Day 42 – My Beloved Bicycle

In my dreams my beloved bicycle has been alone for a week. I had my alarm set for 6am this morning due to my early departure from Dar back to Iringa but my body was already on top of it as my eyes automatically opened not long after 5am, a few minutes of struggling to go back to sleep followed before I decided to instead slowly assemble my belongings and ready myself for another long day spent in a bus. I realised my dream was real. I was pretty excited to be getting back to my beloved bike though and told myself that I wouldn’t leave the poor girl for this long ever again. She must be angry at me for leaving without a definite time or date of my return?  Sorry sweetheart I’ll not do it again!

The Bus Back to Iringa

It must have rained during the night because it was rather wet out today, the dusty track that I had walked down yesterday in an attempt to find the entrance of the MIC hotel had now turned into a muddy and puddly mess. I tried my best to avoid the worst of it but I have a talent for not staying clean for long and by the time I reached the asphalt I had a good splattering on my shoes and trousers.  The road wasn’t much better and the bus station itself was worse but I was just happy that I found the ‘Sutco’ bus and took a seat before the next heavy downpour arrived. It seems that today was the perfect time to be heading back to Iringa.

Universal Serial Bus

I waited for only 15-20 minutes until the bus fired up and we were on our way at a surprisingly punctual 8am.  This bus seemed a slight upgrade from the one that I had arrived in as there were fake leather seats rather than the cloth finish I was used to, and as a bonus a USB port in the back of each of them that was switched on and working, Holy Fucking Jesus I can’t believe it! I plugged in my iPod even though it was almost fully charged. I was set on enjoying all of the amenities that were on offer and even reclined my seat a few inches to take full advantage of this first class mode of transport I had found myself in!

There’s not much to say after this point, it was a bus ride, slightly faster than the first one being ten and a half hours rather than eleven, I slept a bit and watched a chinese army film with English subtitles that were far to fast for me to read and finally arrived in Iringa by 6:30pm as the sun was setting and everything was looking rather beautiful.
I was glad to be back, Zanzibar had  been good and worth the trip, but I had felt a bit naughty leaving in the first place and now I was walking the Iringan streets back towards the very same Alizeti hostel I had left, everything felt right again. The cycle is back on.
I decided to stop in for some rice and beans on the way back to the hostel as I hadn’t eaten much during the journey, and I only just got there in time before they closed the doors.  Many of the local eateries operate within 9 to 5 type hours although their 9am is more like 6am and their 5pm is whenever the sun goes down.  So I crept in for the last sale of the day pleased that I had made it in time and was welcomed by a gaggle of smiling mummas regardless of my late arrival.  The food unfortunately tasted a bit like the last of the day as the rice was slightly crunchy and the beans only just warm but I hungrily gobbled it down anyway.  I think the group of mummas were trying to set me up with one of the last non-mummas in their party and only moments into my meal I had a young lady sat next to me spectating my clumsy eating technique and telling me how much she loved me, hmmmm really?  You don’t even know my name yet and you are confessing your love for me over a dinner for one?  It was still quite funny though and we all had a good laugh before I paid up and ran as fast as I could back to the hostel.  I think though that it might be a good idea to get myself a ring for my marriage finger as this is a regular happening over here.  I mean which of these fine African ladies wouldn’t want to marry a white chequebook like me anyway?

My Dearest and Beloved Bicycle

I strolled into the unmanned hostel eager to see my baby and after a quick greeting to the German pair sitting in the lounge area I saw her stood in the exact place where I had left her one week ago! You have to love the security over here; no one in the hostel to welcome their new arrivals, technically anyone could just stroll in here at any point and clear them out of house and home. Funny really and the way it should be I suppose but I didn’t care anyway I was just happy to be reunited with my beloved bike once more!  I gave her a slightly awkward but loving embrace, a kiss, and parted with a few words in apology before retuning to the now laughing Germans for a chat and proper introduction.
I wasn’t too long about this evening and so after a nice conversation I located some fresh sheets from the cabinet and made up one of the dorm beds so I could get some rest.  I had an early start in the morning and although another day to relax in Iringa was tempting I was keen on getting some miles done so I decided to call it a day and fell asleep almost as my head touched the pillow. Ahhhh back together again at last!

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