Sunset at the RV dealer here in Dulmen, Germany.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Dulmen, Germany.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Winterswijk, Netherlands.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

We got caught... but we still had a good day!

We tried to get an earlier start on Wednesday and managed to get out of the house by about 9:30am. The real heat of the day seems to peak at about 2:00pm, so we were trying to get home before then. 

We were headed towards another trail that I had found on my maps.me app and it had mentioned both a cave and a viewpoint. Uphill every step of the way, but it was a fairly gradual incline until right at the end when there was a short steep section.

The day was starting out beautifully... sunny, not that hazy, and calling for an afternoon high of 27C (81F).

We are headed up there.

It sure is a beautiful area.


Lots of these wldflowers.

This guy has a nice view.

The path ended up at a private property, but my map showed the trail going right through the property. A guy going the opposite way asked where we going, so I showed him. He said he was a "ranger" and led us through the private property to the other side where the trail continued. He got us to a point where he then said we should have no problem following the trail.

We ended up entering the Magamba Nature Forest Reserve.

I had read about the Magamba Forest when doing my research of the area. I had also read of the ridiculous entry fees for foreigners, similar to the Tanzanian National Parks. So we never planned on visiting. But here we were, 3/4 of the way to where we had planned on going. So we continued on, and would just play it by ear.

Scenery along the way.

Eventually, we came to this sign...

Entrance fees to the reserve.

To give you an idea of the ridiculous discrepancy in fees, locals pay 2,000 shillings ($1.10 CAD, $0.86 USD) to enter for the day.

Visitors pay $10 USD ($12.75 CAD, 23,000 shillings)... more than ten times as much as locals.

I don't like being taken advantage of as a visitor, but of course it is our choice as to whether or not we enter the park. And we chose to enter.

There was the sign... but there was no entrance booth, or anybody around at all... just the sign. We figured we would carry on to the top, and we simply assumed that there would be nobody around there either. After all, there aren't many tourists in town, and we just figured we would be the only ones there.

But we were wrong.

Me, in the forest.

Ruth, heading higher.

We made it to the top, and there was a guy there (no uniform or anything) who congratulated us on making it to the top. His English was quite good. We made some small talk, and no mention was made about paying. It turns out that he is a park ranger.

Then I saw this sign...

"Fine applies when found in the reserve missing government receipts"

Hmm.

So I asked the guy what happens when someone doesn't have the money to pay the fee.

"Well, that's a challenge" he says. "It's funny, but we have found that when we bring someone to the police station, they end up paying the fine as well as the fee. So most people just tend to find a way to pay the fee".

Needless to say, we ended up forking over $20 USD. I thought it was funny that he had a cellular wireless credit card machine up there!

Beautiful views from the top!


On our way down the other side.

Looking back at the shelter at the top.

Next stop was the cave. Not much of a cave... it's simply a tunnel that was dug by some Germans around World War l...

Ruth, venturing inside.

Not much to see other than a few bats!

This butterfly was really pretty, but it wouldn't open it's wings for us!

Things sure are green!


We just love the scenery around here!

Enjoying the view.

We made it back to town at around 1:30pm, and had done 12 kms (7.5 miles).

We needed some food.

While we are enjoying the scenery, we are not so much enjoying the food. This is definitely not Mexico in that regard!

Here's the thing... if you want to eat like you do back home, it will be very expensive, and that's if you can find the food you want to begin with. Here in Lushoto, we have only been able to find very tough beef, or very skinny chicken. Many people are Muslim, and pork doesn't appear to be a thing here. You can buy some whole fish if you want to prepare it. There is bread, but of course nothing gluten free. And while we were able to find cassava flour in Arusha, we can't find any here. The only things in ready supply that we like are eggs, and fruits and veggies. Watermelon and mangos are the cheapest. Apples are imported from South Africa, so they are expensive. It's even difficult to buy snacks! Haven't been able to find any decent peanuts yet.

There are a few restaurants around, and we've been trying them with varying amounts of success. The local one by the bus station that gives you a big plate of basic food for 2,000 shillings has actually been one of the best, if you can put up with the flies.

Yesterday for lunch we tried another one. We each ordered the curry... I ordered the beef, and Ruth ordered the chicken.

