From The Bush To The Beach With A Beer

Apparently this title is very Australian.

Dar Es Salaam and Zanzibar!!

I am writing this sitting on the ferry on route to Dar Es Salaam from Zanzibar. I was actually looking forward to this as the ferry is quite flash but now that I am sitting here, the excitement has dwindled somewhat. The ferry we were supposed to be on is the slightly more flash and modern version of the one we are on now. Hopefully this one will get us from Zanzibar to Dar but the members of the group seem skeptical. We have only just got on it so so far so good but the ride so far is as bumpy as a small boat on stormy waters. I would say I have some pretty good sea legs but the woman next to me not so much. I think this is her first time ever on this thing and I can already see signs that whatever she had for lunch with reappear shortly. Not looking forward to that in all honesty. Luckily she has been provided with a sick bag but something tells me that flimsy bit of plastic will not hold 2 and a half hours of puke. Oh yay. Aside from that I am in good spirits. I have after all just been in Zanzibar for three days. Usually three days isn’t enough but three days of sun, sea, sand and happy hour cocktails has been more than enough and I am now ready to leave Tanzania and head to Malawi.

Since Arusha little has happened really, the days have been filled with sun lounging and long drives. The drive from Arusha to Korongwe was the longest we have had so far, nothing too exciting to see or do on the way really. These long drives are definitely the downfall of overland travel. The scenery is great to see and village life on the side of the road is exciting for most but after about 9 long and slow hours every village is the same and the scenery changes only slightly thanks to the vegetation. It does become slightly amusing when the small children decide to flip us the bird or threaten to throw stones at us but that is it. Thankfully most of the destinations we head to make it all the worth while, I say most because others are not so worth it or we simply arrive too late and leave too early to decide whether it deserves a place on the places to see list. Korongwe for one is definitely no where to write home about. We didn’t stay long as we wanted to make it to Dar at a reasonable hour but after only a few awake hours both at night and during the day. I have decided that unless absolutely necessary it isn’t really worth it. It was a nice break from the drive though so perhaps I am being a little too harsh. The campsite was great and the facilities are basic but a good bonus so a good stop off point at best. Other than that, truly unexciting. Dar isn’t much better either to be fair. It’s not a place where I would spend too much time unless I had to. It’s a typical big city in Africa. Very little order and and a hell of a lot of chaos. Oh and the ferry… Eeks. Not something to do on a regular occasion. In fact only something to do if absolutely necessary, it does get you out of the traffic but carrying shopping and backpacks is just not a heap of fun.

Oh and out comes the sick bag, great. Lunch, breakfast and last nights dinner have all reappeared. Thank goodness my sea legs seem to be in good working order. Sick bag is not going to hold. Aaah. Not happy. Thankfully not long until we get to the mainland, I can see it now.

So, I arrived in Dar at Kipepeo beach. That was hectic. We ended up getting off the ferry and going shopping then getting on the local ferry and on various other modes of transport just to get here to rain. Nice. Anyway one last night of luxury on a Tanzanian beach (perks of being a tour leader is staying in the hotel rooms when they are available) then we hit the road again tomorrow.

I see I am jumping around a bit here but it’s hard to write a blog while being distracted. I’m going to jump back to my time in Zanzibar as I realise now I haven’t even touched on it. To put it simply, it was amazing. Oh the weather was rubbish but aside from that it was beach time and a few cocktails. The first night was spent in Stone Town. We arrived and headed straight for the spice tour and a look at the old slave market. It was very interesting to say the least. And very touristy. We came back covered in various ornaments made from palm leaves. It poured with rain most of the time but everyone seemed to have a good time. After that it was off to Africa House to watch a non existent sunset. Failing a good sunset we hit the fish market for some street food. Not to everyone’s liking but my ice cream was delicious! Obviously being Zanzibar a late night was in order so we headed off to the Maru Maru hotel for we more drinks. Staggering home we managed to get so lost that it took us a good half hour to get there but we made it in one piece and headaches were all round the next day. After breakkie we headed off to the East Coast to stay in Kwendra Rocks for a couple of days. The group decided that they needed to go on a booze cruise that evening. I think they were persuaded by the yatch out the front of the bar. I tried to tell them that that wasn’t the boat but they didn’t believe me. As you can imagine, when they were met with one of the local chapalanga jobs they were less than impressed. Lets just say a bottle of vodka and a few shots of konyagi later they were loving it. They jumped off the boat and enjoyed the sunset… I think. They were more interested in the booze than anything else to be fair. A few drunk people appeared off the boat later attempting to walk their way to the bar, failing that crawling. This obviously continued much later in to the night and a merry time was had by all. Oh and I was nicknamed Genuine Legend. Not a bad name to be honest. And one I plan to live up to.

The next day was so lazy, they all headed off for touristy things and I stayed behind. Soaking up the sun rays and walking a long the beach was definitely a good way to spend the day. I could get used to this. On North bound trips we spend 4 nights in Zanzibar. I am not going to lie, I am looking forward to that. Relaxing at the beach is going to be a much needed break from a few days on the truck. Then sadly it was time to head back to Dar to start our long journey to Malawi. The whole ferry saga later I find myself enjoying some quiet time. I think a nice early night is in order as we have an early start tomorrow. We won’t make it all the way to Malawi in a day but will camp just outside the Mikumi National Park. Hopefully a chance to see some wildlife tomorrow for a few brief moments but otherwise another full day of driving! We actually picked up some more people and left some people behind in Dar and Zanzibar so it’s nice to be meeting some new people. Hopefully we will have some more exciting times ahead because so far it has been amazing and full of laughter. I have been to so many new places and have seen some really great sights. I am Looking forward to having my very own truck soon and running my own tours. It’s great seeing how others do things but I can not wait to get going. We are coming in to busy season so hopefully it will be sooner rather than later. I don’t think I will be home for a while still but life on the road is pretty amazing. I am happy to be here. Next stop Malawi. Kande Beach had better not disappoint!

And so after the escapades of Dar and Zanzibar, it is time to hit the bar for one last beer. Cheers Tanzania. It has been amaze balls.

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