Stilgherrian (@stilgherrian)

Wentworth Falls NSW AU

The below is an off-site archive of all tweets posted by @stilgherrian ever

July 1st, 2009

We bypassed Nzega and the road to Australian-owned gold mine “Golden Pride”: more about that later.

via Cloudhopper

Maybe the person who advised spending the entire week on speed was right. Or very very wrong.

via Cloudhopper

If you counted all the mud-brick villages, it would be many.

via Cloudhopper

As we traverse the northern plains of Tanzania, I notice how little sleep I’ve had. But we’re on a mission. Multiple missions.

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Flat plains on the valley floor. We’ve arrived at Igunga. Abdul exits to visit family, to free a seat for photographer.

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To cut road deaths (7x UK), white-uniformed traffic police at ramdom locations pull over speeding vehicles.

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Radio Free Africa is playing endless Michael Jackson. I guess the entire planet is. Just beat it!

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At each village, speed humps. At each speed hump, a cluster of produce-sellers. They look tired, very tired.

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On the floor of Rift Valley. Red soil. Maize, straggling sunflowers.

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I will be on ABC Adelaide 891 (that’s AM radio, people!) Thursday morning at 0530 Adelaide time.

via Twitter Web Client

Just looking at some of my @replies. Thanks for all the compliments. More soon.

via Twitter Web Client

@GreenJ There shall be a Letter from Zanzibar and a Letter from Dodoma in due course, maybe more.

via Twitter Web Client

Singhda, I mean. Stopped here for breakfast of chicken soup and to visit the district ActionAid oƩice.

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Passing thru Sindiga.

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The smooth road inspires Albert to think up further way of changing the schedule. Of course.

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150km of quality highway to Nzega and… breakfast!

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Tarmac! Sweet, sweet, smooth, sensual tarmac! I love you!

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So much dust! A b-double of petrol appears metres ahead on our side of the road. Boo!

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This “road” is 70km. 1.5 hours.

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It’s a temporary “road” while they build new highway. Since 2001. Ah, corruption!

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Um, this is no longer a highway. Arguably, this is not even a road. Approaching Manyoni.

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Oh. Wait. That’s just a ripple in the plain. More and more villages of mud-brick huts.

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The maize crops have failed here too.

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Descending into Rift Valley as sun rises behind us.

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Where am I? Central Tanzania, driving north from Dodoma before dawn. Destination Mwanza. Probably. Google “project totn”.

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0550. Won’t go to office. 2 hours to Nzega, then breakfast. 2.5 hours to Mwanza. Exercise video hotel foyer. TV

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I have no internets.

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@ApostrophePong can explain what “sanook maak” means, and what it really means. “toto

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Wed plan (D5): Drive to Mwanza to meet Sven, a photographer, and see Lake Victoria. Unless it changes. Again.

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They’re calling dawn prayers at the mosque next door. But my room’s welcome card starts with a Biblical quote.

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Twurble! My 0500 wakeup call. Emerges. Erk. “Sanook maak”, in Thai. But I’m in Dodoba, not speaking Swahili.

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@SissyHodges The phone reception is brilliant right along the highway. But then the user level would be low.

via Twitter Web Client

@maverickwoman The smells, so far, are mostly like the inside of a 4WD that’s been on the road for 2 days. :/

via Twitter Web Client in reply to maverickwoman

Almost 8pm. Finally got some solitude in my room, along with internets and a cleared-out mailbox.

via Twitter Web Client

Touring Mwanza before dusk, Tanzania’s 2nd city.

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There is… confusion.

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We’ve met photographer Sven and checked into the MS Hotel in Mwanza. Lena is briefing him on tomorrow’s SEKRIT mission.

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Lake Victoria! Rocky islands! Fish processing plant! Petroleum depot! Cement factory! Engineering works! Oh. lake Victoria!

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It’s quite possible I may soon tire of goats.

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I stopped counting the cirling eagles just then at 25.

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Outskirts of Mwanza. Still villages and small farms. Some hills ahead, behind them Mwanza proper.

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Cotton fields to the left, grazing cattle to the right.

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Storks! And little pits where people have been digging for diamonds.

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145km to Mwanza. So clearly more than hour. Clearly.

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Phone call: Sven the photographer has arrived at Mwanza airport. We’re still an hour away. Roughly.

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Albert has told us bicycles are very popular in this region. His information proves accurate.

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Police checkpoint entering Shinyanga town. Looking for a way to persuade us to give some guys a lift. But our papers are in order.

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Five woman sit under a baobab, husking freshly-harvested maize.

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Listening to Radio Free Africa again. @SnarkyPlatypus would be in autotune heaven. Perhaps.

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By “speed” I mean responsible, legal highway travel, not speeding. And not amphetamines.

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Usanda. Papaya. High school students walking beside the road: maroon slacks or skirt, white shirt or yellow t-shirt. We speed past.

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Village huts have a ridged thatch roof here, not flat, to cope with the rains.

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The cattle look a lot better-fed. Farms have bags of wheat ready to go to market.

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It’s wetter here, but dry season. Rice paddies line the road. Passing thru Manonga.

via Cloudhopper