Today we started the first of eight cycling days from Arush to Mbeya. Some of those days will be off-road but today was paved with exception of short stretch of road construction. We are now up to 65 riders with 19 new additions between Arusha and Nairobi. Lots of enthusiasm and sets a different tone. Still learning names.
Packed my belongings and set off early today. It was humid and overcast to start and looked like chance of rain. However, stayed dry all day and got warm in the afternoon. The first 7km were through busy Arusha including local speed bumps and traffic to watch but once we passed the airport we were back in countryside. There were some rolling hills but not much climbing overall today.
At 40km we came to construction zone and were fortunate to ride on the not yet completed road while other traffic was on construction roads. This worked well except for short stretch with new soft dirt that hadn’t yet been compacted. However, construction only for 14km and then normal road. Many safari vehicles came past. We could see Masai living in area and some tending of goats and cattle.
Lunch was at 79km following rougher road. Just past was village with the market seen below and turnoff that much of the traffic left us to Ngorogogo. Nice to recognize the area.
After this the we had some tailwinds and mostly flat roads, though warmer temperatures. At 102km passed Tarangire turnoff (been there too!) and coke stop. The last 43km weren’t too bad and made it to camp in mid-afternoon. There were many locals here to watch the bike shop and our other moves at camp.