Sunrise Beach

Trip Start Apr 24, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Tanzania  , Dar es Salaam,
Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunrise Beach

We arrived in a chaotic Dar, that is, to our standards. Dar is not at all what we envisaged.   We expected a city like Lusaka and found the overgrown village that the Norwegian spoke about.  Huge, but totally messy and unorganized.  Like it just happened. Driving here is an art if nothing else. 

At first we went to Toyota so to be sure that we knew how far it was from where we would stay.  Next we found a Shoprite not far from Toyota – this meant we could "kill two birds with a stone" when the time came to service the car. 

We used the Kiganboni Ferry to get to the south of Dar to where the camping options are.  What an experience!! This Ferry is renowned for being busy, we had no idea just how busy till we made the turn toward it.  We were starting to feel a bit anxious or harassed whatever way you want to look at it.  People everywhere. Cars, buses, taxis, motorbikes, bicycles and other transport, without names, all fighting for a spot on the ferry. 

As customary, the passengers have to get out of the car.  Only the driver is permitted in the vehicle.  This meant I had to make my way through the turn style, along with hundreds of Tanzanians to wait in an area till the ferry was clear to board.  I can't quite describe the feeling when all eyes are on you because you are a “musungu” (white man).  Not a good feeling I’d say.  After about 15 min of this the gate opened and it was each man for himself as everyone rushed through.

Once on board, I could not help Rini’s suggestion of always taking a spot on the top deck of the ferry in case it sinks you will not get trampled by people trying to get out but rather be able to jump overboard and swim.  This particular ferry is big and in good working order and not at all overloaded, so instead I went looking for Carlos.  I needed the camera to take photos. The car deck was fully loaded and a squeeze to get though.  As it is a short trip there was just enough time to take the photos before returning the camera to Carlos and making my way to the passenger’s deck again. 

What is that famous saying?...... “it is not over till the fat lady sings” . If we thought getting on to the ferry was a task then getting off and out on to open road again was proving to be more so.  Carlos did well at staying calm but it was hectic.

We stopped to check out Sunrise Beach before going to Kipipeo – that was suggested by several people.  Sunrise Beach looked so good that we booked in without even checking out Kipipeo. Not a bad thing as Sunrise is much nicer. 

We have two nights here before booking in the car.  We had barely set up camp when an overlander truck with about 20 senior’s arrived.  They proceeded to camp right on our doorstep. Not much later another truck with about the same amount of people arrived.  By now we were starting to wonder about our decision.  (At a later stage when we walked pass Kipipeo we saw at least 4 of these trucks and knew Sunrise was the right choice) 

Being Dar and being weekend the beach was very busy with a “fruit salad” of people.  Besides for the 2 overlander trucks there were some people occupying the fixed tent area too.  Some Iranian youngsters, a German honeymoon couple and 3 German girls.  In the group that arrived first there were mostly Aussies and in the second group – New Zealanders.  This made for great conversation.  The weekend passed in a flash.

Monday morning started real early with the trucks leaving and then the upset voice of the Iranian who’s tent was cut and all their things stolen.  Oh My Hat!! And did he go on!  By 7am we had been listening to him for at least an hour.  Carlos managed to get hold of Toyota.  We booked the car in for Friday as we realized that leaving the car here while going to Zanzibar is not an option.  One of the guards seemed to be involved with the theft which did not give us much confidence in leaving all our things here for 4 days.  Thus we would be going to Kilwa in the South, a couple of hundred km’s, see what there is to see and then be back on Thursday in order to take the car in early Friday morning. 

This would mean NO Zanzibar! Not OK but with the “squeezing of the tourist lemon” and not having a reliable place to leave the car – it is the only option. 

So south we go.
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