Polar bear at the Toronto Zoo, Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Reuniting with Max in Germany on October 1st.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

February Expenses

Well, February was another expensive month, but we knew that it would be. And, it's all related to our Kilimanjaro climb at the beginning of the month. Otherwise, it was actually not bad!

Ruth's "bucket list item" has now been completed, and until we go see the polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba (one of my bucket list items) we are done with that kind of extravagant discretionary spending. 

Beautiful views in all directions

Before we get into our beautiful hike yesterday, we need to tell you some good news!

I had mentioned a few days ago that Ruth's laptop wouldn't start up. Other than hearing the fan run, there was no screen, no nothing. She's been trying to start it up every couple of days just in the hopes that something might happen, but with no luck. 

Until yesterday morning.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

A guy died on Kilimanjaro this week

Just happened to notice this come up in my news feed. 

A bit of an odd story. This guy was a fairly famous adventurer in his home country of Poland. He kayaked across the Atlantic Ocean three different times, the last one when he was 71 years old.

So now, here he was at 74 years old climbing Kilimanjaro. 

Friday, February 26, 2021

Getting our new motorhome ready

Of course we have resigned ourselves to the fact that we won't actually get to use our new motorhome for another couple of months (or more!), but that doesn't mean there aren't things going on in the background getting it ready for us.

While it's been sitting on the lot in Germany waiting for us since it arrived there in late November, we are now close enough to being able to use it that we don't want to leave things to the last minute. So we have authorized the dealership to go ahead with getting it ready for us.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

The children are hilarious

Wednesday morning, we set out towards another viewpoint. The rain they had been calling for was now just clouds with the odd sunny break. Not the best conditions to go to an overlook, but we needed some exercise!

It's so easy to walk in this area. The dirt roads hardly have any vehicles on them, and when there is a vehicle, it's a motorcycle. Motorcycles are used as basic public transportation in Tanzania... you just hop on the back, and the driver takes you where ever you want to go.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Organizing our next stop

While we've thoroughly enjoyed the scenery and the hiking here in Lushoto area, two weeks is enough.

Our accommodation had been overall good, although a bit quirky. It's a very old house, and it needs a lot of work. There are quite a few critters living in the house along with us! And the "staff", while very friendly and helpful when we have questions, don't really seem to actually do very much. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Usambara Mountains - Do you need a guide?

We normally like to travel and explore on our own. But that's just us, and we realize that it seems like many (most?) people prefer to hire a guide. Here in Tanzania, it is definitely more common for visitors to hire a guide where ever they go. 

When I was doing research regarding hiking in the Usambara Mountains area where we are right now, most references were regarding guided trips. And sure, if you're going to do 3 to 5 day excursions, then it's probably best to have someone organize it for you.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Official change of plans

In December, we had booked our flight out of Tanzania for March 21st, with a destination of Dusseldorf, Germany. We had some faint hope of possibly being able to pick up our new motorhome at that time. Now, with only four weeks to go before our scheduled flight, we highly doubt that the entrance restrictions to Germany will be lifted by that time.

Our flight with KLM was fully flexible, with no change fees. So the only extra would be whatever the fare difference was to fly somewhere else. 

Sunday, February 21, 2021

We got a little wet, but it's only water

We've had a good first week of weather since we arrived here in Lushoto on February 13th. Unfortunately, the second week isn't looking quite so good.

We had done a reasonable 12 km walk on Friday, and we would have taken Saturday as an off day, but with them calling for some rain on Sunday, and in fact every day for the next week, we figured we had better get out and do another decent walk before getting shut in due to rain.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Every time we turn a corner there is another beautiful view

"Do you know that you live in one of the most beautiful places in the world?"

That's the question I want to ask some of the people we bump into. Maybe they do know... for the most part, they are all smiling and happy!

The other day we met a young couple from Finland. He said they had been pretty much all over Tanzania, but they returned to Lushoto because it's the best place they found.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Both of our meals were delicious!

We've been scheduling our activities here so that every second day we go for a nice hike. The off days, we still get out, but just for a wander around town and to find something to eat.

We tried a new restaurant yesterday, and it's the best one yet. There are two other ones in town that get good reviews, but from what I've read they are both western style restaurants and with western style prices. One is actually a pizza joint... Momma Mia's! And it definitely caters to the visitors... most locals wouldn't be able to afford the place.

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.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

If you are going to travel during these times

I've said it before... if you are going to travel during these times, you need to be flexible. Fortunately, we are totally flexible!

We have tickets to fly from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania through Amsterdam to Dusseldorf, Germany on March 21st. The plan when we booked them back in December was to pick up our new motorhome towards the end of March.

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.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Our first walk around the area. There is lots to see!

Our accommodation here had advertised free WiFi, but it turns out that's not entirely true. Yes, there is a WiFi signal in the house, but it's coming from a cellular router. Because there is no telephone line infrastructure, everything is done via cellular, including household internet. So our internet here is limited by the size of the bundle purchased. 

It's relatively cheap though, and I did offer to contribute to a larger package that will last us for our time here. So we should have no problem staying in touch with you.