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Published: December 15th 2009
I know, I know, it doesn’t rhyme - but, Chris de B got away with it with dance and romance!
So.., where was I?
The BBQ. Well, Billy’s rum punch was pretty awesome and with cracking tunes and all ;o) it kicked off pretty well. I was, mmm, tipsy I’d say, before we left the house, so when we found that our star guest who had helped us out so much, is also the local revolutionary, it quickly turned into a proper night out. Davis is a man with an insatiable positive attitude, and before we even started the club tour, we were also confirmed ‘winners’ by virtue of the fact that “I’m the sperm that won”! aaah well - that just had to be followed up with tequila slammers and half a dozen dancefloors. Brilliant!
After a day’s recovery and online booking, we got back on the road and said goodbye to this Mombasa paradise. In fact, we got on a plane straight to the next one - Tanzania’s Zanzibar Island. Although it turned out to be a banking disaster zone, this is an awesome destination. Again, the flight, and the hotel in Stonetown were near empty, so we booked
a dive for the next morning and headed off on a walking (and ATM finding) tour ending at Africa House (the only bar) for Long Island Iced Teas and sunset.
On the dive the water was crystal clear, and it was a beautiful sunny day. We had a French companion who was certainly was not impressed with my linguistic efforts (she actually went and sat on the other side of the boat… oops). But she was also a destroyer underwater and I was amazed the guide seemed to say nothing when she collected coral - maybe it’s my inexperience, but I thought that was NOT allowed..?
Billy and I had planned the rest of his time backwards eeking out the most of it. It meant the next two days on the beach on the east coast were going to be our last restful ones - and boy did we make the most of that. One day I literally did nothing… Yep, I slowed the London pace, and on that day I went back through Exeter, down to Dawlish and beyond… without shoes. It was a true tropical paradise with pretty shells, ghost crabs and hammocks, and an escape from everything.
I could have stayed here for weeks… But enough of this bumming around on beaches! Next stop Arusha - back inland. The journey started with difficulties, but quite funny looking back. First, my VISA card was held at the ATM at Zanzibar airport. The security guard said that it sometimes happens and that the card will just ‘pop back out’ if I hang on for ten minutes… then ten more minutes… then… checked in and came back… then they insist on holding the flight while we all stand around a completely oblivious cash machine. That’s it - forget the card man! So we get on the plane for a 3 hour flight with a stop in Dar es Salaam with me in a proper sulk and Billy in sunburn agony. It’s one of these ‘car with wings’ type things too. Still, we both perked up when a young blonde lady climbs into the seat at the front and says: “Hi everyone, my name’s Sarah and I’ll be taking you to Arusha today. There’s water in the cooler at the back, and some sweets just here . Wear your seatbelt and just relax.” I couldn’t help
rejoicing for girl power - I hadn’t seen a woman working on anything but beads and henna for several days - and Billy seemed pleased too, but I don’t think for the same reasons… It was FIVE hours later, we arrived in Arusha. Luckily, another new friend, Tunzo, had come to meet us and take us to a hotel. He’s a local travel expert and he booked us a safari for the next morning. In the rush of it all it dawned on me that this is where Billy will leave me in just two days - eek.
Safari was to Tarangire NP (loads of elephants), Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara (giraffe capital). I have sooo many pictures - so I have tried to be selective. Our driver didn’t have perfect English, but I wanted to ask why no-one had domesticated the zebra :o). He said they’re not very strong…!? I tried another angle: So, do people use Zebra for anything? He said he eats them. I left it there for Google and decided not to ask about his “Nature Cannot Be Restocked” barcode/zebra stripe T-shirt. Our chef was quite the talker on the other hand. Spoilt by the full
introduction to Kenya that the Sense International guys had given me, and I had all sorts of questions about Tanzania and the comparisons. Chef Lymo had the answers.
Billy’s last full day in East Africa was high drama. The weather was stormy through the night and even in the morning. We’d decided not to camp at all, but proceeded into the huge wildlife bowl that is Ngorongoro Crater. The atmosphere was ‘well moody’ and the sky threatened more rain, but it meant less 4x4’s searching for their ‘Big Five’. Near the lake, we sighted our first Rhino, so we were already on a contented high when we came across a big pride of lions at least 200m away. It looked as though they were about to ambush nearby buffalo, but the buffalo were all over the situation and next thing, the pride was being herded up and properly seen off. There was lots of huffing and puffing and ‘come on then!?’ and soon the action moved right into our path. It was brilliant! Lion vs Buffalo - no win, but all were thoroughly asserted. So, along with the 180 degree skid action on the road home along the crater, it
was a pretty eventful day!
Now, I’m back in Arusha. I blubbed when Billy left, but I’ve had a couple of days turning my room into a laundry and day spa and I’m ready to head off tomorrow for Moshi to meet back up with Tunzo. Then it’s on to the coast again - Pangani on the way to Dar Es Salaam, and hoping to get there for the Tuesday train, otherwise I’ll be stuck in the city through Christmas and New Year. Might make it, might not - “this is Africaaa”.
But if I don’t manage to blog up again before then, I wish you all a really warm and cosy Christmas and a rocking New Year. I’m missing all the parties and mulled wine already, and I’ll be thinking of you all over the HOLIDAY! Woohoo.
Big love x
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