#18 (Iringa, Tanzania - Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)

We learn the story of the TanZam Highway slowly, day by day. Clues present themselves to the observant traveler. Green markings sprayed hastily onto houses. Red Xs blotted onto each and every road sign. There's the Chinese face looking on from beneath a face mask as Tanzanian men hack away at the blackened earth. There's a careful consideration of the name, TanZam, and an answer right on the map, if one knows where to look.

All roads have purpose, and most purpose is conquest. Building a road consumes more than paint and bitumen.

#17 (Songwe, Malawi - Iringa, Tanzania)

Hop on a plane or train or bus, or even into the seat of a car, and you are transported from one distinct place to another distinct place. One of the lovelier aspects of bike touring, then, is exploring these subtle changes in landscape and culture on a continuum. Cycling is (typically) fast enough to not get (too) bored, but generally slow enough to recognize and register these in-between places. It's a wonder to wake each up morning in a slightly different place, to look back a week in time and space and find that things weren't so different, but they weren't just the same, either.