Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Shkodra, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans, June 13-24!

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Beautiful scenery, and laptop problems!

Ruth turned on her laptop yesterday morning, and the screen was doing funny things. So she shut it down again and restarted it. Except this time, nothing happened. On closer inspection, you can hear the fan come on and off... but nothing happens on the screen. This laptop doesn't have an easily removable battery, other wise I would try taking out the battery and resetting things.

We have tried everything that we know how to do, but nothing changes. I'm afraid we won't be able to get it repaired until we make it to Europe. I'm sure there is somewhere in the big city of Dar es Salaam, but we weren't planning on being there until the end of our Tanzania trip anyhow.

We only bought this laptop in July 2019 in Australia. And it wasn't exactly cheap at the time. So to only get just over a year and a half out of it is frustrating to say the least.

With each of us having a laptop, it seems that every two years we are replacing one of them! I bought mine in July 2017...  just over 3 1/2 years old now, so I'm getting nervous about how much longer it's going to last!

Late morning, we set out to do some more exploring. This time, we headed towards a popular local spot overlooking the plains called Irente Viewpoint.

We finally got a bird to pose for us!

Scenery along the way.

We passed through the Irente Biodiversity Reserve.

The name "Irente" is applied to a lot of things in this area. There is also an Irente Farmhouse where they supposedly do a nice lunch so we decided to go check it out.

These dirt roads and paths are everywhere.


The Irente Farm was originally a coffee plantation started by the Germans prior to World War l. It went through several different owners and managers and has been owned by the Luthern Evangelical Church of Tanzania since the 1960's. They have a school for the blind, a children's home, and of course a church. The Farm also includes a backpackers style lodge, a shop, and tourist restaurant.

We asked about lunch, but it was fairly pricey at between 12,000-15,000 shillings per person and it didn't include much in the way of gluten free items so we decided to pass.

Welcome board at Irente Farm.

We did go into the shop though, and decided to buy some cheese. The locals don't eat cheese, so there is very little of it available. We bought 500 grams (just over a pound) for 12,000 shillings ($6.50 CAD, $5.20 USD).

Then we made our way to the viewpoint. When we got there, they have a little booth set up and are charging a 2,000 shilling ($1.10 CAD, $0.87 USD) fee per person to go towards the local village. Okay.

There are some beautiful views, but it was a bit hazy.
Someone had built another lodge of some kind up there.

Zoomed in.

Me, at the viewpoint.
Behind me, it is straight down!

Taking a break.

There is another lodge of some kind on the next hill.

Behind the viewpoint is the Irente Cliff View Lodge.
We walked through the lodge to exit.

And then we took a different route back to the town of Lushoto.

There are a lot of people and organizations offering guided hikes in this area, but so far we don't see the point of hiring a guide. Plus, they want too much money, and of course in $USD. All of the routes are free, and most of them show up on my app on the phone anyhow so it's easy to follow them.

Local houses.

Like in Mexico, everybody grows some corn.

Another local property.

These weaver birds make their nests with an opening in the bottom.

Even these paths are marked on my app.

Scenery along the way.

This is a local school.

It was that time of day, and most school children were just being dismissed. A lot of them say "hello" or "hi" to us in English, while others use the local term "jambo". 

Despite the fact that this area is normally fairly busy with off the beaten path tourists, we stand out like a sore thumb. And to be honest, since we have been in this area, we have seen maybe 8 or 10 other white people. But, everybody is very friendly and welcoming.

We finally made our way back to the town of Lushoto and we headed directly to that same restaurant near the bus station where we got a cheap filling meal.

This is what you get when you go to a non-tourist restaurant.
2,000 shillings (($1.10 CAD, $0.87 USD) per plate.

Back at our house, I figured out that we had walked 12.5 kms (7.8 miles). It was still a beautiful day, so we got a beer and a glass of wine and sat outside in the garden.

Enjoying a late afternoon beer and wine.

7" Santoku Chef's Knife. Take 50% off at checkout using coupon code PGQW3J3H

And in Canada...


  1. Hi folks,still following & enjoying the stunning journey.I too went through frustrations with windows type computers- finally went Mac air which lasted 7 or 8 years both Caribbean boat then rv’s- certainly pricey but lasted also wasn’t hacked FYI.All the best,be we & safe.

