31st of August
31st of August:
We had an excellent dinner the previous evening at the “Addis in Dar”, a popular Ethiopian restaurant. A great way to eat, where the food comes on an edible plate (saves time on the dish washing), a sourdough pancake called Injera. Dump the curries called Wot on the Injera and eat with your fingers; fantastic.
Today, a seven o’ clock start had us on the 565-kilometer drive to Moshi, at the foot of the Kilimanjaro. Traffic was not too bad as it is “Eid”, a public holiday to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan. We did not manage to get much birding in as the goal was to be off the road before it got dark. There were plenty of birds once we had left the coast and its bloody House Crows, but we only managed to identify the larger, more obvious ones.
Soon after leaving Dar, a small flock of African Openbilled Stork circled near the road. Black Kites (or Yellow-billed, if you are in favor of splitting) were pretty common and Pied Crows where everywhere. Perched on top of bushes and small trees were the odd Grey Hornbill and White-bellied Go-away-birds. Ha completely missed the single Pale Chanting Goshawk as she was looking the other way; seeing Zanzibar Red Bishops instead.
We had initially planned to fly to Moshi but changed this at the last minute as we all wanted to see a little of the countryside. This saw us booking a hotel at the last minute, the “Bristol Cottages Kilimanjaro”. This turned out to be quite a dump and only the fact that we did not feel like re-packing prevented us from moving to another hotel. The little garden did however have Spotted Doves, lots of Yellow-vented Bulbuls and Little Swifts flying overhead. As the sun set, raucous Hadada Ibises were heading home to roost.
We walked to a nearby restaurant, the “IndoItaliano”. As the name promised, they served both Indian and Italian food that was generally decent. The walk there was less so; a lot of hustlers, drunkards, and touts. One guy accosted us and when I declined to talk to him, let fly with a whole barrage of abuse which, inevitably led to the usual “this is Africa, my brother. You @%$# Mzungu (whte person) go back to your %#@#! Country”. I had encountered this in Kenya before, but had forgotten after all these years in Asia. Ah well, just another idiot and I soon forgot the incident over a couple of cold Kilis.
Bird of the day: Zanzibar Redf Bishop for Ha, Asian Openbills for me.
"Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time."
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