Travel Report


                      Kibaya Repeater

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Paare Mountains in the background, Pangani bridge in the foreground

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Which way to go in the Ruvu Rimit?

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Lunch on the way

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After not seeing any cars a bus came..

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...who had destroyed the road completely!

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Finally reaching the "Post Mountain" in Kibaya

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Our tent at the next morning

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Clearing the bushes around the transmitter

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Lore taking Solar panels off

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Re-filling destilled water of the batteries

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Placing new fence poles

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And fixing the fence again

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A wonderful fiew of our camping place

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Our cutter broke when taking the nails out with it

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Nailing the iron sheets onto the roof

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Ready !

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Storing all the solar panels in the car

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Shortly before Kondoa

On Sunday we got a phone call from a  watchmen of Tigo company saying all the solar panels of TTCL had been stolen. Further more the bushes had been grown high in the SYI transmitter plot and the fence poles rotten and has broken down. Talking this over with the SYI director we saw a high necessity to get there repair the fence, cut the bushes and take the solar panels before they get stolen as well, since they were not needed there any more. How ever they are needed now very much to power the new transmitter site on Mt. Oldeani/ Karatu. Since two other technicians were on the way to see "Babu" in Lolyondo the director asked me to go with my Wife Lore. On Monday afternoon I had to plan what material is needed to finish this job.

On Tuesday afternoon I went to town to purchase the material as fence poles, nails corrugated iron sheets etc.

On Wednesday   March 23rd 2011  we took of to drive to Kibaya after passing a steel pipe needed to prepare the pipes for Oldeani Transmitter at the studio. We also had to get more money at the ATM, fill diesel and buy enough drinking water bottles.

We choose the route through Handeni, because it proved to be the less strain one for the car the last time. Unfortunately no one could tell us whether the road is still passing. We just tried it to cross the Ruvu at Handeni, cross the Ruvu Rimit until we continued the journey to Engathmet. At the low points of Ruvu Rimit the soil was quite muddy because the heavy rains have already started the day before. We were sure we could not return there after another day of rains and more cars digging on the road.

Even between Engathmet and Kibaya a bus got stuck and made the road impossible to be passed again. Fortunately we found a way around through the bush.

We reached the "Post mountain" close to Kibaya just a few minutes before night. The way up nearly brought the Landrover Defender 130 to its upper limits, because it was so bad detoriated by the rains of the last years. We had to pitch our tent there in the dark.

The next morning I started to drill the rivits holding the solar panels while Lore refilled the water in the solar batteries. Unfortunately the over/ undervoltage protector was destroyed by a thunderstorm I have to take it o Moshi and repaire it. I connected all the 8 battery chargers and made shure they are working. In the afternoon we could start taking the first solar panels off after disconnecting every each one. We employed two watchmen to cut the bushes within the ground.

The next morning Lore helped me to take further nails off the rich cover and take down the second half of the solar panels on the other side. In the afternoon unto night I nailed the iron sheets on the place of the solar panels to cover the roof again. During night we packed the solar panels into the car and tied them up for the bad road.

After giving the transmitter the final test on Tanesco operation, we took down our tent and went down the mountain. Again it was close the car would fail due to the extreme steep, washed out way up. At the bottom we had to rearrange all the solar panels again in the back. Luckily no one was broken.

Because we were sure the road we came would be no longer passable because of the rains we got, we had to take another road home. One solution would have been the one through Korogwe. But it would have been another 70 km further on bad, stony roads than the one passing through Kondoa. So we took this one. Unfortunately it was as stony as the one to Korogwe up to Babatiu were we were very lucky to hit the new tomarked road to Arusha via Makuyuni.

It was dark shortly after Babati, and there was one detour left of about 10 km through a stony, muddy way. Between Makuyuni and Arusha we passed by many cars coming from Lolyondo, many of them in a poor condition. We felt pity about all the people freezing on the back of pickups.

We arrived safely at home in Moshi around 23 hours at night.

Martin Ahnert

March 28st 2011



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Feiew down from the "Post mountain"

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