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Arusha once again

We arrived into Arusha late Saturday night after a couple of long but uneventful flights. It took some time for the bikes (Rachel’s and mine) to come off the plane; fortunately I’d pestered the baggage handlers early on that we were waiting for them (I certainly liked the AirTag notification that the bike was within 100 m of the terminal!), and someone managed a retrieval before the aircraft carried onto Zanzibar.


There was plenty of free camp sites available at Masai Camp but I elected to stay up the hill at Karama Lodge - proper bed and a wonderful view out over town. The next 3 days spent lazing around, in my case trying to get back to something like a normal nights sleep. I had intended to do a couple of easy rides around town or just outside town, to keep flexible, but after unpacking and then re-assembling the bike, discovered an issue with my front brake lever, which was leaking fluid noticeably. I needed to get the mechanic on this, so had to wait a bit. This provided time for some walk-about, as well as a re-introduction to using ‘Dala Dalas’ (minibuses) which serve as the public transportation system in this part of the world. I wasn’t in a hurry after all to get from A to B.



Wednesday saw a move down the hill to Masai Camp, settling back into the tent routine. Kenny the mechanic determines the leaking brake (hydraulic brakes on this bike of mine) due to a pinhole leak in the diaphragm, not fixable and no spare parts on hand to rectify the issue. So we’ve drained the front reservoir completely and I’ll just go on, using rear brakes only as needed. At least I’m not into the High Atlas on this trip.


Lunch with Jim and a good catch-up. Afternoon disappeared all too quickly, then it was a riders meeting and final preparations for tomorrow. And that pretty much was the day flashed by.


Reached out to Dennis in Atlanta who is scheduled to join the ride in Lilongwe; he’s proved again to be a Champion, and is hot on the track of required replacement diaphragm. Also coming up with a plan B, he’ll hand-carry out a whole lever assembly compatible to my system. Great news.


We’re going in in the deep end on this Tour; the 7-day stretch coming up will be one if the toughest sections of the whole ride. Just have to hope that the 4 days of dirt doesn’t become 4 days of mud.


Well, that’s all for now.




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Ralph Scobie
Ralph Scobie
Feb 22, 2023

Must feel exhilarating and possibly a few anxious moments as you " re start your journey". Great narrative and good pictures - could always use more.


Good luck


R

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