19 March 2015
Mafia is incredibly well developed in terms of infrastructure, just like Pemba, even if the island is really tiny, they have roadsigns at every crossroad. it was a pleasure to cycle, even under the rain. Chole Bay is a must see, with its small islands dotting the Bay, the water is clear and deep, and the coral very well preserved. Too bad the sky was gray, i think the colors would be amazing on a sunny day. It is truly a diver’s paradise, there was a group of South Africans visiting from Cape Town only for Mafia and its diving.
"How was i going to fix this? Well, as the Penguins would say, with “spit, grit and a whole lotta duct tape!”. Not an easy feast if you ask me, and to date, the puncture is officially repaired (no air coming out of the tube), though my tire still gets flat gradually… I left Utende with a narrow window to reach Kilindoni, cycling fast and furious to reach town before sunset. As a construction truck passed by, i stopped them and hauled myself and the bike at the back, which bought me a few km to town, then more fast and furious cycling and the evening prayer started right when i reached the doorstep of the backpackers. Mission accomplished, i beat the sun to Kilindoni!"
Good times had to end though, and money was running very low. After a try at the only ATM in town, which didn’t work, I started to panic, knowing that the only other ATM was in either Dar or Lindi. I settled for Lindi, and had to forget about Kilwa. I leave with the ferry to Nyamisati. There I ask around for the next bus to Lindi. I have first to go to Bungu then take another bus to Lindi. My luck turned around and I saw a bus leaving, ran frantically after the bus, shouting “BUNGU?”, to which they replied a resounding “YES!”. With a sigh of relief, I got into the bus, was dropped in Bungu, and from there, caught a bus to Lindi. The little money I had left fortunately covered the trip, and nothing else. On my way back to the guest house, to assess the damage done yet again to my bike in the bus, hoping I can fix it, recharge my batteries and set off to the “real deal” part of the trip: Lindi to Songea, 9 days, 603 km, cycling only… Wish me luck and see you in 10 days!"