Arusha (Shop for supplies!!!)
Trip Start Apr 24, 2012
146Trip End Ongoing
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Not sure if I have mentioned this before, but the Tanzanians and specially the Masai, has a real problem with one taking photos of them. They get very upset and therefore all the "sneak" photos on the blog. One lot of “black and white” Masai boys showed us the finger and even threw the car with a stone after taking a photo of them whiles driving pass.
Although we have learned that a “town” or “city” does not amount to what we know as a “town or a city”, we had high hopes for Arusha to stock up on supplies. We were told that next to Mwanza and Dar Es Salaam, Arusha was THE town to shop at as it has a Shoprite. (whooopi ding!, you would say, but believe me it is like walking in to Food Lovers Market in a desert
Driving into Arusha, the first surprise is the Arusha Airport on the right hand side of the main road. Not sure up to what size airplane they can handle but it sure seemed busy with lots of smaller aircraft lining the runway.
Arusha is the Coffee capital of Tanzania and there are a number of old or well established coffee plantations. Some of which, border the main road. As Nescafe was no longer available anywhere we tried the Africafe, a truly Tanzanian product. Not Nescafe, but not bad either. Town is lush and green with many manicured gardens and brand new sky scrapers. There are a dozen or so more going up in different areas of town. It still amazes me that a super modern sky scraper would be right next to a shack or shack-like shops. “Location” the buzz word in the estate industry certainly doesn't hold much water there.
Goods are super expensive in Tanzania. To give you and idea, two small packets of jelly tots and two New looks cost me R50.00. This did not put us off much and the next decent town would be Dar Es Salaam – who knows when? We could not bring ourselves to by meat though, but for the rest, we were pretty much sorted
We opted for a campsite somewhat out of town on a small lake called Duluti Campsite. It came “highly recommended” on tracks for Africa. Well, whoever recommended it so highly has no sense of hygiene. The setting is OK and it is safe. They also have electricity – although be it a strength that cooked our trailer batteries. But the bathrooms are disgusting! If it was not for the fact that we had to stay to have our tyres fixed the next day, we would have moved on to Lake Chala. The club house next door played music 24/7 and this, seemingly in competition with the campsite restaurant music. Needles to say we felt like we were in Disco Capital for the duration of our stay.
We had no trouble in getting the tyres fixed but there was nowhere to fill the gas bottles. We would have to hold out till Dar.
The area is beautiful though with a very tropical feel.