When we reached a point to ask for directions and road conditions on the dirt road from Bubigi to Shinyanga through Old Shinyanga, the first person discouraged us, saying it was a "rough road." He advised us to take the longer 60+ kilometre route on the main new highway to Shinyanga. I translated the advice to Ross and suggested we should seek a second opinion. "And even a third opinion," Ross added. We were on the same wavelength; going the long way was not an option.
On further inquiry, when the same cyclist we had sought advice from said the distance on the shorter route was only 25 kilometres, the 'debate' was closed; we decided we would cycle through the old shorter route. When cycling, the difference between 25 and 60 kilometres is monumental.
One thing about Shinyanga region - which I knew about - was its extraordinary cyclists. I witnessed, first hand, how women, men, girls, and boys routinely swiftly passed us as if we were at a standstill. They may be carrying less baggage but they do possess an edge over us.
|After a bumpy four hours on the dirt road, we were both relieved to resume cycling on tarmac.|
Next: Shinyanga to Tinde