling through the local villages, getting a chance to see how life is lived out here. As usual, when you imagine something you often over-react; there is usually a lot less to feel anxious about. But then again, today we got no rain 🙂

I was cycling through the village of Kisa as the sun was setting. Looking around I realized there was no guesthouse in town, and the usual invitation to stay didn’t materialize after talking to a few of the locals – I think mostly because communication in English is a challenge. Speaking Swahili would be helpful.

Instead I was cycling a kilometer out of town to put up my tent.

Categories: Tanzania
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7 Responses so far.

  1. José Nunes says:

    Hi Thomas

    wapi naweza kupata mahali pa kulala

    This is what google translate says in Swahile.

    The google app is handy for these ocasions.

    Doesn’t that work?

    73 José CT1BOH

  2. Those dirt roads don’t look all that bad, to be honest! They certainly set a different tone. Feels more rural, even though the tarmac roads were also rural. 🙂

  3. Scott KA9FOX says:

    Thomas, one thing that I just cannot understand is how the animals leave you alone at night. You have a lot of food in your tent, too. Aren’t you afraid of the wild animals?

  4. Hi José! Hehe, I didn’t even notice that Google Translate has Swahili. Might come in handy, but what would I do when they respond? 😉 Greetings from Nairobi!

  5. Hi Stephen! The dirt roads are fine and a joy to ride as long as it doesn’t rain 🙂

  6. Hi Scott!

    Well, the wild lions are only in certain National Parks… outside the parks there is really nothing to be afraid of. Maybe a few dogs roaming around, but nothing bad. An issue for camping would be bears but that’s mostly a problem over at your side of the Atlantic 🙂 Have a great time at Dayton and say hi to everyone there!


  7. Scott KA9FOX says:

    Thomas, you are teaching me many things about Africa, through your blog entries. Thank you!