Mbeya (Feb 8th - 10th by Paul)As we left the Mushroom Farm we had to negotiate the narrow windy road back down to lake level. As we went down we caught glimpses of the lake and we could see these dark clouds that looked like smoke floating just above the water. We then realised that these were in fact clouds of flies that we had seen on the BBC's Planet Earth series (and read about in the guide book). At certain times of the year huge numbers of flies gather to mate. We stopped a couple of times to take some photos but we were still quite a distance from them.As we reached the bottom of the track we turned north as we were heading toward Tanzania that day. As we drove along the lake we got a much better view of the "clouds" of flies and stopped for more photos. They looked like small tornadoes twisting around, quite fascinating, check out some of the photos. At one point we thought we were going to drive through one section, but the road turned so we missed out on splattering thousands of flies on the windscreen.The rest of the drive was through nice scenery and it wasn't long until we reached the border. Again the border crossing went without any problems and it wasn't long until we were driving in Tanzania. The country side got a little hillier and we passed tea plantations, and large amounts of banana trees.We eventually made it to the town of Mbeya where we planned to spend the night, after looking for a couple of places we found a place to stay, right next to the mosque so we prepared for some early morning wake up calls.We decided to spend a day in Mbeya to catch up on a few things and find out the best route to take north. We wanted to head for Rwanda or Uganda to trek the Gorillas and from the maps we knew there were 3 possible routes, 2 we had heard were very tough, particularly in the rainy season, and the other one was the long way around. We decided to visit the local tourist information centre to see if they could give us any information on the best route. We found the so called tourist information office and it was an empty building with no one there. We spent the day wondering around the town, checked out the market and we saw a safari company who we thought could give some info on the routes.We headed in there and spoke to the guys that organise the trips. After telling them what I intended to do, take the most direct route, they basically told me that I was crazy to even consider it and that the roads were basically impassable and if we got stuck we could be there for days without seeing another car. They recommended we take the other route that I had heard was really bad, they told me that buses and trucks use this route so was the best one to take, unless we wanted to go the long way. With that we decided to head off on their recommendation the next day.