Beef curry with rice and spinach.

Chicken curry with rice and spinach.

The chicken in Ruth's curry was all still on the bone, so she had to sort through it to get to the meat. My beef was chewable, but just barely. Fortunately, the sauce itself was delicious, and we walked away with full stomachs for a total including tip of 18,000 shillings ($9.80 CAD, $7.80 USD) for the two of us and we each had a soft drink.

We are surviving, but it's not ideal. Tanzania is certainly an interesting country to visit and overall we are enjoying ourselves, but we've already decided that it's not a country we would return to. 

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17 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I believe it is some type of lily but not sure that it is a daylily unless it is some type of variant to a daylily. These ones are much smaller than a normal daylily and the leaves are totally different, even the way they grow is different. I will try to do a better search to see if I can find out what type it is exactly.

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    2. I grew up in Tanzania and we called this flower a Rain Lily. Although the flower is similar to a day lily the plant looks different.

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    3. Thank you, that is definitely what it is! I knew that it wasn't a daylily but I couldn't find out what type of lily it was. :-)

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  2. At least you are still able to enjoy exploring in the warm sunlight. Funny how you find modern technology on a mountain top.
    Ontario is very white at the moment.
    Be Safe and Enjoy the freedom.

    It's about time.

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    Replies
    1. We sure are but the weather is going to start getting wet again by Sunday! :-(

      It is pretty funny that they can have a credit card machine at the top of the hill in the middle of nowhere, that works off the cellular network.

      Yes, we have been following the weather in Ontario and we are quite happy to be here at the moment!

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  3. The scenery is amazing. I am not against parks charging much higher fees for tourists because they are expensive to maintain. Locals should have the benefits of using their parks cheaply. It is the same in SA.. here in Maui they are charging $10 to park at some beaches and parks but free for locals. Enjoy

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    1. The scenery is beautiful here and we are really enjoying it!

      We aren't against it either but having the price difference more than 10 times that of the locals it just taking advantage of the tourist! In Namibia they also had a higher price for non-citizens but it was only double the price which we think is more inline. We have read numerous times that visitors come to see Tanzania and do their safari, climb and/or Zanibar and then never return for a second visit and many times it is because of the price discrepancy! This too would be one of the major reasons that we would not return also for a second visit.

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  4. Yep, agree with Dewit's Travels that charging a higher fees for tourists is great and locals to enjoy their parks cheaply. Over use because it's an attraction takes money to repair trails and such. We have several areas in Arizona that require high maintenance parks/trails/camping.

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    Replies
    1. As I said in my reply to Dewit's Travels, we don't have a problem with charging more for non-citizens but not 10 times more! So we are just not going to play their game and will avoid going to the parks. We can find enough other stuff in the area to keep us busy and we most likely will not return to the country for a second visit mostly because of this discrepancy!

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  5. Stunning scenery! I wouldn't enjoy a country where I didn't like the food all that much, though; food is such a huge part of the experience.

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    1. The scenery really is beautiful and we are enjoying all the hiking in the area.

      The restaurant food really hasn't been too bad but trying to cook for ourselves, especially in this small town/village has not been easy. It is hard to buy even some of the simplest foods that I need to do a half decent job of making a meal. The meat has definitely been the biggest issue here so we have taken to eating our main meal out at a restaurant each day and then I cook breakfast and a lighter meal for dinner.

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  6. It's better not to go to jail! I'm sure you 2 knew that! I was a Deputy Sheriff for 23 years. And before that I was a Paramedic for 7 years.
    I'm curious how much does Apple cost? You 2 take care, Rawn

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    Replies
    1. Lol, definitely!

      About 85 cents for one, which by Canadian or American standards that price isn't too bad but by African standards, that is expensive. Bananas, pineapples, watermelons, mangos and papayas are much cheaper!

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  7. Beautiful scenery. We went to a hole in the wall Chinese food place. Food was good, but I'd never go back. It felt yucky, lol. It needs major updating. Small town BC. I'd better get used to it though because I'm sure we will walk into more of these places once we start travelling

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    Replies
    1. Yep, the scenery around this area is definitely beautiful! It is hard to tire of it. :-)

      Some of our best meals have been in little hole-in-the-wall places. We keep saying "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger!"

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