Day 306, Monday 05 November 2012 – Dar es Salaam
Damn, I knew as soon as I wrote that good sleep was habit forming I would sleep badly and I did. No reason for it, bed was comfy, it was warm but not overly so and the night market food was still comfortably sitting in my belly.
We had breakfast on the roof of the Safari Lodge, the view was not spectacular and it was overcast and already humid – it was looking to be a sticky day. We were serenaded throughout breakfast by the voices of chanting children from the school next door.
When we went to go out I couldn’t find my sunglasses in the room. I suspect I dropped them when the flash cards fell out of my bag last night – bugger ! I have managed to not lose those sunglasses for two years, they had some good memories, oh well.
Brett, Simon, Leonie and I went for a walk to the Zanzibar coffee shop.
Just after we left the hotel I spotted a door that looked like it was worth photographing and swung my bag off my back to get my camera out. I had a sudden pain right across my chest and back and my first thought was “shit, I am having a heart attack”. I checked for other symptoms, no shortness of breath, no numbness – so decided it wasn’t anything immediately critical. I was in real pain but kept my mouth shut until we sat down in the cafe. By then the pain was just in my back and it slowly worked its way out over the rest of the day – a wee nervous moment!
The coffee was excellent though. Possibly the best I have had in Africa 🙂
We reluctantly dragged ourselves out of the coffee shop and returned to the hotel to check out and store our bags in an empty room. Once sorted we were back out into the heat to see if we could find a working ATM that took Mastercard. It seems the one I found last night had been fixed, which was great news as I could then replace my nice expensive sun glasses with a pair of ten dollar Riy Dons, funnily enough the logo is quite similar to Ray Bans 🙂
We spent the next hour or so randomly walking the streets and alleys of Stone Town. It is a pretty cool place, old and run down, but still a living and breathing residential city. I did love the doorways – a lot !
There is a great blue here that I just love, I am going to add it to my favourite colours list, along with Vietnam yellow – they are colours that will remind me of places I have visited.
I loved the Girl Guide sign above this doorway into the old fort area.
Laughed at this !
We stopped for lunch at Green Garden Cafe, pizza and an avocado, ginger, mango and lime mocktail for me. Yum ! It started to rain while we were lunching so we hung around for a while waiting for it to stop as no-one had a jacket or umbrella or anything else remotely sensible.
The rain hadn’t stop before we left. The streets of Stone Town were ankle deep in some places, I would like to think it was mostly fresh rain water, but God alone knows what we waded through.
The eves from the shops on both sides of the narrow streets were not really built to allow anyone to walk under in the rain so there was a constant stream of runoff from the roofs pouring on heads and shoulders as well as the rain itself. It stopped when we were almost back to the hotel and we found others from our group wandering wetly around as we neared it.
I love this – they are football mad here, but not everyone has a TV, so this guy puts the results up, very cool, though obviously a Liverpool supporter.
Once back at the hotel we had some time to kill so I went on a quick stroll aroud the immediate area, I found a nice little graveyard in the middle of the houses.
And finally, another bicycle, right over the road from the hotel.
We had a 3:30 ferry back to Dar es Salaam to catch so we walked over to the port at 2:45. I had a wee “oh shit” moment when I could not find my ferry ticket, I could have sworn it was in my pocket, luckily it was in my bag.
The ferry was different to the one we came over on, it also appeared to be over sold and we were lucky to get seats on the top, uncovered deck. The ride was lovely though, mostly smooth for the whole journey, apart from a brief, light shower when we got on it was sunny all the way as well. The best news was it only took an hour and a half to get there, thirty minutes faster than the way out.
Once disembarked, Brett hired a mini-van that was to take us to the harbour crossing ferry, come with us over the harbour and drop us at the campsite. The kilometre to the ferry took almost one and a half hours, but it was a quick ride over the harbour and back to our ever faithful truck. I think we all missed our home away from home.
It was after 7:00 and dark when we arrived. Fortunately the tents were still up from when we left three days ago and Ebron had dinner all prepared, so no chores pre-eating, yay!
It was the birthday of one of my fellow travellers so there was another Ebron special cake for dessert. Double yay !!