Monday, October 28, 2013

The Comradery of Overland Travel

Overland travel in Africa has a number of 'merge' points along the myriad of roads.
Richard, Sophie, Wynand & Talia
At these meeting points, the grapevine is abuzz with travel news, route planning, reports of other overlanders and the usual hearty fireside conversations. The excitement of sharing stories with other overlanders and the serendipitous meeting along a rural road, campsite or website has a unique effect of keeping the travel passion alive.

I was reminded of this after reading four current blogs written in October 2013, all with a common theme of Tanzania. Each blog referenced meeting up with the other overlanders...
It started with Arno & Elize mentioning time spent at 'The Farmhouse' in Iringa, Tanzania.


Arno & Elize wrote the following:
We bumped into Rui and Jean that contacted us via the blog shortly after we started our trip. They wanted to get some info from us because they planned a similar route. It was real fun meeting up with them. We also met Richard and Sophie Morgan who is heading north and camped in Malawi with our friends Chris and Julie, Bonita and her husband with the Cruiser named Hotel California who we met at Lake Victoria, who is heading to Malawi. This means that there was a huge exchange of info from north to south and from east to west! Rui and Jean just said goodbye, heading towards Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, Richard and Sophie said goodbye an hour ago heading towards Bagamoyo and Panganie and we are getting ready to braai
Arnize Go 2 Africa

Rui & Jean had an interesting trip just getting to the Iringa:
Along the road we bought some vegetables and headed for The Old Farmhouse at Kisolanza Farm Iringa with Richard and Sophie following.
We got stopped twice by traffic police looking for reasons to get paid but one just wanted to chat about Madiba and the next one really wanted to know if we were going to pay the fine, but by now we have learned to speak to them and ask them a question before they get a chance to speak.  So in this case we pleaded to be completely lost.  Eventually they gave up and we drove off, not even Richard and Sophie gave them anything.What a nice surprise we
had at Kisolanza, 6 fellow South Africans camping there! We met up with Arno and Elize from Arnizego2 Africa  .  We went for the best 3 course meal we had in 3 months and enjoyed good company .

Richard & Sophie add their perspective...
Fortunately there is a fantastic little oasis on this crazy road, called Kisolanza, or the old farm house where we could camp and recover from the driving ordeal. We enjoyed a fantastic couple of ‘down days’ at the farm with Rui and Jean, as well as bumping into other overlanders Arno & Elize who we’d also be following. Nicki, the current owner, runs a very tight ship and we enjoyed one of the most fantastic meals at the farm restaurant which uses all its home grown produce from the farm and we indulged in fresh vegetables, meat and freshly baked bread and cakes.
A few days later, Richard & Sophie bump into Wyand and Talia in Moshi...
We had a very boozy night with our new buddies (batterc2cpoint.wordpress.com) both excitedly swapping stories about the ‘otherside’. We were particularly keen to hear about their adventures shipping into Israel and driving down through Egypt, as they’d driven through at the height of the chaos
Chris & Julie, mentioned by Arno & Elize, had also spent time with Richard & Sophie:
To top off a great couple of days we also met up with Sophie and Richard, an English couple we have been chatting to for a while who are on their way back to the UK, having lived in Australia (Morgan Safari).
Wynand & Talia have also been mentioned by the various couples and wrote the following about Richard and Sophie:
In Moshi we finally caught up with Rich and Sophie along with their little beaut of a car ‘Kylie’, the two set off from Sydney and aim to be in London by Christmas. After many emails and blog posts it was so nice to finally meet them face to face, swap stories and hear what was in store for us as we continued south.

Arno & Elize had mentioned one other couple, "Bonita and her husband with the Cruiser named Hotel California", but I am yet to find out if they have a website.

Africa might seem like a huge continent, but the frequent 'bumping into' other overlanders is a common occurrence.  I certainly enjoy the comradery (camaraderie) that overland travel inspires.