While nursing my bloody eye at El Jacaranda in Arusha wondering if I’ll ever see clearly again, I decided to get a second opinion. Another trip to yet another medical clinic where the promise of a German ophthalmologist turned out to be a local doctor and her giggling assistant. Lying on a grey examination table with square metal tubing and fading green vinyl, I received the same diagnosis: nothing in my eye other than a nasty infection. But this doctor’s treatment was more aggressive. A stronger and more frequent dose of antibiotics combined with an anti-steroidal to tone the burning redness while attacking the bacterial vermin squatting in my squinty, puffy and aching eye.
Mango Avocado Salad served at El Jacaranda. At least my tummy was well served. As for me eye? Well, it hurts!
Meanwhile, my heaven sent angel from Malawi has recovered my black Moleskine book complete with irreplaceable e-mail addresses, trip journal notes, mileage, fuel and expense data and the blue sea-to-summit dry bag from the men who hit the jackpot when finding it along with my SonyEricsson phone on the road from Chipata to Lilongwe over a month ago. In a country where the average wage-earner takes home less than $20 a week, Martha gave the scavengers $35 to take possession of these items. Repeatedly requesting no additional money from me, I made my way to the local MoneyGram office to wire her the reimbursement funds and a bonus as an immense thank you. Passing an internet café on my way back I noticed a KTM fitted with panniers and European plates.
A quick conversation with Veysel, a biker from Turkey, turned into a plan to rendezvous over beers at Masai Camp just outside of town. That evening I met Tom, a Canadian riding a V-Strom and Matteo on a Ducati from italy. They’ve been traveling south from Turkey and were loaded with information that will help solidify my plans for the remainder of this wild African continent.
Later in the evening and another dinner with Chris and Ingrid of Bush2Beach we reviewed a potential plan to get WorldRider across the Serengeti and on the road to Rwanda. Last year Chris and Ingrid organized and coordinated a Kilimanjaro expedition of a group of paraplegics. The record-breaking climb was filmed for a documentary to be released in the near future. To accommodate the film crew and other special equipment required, Bush2Beach outfitted a special trailer. Chris reasoned that with slight modifications that could be quickly sorted by a whiz-kid welder, the trailer would be the perfect chariot for Doc’s journey across the endless plains. Offering to provide the service at his cost while supplying a driver and a chef, we penciled out a plan and budget that would take us from Arusha to the exit gate of the Serengeti in four days including time for Manyara, Ngorogoro and Serengeti National Parks. Doc would be securely tied down and covered in heavy-duty trailer, while supplies a driver, chef and yours truly would be packed with food, camping gear and beer in a six passenger Toyota 4×4 Land Cruiser fitted with a telescoping roof designed for game viewing.
It was an offer I couldn’t refuse.
Switching mirror so the good one is on the side of passing traffic. Safer bet I thought!