But throughout these adventures, we noticed that the bike kept dying randomly. This problem first started in Malawi, but it had seemed to go away until it reared its ugly head again in northern Tanzania. It was an electrical problem, that we knew. Somewhere there was a short happening that was causing the bike to suddenly shut off out of nowhere. But finding that electrical short amidst the tangle of wires that makes up our KTM 1190 was a truly daunting task.
His real name is Samatarxavier (coolest name ever!) and he owns agarage in Moshi that repairs vehicles as well as gives motorcycle tours of the incredible surrounding area and wildlife parks. And I think he was sent from heaven because in less than 15 minutes he had diagnosed and fixed this motorcycle problem that had been plaguing us for more than a month! Like we'd suspected, it was a wire that was sometimes bumping into the chassis of the bike and shorting out the system. Sam was certainly a godsent, and we are so grateful for him and his team.
After fixing the bike, we stayed a couple more weeks in Arusha at our favorite little hotel so that Tim could finalize his newest book and publish it. If you haven't already heard about it, it's called 2Up and Overloaded and is a hilarious and beautifully written account of our trip from out home in Chicago down through every country in Central America.
We eventually had to leave the “good" internet of Arusha. Ok, it was good for African standards which means that there was internet 60% of the time. The other 40% was when the electricity went out, or they hadn't charged up their plan, or the boss was out of town and forgot to, or - and imagine this - because it was raining! But we finished what we needed to do online, and headed off to have one last adventure in Tanzania before entering Rwanda.
We spent hours on this road praying for the skies to stay clear, but the clouds just became thicker and thicker. Until finally the wrath of the weather gods came plummeting down on us and we were mired in some serious mud.
Luckily we were close to our destination, but when we pulled into the town of Nyakasanza, thunder was still roiling above us, garbage and tree branches were floating down the street in rivers, and everyone in the town was hiding under any shelter they could find. There wasn't even anyone at the hotel that we had pulled into, and we had to wait another half hour standing under the bucketing rain before someone showed up.
The sun had just set when we heard a knock on our hotel room door and someone in an American accent said, “Tim?" We opened the door to find Leo, a Cuban/American motorcycle friend who we had met back in Namibia, standing there with a big smile on his face saying, “I pulled in, saw your bike, and asked the guy at the front which room the motorcycle people were staying in."
We were so delighted to see him, we could barely contain ourselves.
So stay tuned...