The Roads of Tanzania

On Sunday and Monday, Sarah and I made the long drive to Lushoto from Moshi. It is not nearly as far as you could go, but it is 4-5 hours and it seems long because there are long stretches of road with similar scenery. As many people know, I don’t like to drive and I really don’t like car rides. But, I am thankful to Sarah for driving so I didn’t have to and for driving so that we didn’t have to take the bus. On this trip, you pass through at least two different biospheres (Tanzania has 5). The lowlands are tend to be hot and dusty. Going to Lushoto, you drive up a road that is literally on the edge of the mountain. Since they drive on the left, driving up can be a little scary as cars, buses, and trucks come by at high speeds on a road that was’t really made for two cars. Luckily, there are often little extended spots to stop and let the larger vehicles pass. In addition, there are not tons of paved roads in Tanzania. In cities, like Moshi, the main roads are paved, but sides roads are still dirt. The road Sarah lives on is dirt but connected to a paved road.

Here is a video of some of the landscape along the main highway between Moshi and where we turn to go up the mountain to Lushoto. Please note these clips are not necessarily in order.

In Lushoto, there is one main paved road. While we were there, they were fixing/enhancing it. In addition, they were paving the road up to the Irente Viewpoint and up to Irente where Keith and I lived and worked for a year when I did my dissertation.

In the morning, I was walking up the road to Irente to go visit the school where I did my dissertation research. I passed a group of women with what seemed like garden tools and a man with a notebook. They were walking up the mountain. Several of them wanted to be my friend and asked me where I was going and if I would come to their house later. I asked where they were going and they said work. I enquired as to the work. It turns out these 20 women were making the road. Trucks had dumped piles of rocks at various places and they had to move and smooth the rocks so that the steamroller could squish and mold the rocks together for a road. They also had to break the bigger rocks apart into smaller chunks. There were no men working. Now I know the road to Irente is being build by strong women. Here are some pictures of the road as dirt and  packed stones.

stoneroad

Stone road

Dirt Road

Dirt Road

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