The journey

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Wrexham, Wales, United Kingdom
For the past 5 years, me and my best friend Nathan have talked about the possibility of travelling around the world by land and sea, and so finally we have a route, savings and time to set off around the world. What we are doing is living out a dream, a dream we share with many people worldwide, a dream of travelling this vast, diverse, beautiful and interesting planet, but unlike the many others who keep it as a dream, we have the tenacity to make this dream a reality.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Days 93 & 94: Tanzania

Day 93

With the Landrover needing attention yet again, we headed into Dar to see if we could find a garage. Whilst asking in a tyre garage, a local who was getting his wheels aligned offered to show us where a Landrover specialist was located in the city. We invited Matthew into the car to show us where it was, but when we arrived the place was shut as it was a Saturday.

The security guard had the phone number for a mechanic who worked there and so we gave him a call to see if he could help us. He was doing some private work at the time, but said if we drove up to meet him that he could quickly repair our car before returning to the other job. The house he was at was only around the corner from where we had stayed the previous night, and after finding him the job of replacing the bearings and oil seal whilst fixing the brake calliper was complete within a couple of hours.

We drove Matthew home and thanked him for his help in finding a mechanic. He had gone out of his way to help us and we appreciate the genuine kindness of people who just want to help, rather than the usual African way of helping and then asking for commission. We spent the evening having a few drinks before returning to the Silver Sands resort to go swimming/skinny dipping in the sea after sundown.

Day 94

Zanzibar is a small island just off the coast of Tanzania, famed in history as an important part of the early trade routes. Although our budget was beginning to tighten itself, we both agreed that we must visit the island whilst we were in the area, as we might not get a better chance to do so. We got a taxi down to the port, leaving the Landrover safely parked in the campsite, we booked our tickets and then boarded the next fast catamaran ferry that was leaving the rainy mainland.

The journey took just over an hour and a half, and we arrived in sunny Zanzibar to fill out more Tanzanian immigration and health forms before getting our passports stamped and being allowed onto the island. We took a walk around the old stone town passing through the narrow maze of alleyways that only scooters, bicycles and pedestrians could navigate. To lose the way around these twisting cobbled lanes was quite easy as a tourist, but whichever way you went, you would always end up back at the main road on one side, or the sea on the other.

It was Easter Sunday, and despite Zanzibar being a Muslim place it seemed quite subdued. The maze of alleyways led us eventually down to the old fort in which we found a nice little restaurant/bar where we had a drink and a game of pool for the first time on the trip. Just after the sun went down, we returned to the park on the promenade which had amazingly come alive with stalls selling charcoal grilled food enticing what appeared to be the entire town out to eat and socialise on the sea front. All the senses combined at once as the smell, sound, taste and sight threw up a dramatic and unexpectedly pleasant end of the evening in Zanzibar. (I’m not gonna cook it, but I’ll order it from Zanzibar! – not for one minute could me or Nathan get that song out of our heads.)

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