We crossed the border into Tanzania and again it was relatively hassle fee. To date we had been lucky at the dreaded border crossings, excluding Lesotho of course, and we hoped it would continue.You think Tanzania, and you think sunsets over vast open grassy planes dotted with acacia trees, giraffes and the odd lion or cheetah. You think Mt Kilimanjaro and possibly even Zanzibar, but for us our first taste would be the relatively secluded western fringe and unheard of Lake Tanganyika.Our first impressions were that Tanzania was a bustling place, there were people everywhere as usual, but the towns were heaving, and dare I say it, the seemed even more civilised.We arrived in the town of Mbeya in late afternoon and to Karen and I the place had a distinct alpine feel abut in, similar to Otavalo in Ecuador. The outskirts had a rural feel about it, with its agricultural plots and scattered gumtrees providing and unmistakenly fresh smell lingering.Keen to find some accommodation before dark, the best we could come up with was an unmemorable hotel unfortunately situated right next door to a Mosque. Since travelling to Indonesia 15 years ago, I had rigourously tried to avoid this as the morning prayer calls in the wee-hours of the morning drove me nuts, but for the next 2 nights we would have to grin and bear it. Just like the hotel, dinner was unremarkable, and then we retired to bed we found ourselves watching a annual wrap up of WWE wrestling highlights, which kept thoroughly entertained having seen minimal TV over the past month.We had agreed to spend the day in Mbeya to get some washing done and spend some time sorting a few things out on the internet and by phone. Unfortunately though it was raining and our stuff would never have dried, so that idea was canned immediately, stinking damp clothes are worse than simply stinking clothes. We have yet to come across a laundrette since leaving South Africa (something that I think would make a killing in these places), and instead Karen will handwash or we simply get a local to bash our clothes against a rock in the local creek or lake and then lay them in a tree or on the ground to dry.We made our way to town and on asking directions to the internet were informed that the town was without power for an indefinite period. It was so frustrating, we had planned to get so much achieved and it was more than likely we would now get nothing done. Power cuts were par for the course in Africa, but still they frustrated the hell out of us. They are regular occurrences and almost always occur when you least want them to, but I guess that's part of life, and at least these places had some power unlike a few places we had been. After some brief interrogation of the first local we found who could speak English, we discovered that the post office as well as having generator also had an attached internet café. It was obvious power cuts were a common problem here for as we made our way to the post office we came across a number of small businesses with a noisy caged generator stationed out the front. It was the first time we had seen this since arriving in Africa. There was a queue for the internet of course, and when we finally got online it wasn't exactly lightening quick, but we stayed there the majority of the day kicked a few goals.We wandered trough the market on the way back to our hotel and were impressed by the variety of fresh food on offer. We had heard this would be the case but were a little sceptical having lived on onions, tomatoes, potatoes and cabbage for so long. On our way to dinner we ran into Paul and Susie and when they decided to join us we settled on a slightly more upmarket hotel with a menu as thick as the bible. Unlike the bible, we actually read most of this but the decision was difficult. We have always been a little suspect of places with such an extensive range of options, I figure a restaurant who does only a few things will do them well, whereas when there's a 1000 choices I have generally found that its more of a lucky dip - and usually I get the booby prize. That said our meals were overpriced and decidedly average, thus confirming my theory. We stuck around the hotel as any restaurant worth its weight in gold in Africa has a TV, in this case satellite TV and I was keen to catch the African Cup of Nations semi-final having barely seen a game since the opening round. When it concluded with a disappointing Egyptian victory, Kaz and I wandered home and went to bed, only to find it had been on the local channel in our room.The following day the sun was shining, but it was a little too late for our washing as we were on our way North again. We had decided to drive up the western side of Tanzania on the road parallel to Lake Tanganyika, ultimately heading for Rwanda.