Driving toward the island

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We get up long before dawn today – fortunately we managed to arrange a super early breakfast with the hotel the night before so we can have a bite to eat before we head out on the road. We have breakfast but the driver is nowhere to be seen. After we finished breakfast the driver shows up – and he hasn’t had breakfast yet. To avoid the story from yesterday where the driver suddenly drove away to get something to eat we insist he has to get some breakfast at the hotel – which apparently is free for the driver. He gets his tea and breakfast and then we are ready to go slightly ahead of schedule.

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When we drive out of the hotel gate it is still pitch black. But we are driving straight east so it doesn’t take long before there are some light at the horizon. The dime light quickly turn into a very bright sun shining right into the driver eyes – fortunately the sun is getting higher on the sky quickly so it become easier to see and drive. And the area we are driving through is also waking up. The local farmers are getting up taking their zebu’s out to the fields and driving with the different supplies in the zebu-carts.

As we drive along we see a lot of activity at times with many locals walking along the road. I guess they just go out to the local market and you can see there isn’t a lot of money in this part of the world. Virtually the only form of transport the locals has is the zebu-carts and smaller push carts in addition to a few bicycles – the locals certainly don’t have cars and motorbikes are pretty rare as well.

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Some of the markets look pretty busy and attract a fairly large crowd of people – I am not sure what they are trading but I guess whatever the local needs is available for sale at the market.

After a few hours’ drive we do have a little break at the first town of any importance we have seen all day. The car is hungry as well and wants to eat – unfortunately the car got more expensive taste than us so it is a bit expensive to feed the car. It is still way too early for us to eat so after feeding the car we continue the journey towards the northern part of the island.

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We are leaving the shakala tribe area and go into another tribe. It is easy to see we have moved into another tribe area since the houses looks different. The clay huts disappear and are replaced by other huts which are built wood. The quality of the buildings in this part of the country doesn’t look better than the rest – just different in building style.

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As we pass the different rivers there is typically some local activity going on along the water. Some places the women are doing the daily laundry just leaving the clothing to dry along the bank of the river in other rivers it is the locals having their daily shower in the river. I guess there is no room to being shy if you care about personal hygiene in this part of the world.

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In other places there are some boat sailing on the river – it doesn’t look like the boats are really sea worthy but they can float on the river and I guess as long as nobody tries to take them out in the open ocean they will do the job.

As we drive further north the pot holes in the road grows in size. They started out pretty small but up here the pot holes have grown to a size which kind of indicates they have been made by a meteorite just shy of the size of the one killing off the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. With potholes big enough to swallow up a car the going gets pretty slow. And the way to our destination suddenly seems unbearable long and we are not sure we can make it before it gets really late.

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Fortunately we do finally arrive at our destination and we still have time to search for a hotel before it gets dark. This really isn’t a typical tourist town so there aren’t that many options to choose between. But we do manage to find a hotel with a room which do have shower and even air-condition. There is just one catch – the air-condition requires too much power and the power supply of the hotel really can’t accommodate the use of this much power. So we have a nice branch new air-condition unit in the room – but are unable to turn it on due to power shortage.

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The hotel hasn’t got any restaurant so we have to go out and search for one. This is where it becomes apparent this isn’t a tourist place – we can’t find any restaurant anywhere near the hotel – so we give up and just go to the local bakery shop which fortunately do sell something they claim is pizza. We get a few slices of pizza and decide this will be the dinner for the night.

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