Tanzania lake natron sunrise

Sunrise at Lake Natron

I woke up a little before 7 in the morning and noticed that it was still dark outside. Great, I thought to myself, I can take some pictures of the sunrise. Then I remembered. The camera was not really in a functioning state after the previous day’s bath in the river. 🙁
At least I had my small backup camera that I could use and take some pictures.
Not the same quality but I guess they would suffice as I didn’t really have any choice at this moment in time.

This day also marked that we were halfway through our stay in Tanzania.
After the sun had risen and we had packed together our stuff we headed back to the “dinner” table in order to eat some breakfast before we headed off to the nearby lake Natron to watch the flamingos.
The breakfast which contained of bread, egg and fresh fruits was eaten as the sun was slowly rising over our heads and warming up the landscape from dark blue to bright yellow. Our Maasai guides from previous day had already showed up and we all stuffed ourselves into the tin box and went off to the lake.

We reached the lake some 30min later after driving through the landscape following nothing more than a few tracks in the deep sand from previous vehicles. Rasta parked the car and we started walking with the guides towards the flamingos who didn’t show any interest of coming any closer or to be watched on a close distance.

The lake, as this was the dry season before the rain period, had dried up quite a bit and had left a long bed of slippery, thick mud on the edge of the lake. We had to carefully walk through it not to slip and fall over. The mud was however not just slippery but also extremely adhesive making every step a bit harder as the mud loved the bottom of my shoes and in a few steps I almost felt like Elton Johns character in the Who´s iconic movie “Tommy” from 1969.

Elton Johns boots in Tommy (1969)

Elton Johns boots in Tommy (1969)

Jake wearing flip flops took a different approached. He took off the plastic bits and decided to start running and sliding along in the mud instead while trying not to fall over.

After an hour trying to get closer to the evasive pink birds we decide that it is starting to become time to head back towards Arusha. I guess non of us really was looking forward to spend the hot trip in the car all the way back as the days drive before was still fresh in our minds. As we got closer to the car we found that it now had been surrounded of Maasai women sitting and waiting to try to sell their handmade bracelets, necklaces and all other stuff the have. And it was not 1 or 2 but maybe 10-15 in a total with kids and of course they all wanted to sell. But where did they come from? There were no settlements that we had seen on the way to the lake?

Once again we had to convince the Maasai ladies that we were not interested in buying anything from them as they sold the exact same thing like everyone else. Almost like if there was a franchise business of this specific jewelry that all Maasai women participated in.

Tanzania lake natron maasai

Maasai women

The drive back went amazingly much faster then we had expected and were not as horrible as we had anticipated it would be.
When we reached Arusha we asked Rasta to drop us off at the bus station so we could buy to the Dar es Salaam express bus which we would take the next day.

We decided to take the first bus in the morning departing at 5.45 so we would have a chance to catch the last ferry over to Zanzibar that same afternoon according to the information that was written in Lonely Planet.
We found our way to Benjamin’s office as we were going to stay with him a last night and pick up our stuff we had left for safe keeping while we were out on the safari.

One last night and one last night with delicious food cooked together meaning we had to go to the local square to do some shopping of ingredients. Ben and Jake shop away and come back several bags of vegetables that we now needed to transport back to Benjamin’s house which was situated a few kilometers outside Arusha center.
Its getting dark outside and in the sky heavy dark clouds are sitting and waiting to unleash its humidity over us.
Benjamin arranges two boda boda´s (motorbikes) to drive me and Jake and the grocery back to the house before the rain start. Ben has his own bike and bikes home.

10-15 minutes ride later through the evening traffic between the lanes we reached the house. Fortunately the heavy rain never started and we spent one last evening in Arusha in a little corner of paradise.

Arusha tanzania market

Grocery shopping Arusha

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