Jamie, Annie, Amber and I were heading to the Majimoto hot springs today. We had a taxi pick us up at 10 from the house. The drive should have taken us just under an hour but it took us over an hour and a half. Instead of heading north-west along the highway, we headed south into Moshi and then along back roads to get to the springs. We saw lots of very different terrain in a short space of time. From Moshi, to a lush green sugar cane plantation, green agriculture to the dry arid rural landscape. We also saw a bicycle with about three meters of wood on the back and a live pig in a small wooden create about to be loaded onto the back of a motorbike.
The driver had to ask for directions twice on the way… When asking for directions a second time the back door was opened by an older man and he told us to all move up. He said he was a guide and would tell us where to go. We certainly needed it as there was not a road but just gaps in the bushes. We finally made it, even though at times through soft sand and river ditches I didn’t think and automatic two-wheel drive would.
Jamie was a little shocked as she was expecting an indoor spa! The springs weren’t really hot, but they were still a really nice temperature. The water was crystal clear surrounded by greenery in the middle a desert like landscape. Interestingly the spring had a current from where the water entered it, this meant you could stand still, but there were ledges and branches in the water you could grab or sit on.
There were a lot of local boys there, swinging on a homemade swing. To get the swing back they would use a really long stick to grab it for us to use. They were crazy and would jump from about 6 meters – the water was only 2 or 3 meters deep at best… We all had great fun also using the swing. Amber and I both had underwater cameras and because the water was so clear it was a great place to use them.
There was a table selling beer and snacks by the spring. We grabbed a few beers and sat in the water – Amber and I tried a new beer called kick; it was a 7% larger. On a shallow ledge where we sat, small fish would eat our feet. Sometimes we would have over 10 on each feet. It was a strange feeling but was quite nice once you got used to it.
We stayed for nearly 5 hours. I had a brilliant time and was one of the best things I’ve done since being here. It felt like I had just been on a run as swimming against the current felt like a good workout. With the help of some of the local boys, I asked the driver to take the high way back; took us just under and hour. The trip was great value as we paid 80,000ts for the taxi and 5,000ts each for the community at the pool (£10/$15 ). I would definitely like to return to the springs.
I ran back into the house and changed for frisbee practise. I got the same Boda Boda driver I have had a few times. I mistakenly told him I was late… I have never driven at more than 60kph before but we drove at 80kph all the way. Taking different lines on the roads that we normally use and making maneuvers such as cutting across traffic to go over the speed bump on the wrong side of the road. I got there ok and managed to ask the driver to go right next to the pitches. It was another good session and we played until it was dark. I didn’t get a lift back from Frank, instead I called the taxi driver I use, Omario. He ran on African time, but did get to me. We stopped at Highway before heading to SWIWSCO.
Majimoto (Swahili translation for hot water) springs were brilliant. It was like a desert oasis and I loved using my camera to take some pictures underwater.