On Sunday I wanted to go to TPC club, which is about 20km south of Moshi. It has a swimming pool, wifi, golf, tennis, bike hire, accommodation and is supposed to have an amazing brunch. Collins told me to get on the Soweto to town Dala Dala and get off at the end of route. I had been on the Dala Dala around 15/20 mins and I felt We were turning towards Soweto… The conduct looks confused too and asked me where I wanted to go. He laughed and said I should stay on. I had got on a Dala Dala which did a loop rather than a straight line route.
After arriving back at the start of my journey, I got off in the right place this time and made a short walk to the next Dala Dala. There was a stark difference in this part of town. No tourist shops or hotels. I got on a rammed Dala Dala for a longer journey to TPC. TPC is a HUGE sugar cane factory and there are miles of lush green agriculture for miles around it.
When I arrived at TPC club there was a lot of building work going on. I asked where to go to the pool and I was directed down a small path, behind a building and found a small pool in a garden. Nobody was there so I found some people working in a kitchen and asked if I could use the pool and where a toilet was. I was told to wait and 2 minutes later somebody appeared with a key. We went inside what looked like a dining room, and then down a corridor. He tried several doors before finding the right one and let me in to an en-suite bedroom… I then realised I was in one of their accommodation buildings and I asked to see the manager to check that I can be there.
It is run by a South African couple and I was taken to their office. They are currently renovating the club so there is no pool, wifi or brunch (the reasons I went there) available. But they kindly offered that I could use the pool and wouldn’t take any money off me! Result. I spent many hours just doing very little by the poolside and on a sun lounger.
I left around 4 and went to the main road to wait for a Dala Dala with a few other people. By 5 one Dala Dala came past but it was so full none of us could get in. I spoke to a friendly guy, he wanted my number and I managed to say no politely as I could; It’s difficult to tell if people are being friendly or just see you as a way to get money and things. I was really hungry so I went to find a shop to buy some mandazi. Amazingly there were no little shops close but somebody was selling chips. So I got chips mayi (a chip omlette) to takeaway. I was brought my food on a plate and reminded him I wanted it to takeaway. He brought back my chip omelette in a little black carrier bag…
Another guy started speaking to me when I was waiting at the road. He explained it could be difficult to get back to town now, as it was after 5:30 on a Sunday. He then stopped a Fuso (Mitsubishi) truck and told me to jump on top… With little other options I jumped on the top. The front had so many people in, and there were others with their backs to the windscreen on top of those sitting down! There were 2 other guys on the back and lots of cement mix.
The view was incredible. Mt Meru to the left, Kili straight in front, lush green sugar cane all around and other mountains to the south. I was clinging on and tried to get some photos at the same time. I have never been stared at or been shouted at by so many people as riding on top of the truck. – My hair is quite blonde and long now though. We had to navigate large piles of gravel in the road. Somebody decided to start repairing the roads on a Sunday evening… Instead of putting the gravel on the side of the road, the gravel was placed in the middle so we had to go off-road. As we got into town another truck, laden with people, gained on us and our driver was determined not to be overtaken. I knew we had arrived when the ‘handbrakes’ were put on – some stones were found and placed under the tires.
I had to make about a 1km walk to get the Dala Dala home. I was tired but had a great day in real African style. I will really miss things like this when I got home.