Road to Lushoto in reasonable condition with occasional potholes. The road up into the Usumbara Mountains has recently been repaved and is well maintained and though narrow at times is in good condition.
Lushoto, Lawns Hotel. 50,000Tsh double, 40,000Tsh single (seemed a variable price!), the boss was away so staff were lolling around (watching TV) and service was haphazard. Rather faded glory but pleasant situation. Seems to have had some renovation recently. Reasonable meals, good breakfast with fresh milk.
The guides to Irente seem to be intent on charging exorbitant prices and there were several grumbles from other tourists. The starting price was $20 each plus $20 for the guide not including the 6000Tsh price for lunch at Irente farmhouse or the 1000Tsh entrance fee at the Irente Hotel. Considering a National Parks guide only charges $20 for a 4-hour trip no matter how many guests (or even all day in Mkumi) and a teacher earns $10 –$15 a day, this can only be considered a rip-off. Our guide was perfectly pleasant but not nearly as knowledgeable as the NP guides and the Irente walk could hardly be classified as difficult. We did negotiate downwards but I was surprised that Tayodea had this price structure typed out on a sheet that they presented as the official price.