    1. Nice to hear that you are still following along on our crazy adventure! :-)

      Kevin had an HP laptop that lasted for years and this really is the first time that we have had a computer that hasn't very long, and it is possible that it is something simple but there really is nowhere here that we could take the computer to have it looked at.

      We just cannot bring ourselves to buy an Apple product. We have also never had a computer hacked ever!

  2. Oh my, that’s right up your alley - exploring all those paths - beautiful scenery! Loving this!!!❤️

    1. It sure is, we will have no problem spending our time here wandering around on all these backroads and paths. The scenery really is so beautiful along with the birds and the flowers. :-)

  3. Sorry to hear about the laptop. Hope your second one stays strong. Love the pictures and the beautiful countryside and vistas.

    1. Thank you Randy and Pam, we hope the same. It is really frustrating because my computer never gave an indication that anything was wrong, it was working perfectly the evening before, however it did do and update and I wondered if that had anything to do with it or if it was just a coincidence.

      The countryside around here is truly beautiful to see, we are going to enjoy all the hiking that we will do in the area over the next couple of weeks. :-)

  4. If you wanted to give a few more details about the type of laptop and issues, maybe someone here can troubleshoot. My 22 yo ds is very knowledgeable - mostly about Appke, but it may be worth a shot. Btw, the $1.10 lunch looked good.

    1. It is an HP laptop 14" Notebook Model No. 4483229 with Windows 10 operating system. I really doubt though that there is anything anyone can do because you can't access the system in anyway.

      For $1.10 the meal was great and it filled our stomachs. :-)

  5. Loving your adventures and photos. My Lenovo laptop does the same, sometimes I can get the screen to start and log in, other times nothing although I can hear the fan. I just keep ion trying, on and off, click, click sometimes for hours. Then it starts, clearly a loose something but no one could fix. I don’t turn it off at night or close the lid and it stays ok for a few days. For now I’m limping on resistant to buying a new one. I have heard it is a Lenovo issue. Maybe just keep trying when you have nothing better to do at least until you make it to Europe.

    1. I can't even get my computer to open up. I am not sure that the problem isn't with the monitor because it doesn't even start up/open so there is nothing that I can do at all, and pressing buttons doesn't do a bit of good.

      I try several times a day to start it up but nothing appears on the screen, we have shaken it, hit it a few times in different places hoping that maybe there is a loose connection somewhere but none of it does any good. I will just have to wait until we get to Europe to get it looked at unless somehow miraculously it starts up between now and then.

  6. I love the pictures and commentary. Traveling vicariously is certainly eye opening. Tanzania looks so different from what I envisioned. Thank you for taking me along on your journey.

    1. We are happy to hear that you are enjoying our pictures and posts and traveling vicariously through us.

      It probably looks so different from what you envisioned because you have most likely seen only the touristy types of places and of course all the safaris and what we are showing is more the local life and the very off the beaten path types of places that aren't really on the radar for the normal type of traveler. Hopefully we will be able to show you more of Tanzania and what it has to offer. :-)

  7. Absolutely gorgeous scenery and perfect for hiking. Beautiful bird photos too! So sorry to hear about Ruth's laptop. I had one die in the last year after acting funny for awhile with random crashes in Mexico. Finally took it to the PC doctor in the US on a trip back and was told it was the motherboard, so it was time for a new one. They don't last nearly as long in humid, non-air-conditioned environments. I wish I could remember how long I'd had it, but it wasn't more than three years, I don't think.

    1. The scenery here really is beautiful and it is just the type of scenery we love with ample places to go hiking.

      There are quite a few different birds and butterflies but trying to get a photo of them isn't always easy but we will keep trying.

      We honestly have never had problems with our computers due to heat or humidity as we aren't normally in that kind of environment and really it isn't all that hot and humid here, certainly not enough to cause a issue after such a short time being here.

  8. Give Ruth's laptop a gentle but firm mexicanada. Open palm, slap softly. Something is loose.

    1. We have already tried that a few times and a few different ways but no luck! :-(

  9. Nice to take a break, and beer and wine will do it. Food looks interesting! How was it? You 2 keep exploring! Take care, Rawn

    1. It is nice to take a break and the gardens on the property are beautiful so it is definitely an enjoyable spot to hang out.

      They fill up a lot here on carbs, that is why there is a mountain of rice. The beef is very tasty and tender, just not a lot of if but for the price we can't complain. :-)

  10. The birds and flowers are so colorful! All that rain makes for all that gorgeous lush vegetation. So lovely!


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