Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Day 44: Tanzania Through a Window

We hit the road early, optimistic for our 8 hour bus ride to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania's 'capital', happy that we paid extra for the 'luxury' bus with air-conditioning and a bathroom. It was only 7:30 and it was already smokin' hot out.

When we reached the bus station we were told that there was a problem with our bus and it had broken down on the road from Arusha, so another one was being sent. It was scheduled to arrive just after our 8am departure time. No problem.

By 8:30, there was no bus, and we were being loaded into a taxi to take us to the big bus terminal. We were escorted onto a waiting bus - no air-conditioning, no toilet - and refunded $2 each for our down-grade. That $2 sure didn't seem like it would make up for the discomforts ahead. Now leaving an hour and a half behind schedule, and in seats that didn't have control over a window, our spirits were slightly lower than initially. But we got to watch the countryside unfold before us, towering tree-lined hillsides and 'Circle of Life' peaks looked down on weird pineapple-tree-like fields, when all the while Terminator 2 played on the TV up front. We were, for the moment, happy.

At 1 we had a short stop where we could buy a take-away buffet plate and use actual washrooms. Not quite the same as the open trough Erin experienced in Kenya, but close, with outdoor stalls for squat toilets missing all of their doors. What's the etiquette in this case?

By 5 we were sweltering hot and enraged with the man in front of us for keeping the window closed. We kept close eyes on our GPS and we seemed to be moving at an alarmingly slow pace.

By 7, night had fallen and we were still kilometers away from downtown Dar. The bus ended up letting us off at its outskirts, so we had to taxi in. Weary and sweaty, we were thankful the restaurant would dish us up its dried-out leftovers ten minutes before closing at 8. Luther Guesthouse was right by the ferry docks, had hot water and a fan and was a surprisingly quiet place to sleep. We were on 'power through' mode, knowing by that time the next day, we'd be lying on the beach!

Just before entering the church run hotel, Erin informed Craig that they were now married, as it was a precondition of sharing a room.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations! Sorry we missed out on the festivities, though it sounds like there wasn't any extra space on your party bus. :)