dragoness (dragonbec) wrote,

Part 8: The Snake Farm and Stranded in Paradise.

Saturday morning we relaxed and then went to a restaurant right outside the gate of the university for lunch.  It's where a lot of the students can get a quick, delicious, affordable meal.   You can get pilau, I got rice and beef stew, and sometimes they have french fries.  Everyone called the restaurant Delicious which I never did figure out if that was the actual name or was just called that because of the "Delicious" Coca Cola sign outside.  Anyhow you can get a filling plate of yummy food for the equivalent of about 75 cents.

A random note... actually everywhere we went in Tanzania there were Coca Cola signs, or red plastic Coca Cola table and chairs, Coca cola billboards, even Coca Cola written on the face of the clock towers in towns.  You can get coke, sprite, or fanta (which my kids consumed a lot of I admit) in most all restaurants in glass bottles which you leave there as they are turned back in for deposit and reused.  Most of the bottled water we drank was called "Kilimanjaro" but is distributed by Coke.  Coke sells millions of these plastic bottles in TZ but didnt build a recycling plant for those so who knows where those end up.  Many Tanzanians are newer to dealing with packaged products and are starting to learn about not just throwing trash on the ground but to help keep the environment clean.

After lunch we decided to go visit a nearby Snake and Reptile farm just for something to do.  There is a small one near the entrance to Arusha National Park.  We piled into Tom and Daris's car and headed out the main road for a few miles and then up a hill on an endless bumpy rutty dirt road.  About the time we were wondering if we had gone the right way, we saw the sign for the snake park and headed in.  We had a lot of fun checking out lots of different reptiles.

They let us hold some of the smaller snakes.   There were many larger or venomous snakes in glass cages, some of the striking/spitting ones were aggressive through the glass, I can only imagine facing them in the wild!!

Video clips of this cobra striking against the glass of his cage...

I saw a turtle!

A monitor

Who doesn't love a chameleon?!?

This one tried to give Loren a kiss!!

Is that a chameleon or a rhino?

This guy was awesome to see because when they took him out of his cage he was dark grey and as we held him he got more and more green before our eyes.  He was still a little grey here.

And eventually got brighter green!

This is a different smaller chameleon.  They are so pretty and I love their funny feet and eyes.

After the fun with the reptiles we headed back home.   On the way down the hill on the rutty bumpy road we noticed that the car was starting to lose power, not engine power but drive power.  Yep the transmission was starting to fail.  Mike sort of babied it and tried shifting different gears to try and get it to grab on and go a bit longer but it got worse and worse as we went.   We made it to the bottom of the hill and back onto the main road but only made it a mile or so before it finally gave up completely.   We pulled the car off onto a wide shoulder area that is for dala dalas to pull over.   We tried calling/texting both Tom and Randy but got no response.  They were busy rehearsing and preparing for the concert the next day.   At first we just kind of sat there waiting and wondering what to do.  Then we started looking at maps and realized we might be pretty close to a luxury lodge we had been thinking about stopping at on the way home.  We looked up the road and realized we could see the entrance!   We locked the car and quickly walked along the road up to the entrance (I did not feel safe on the side of those roads with the crazy driving).  We wandered down the driveway and into Rivertrees Country Lodge.   Ahhh, if you are ever stuck somewhere, may I recommend this as a place to do so.   We ordered some drinks and food and relaxed in a gorgeous outdoor garden paradise.   Tom eventually got our messages and called to check on us.  We told him it was no hurry, that we were safe and happy and could be rescued at his convenience. :)

The kids played racing games in the fields.

It was a cool beautiful evening.

Beautiful huge trees all around.

When they were through with concert rehearsals and preparations, Tom and Daryl came out to pick us up.   The kids played wacky hairdo night to pass the time while Mike and Tom relaxed with a beer.

The lodge lit an outdoor fire for us to sit around when it started to get dark, so we sat around it and chatted with Tom for a while after he arrived.

On the way home we stopped to pick up the car.   We tried adding some transmission fluid to it and Mike was able to drive it about a mile or so, but driving behind him, the rest of us could see the fluid pouring out the bottom of the car.  Oops!    After it gave up the goat again, we tied it to the back of Randy's car and pulled it back to the university.   Tom said the car "fundi" would come fix it on monday :)
Tags: tanzania

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