A welcome change of scenery

Trip Start Apr 18, 2011
Trip End Apr 08, 2012

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Flag of Tanzania  , Zanzibar Archipelago,
Thursday, May 26, 2011

Very pleased to leave my hostel this morning, and on the whole quite glad to to bid farewell to Dar es Salaam which, from my experience, is quite hard to get around without unwanted attention. I am quite oblivious to caste or ethnicity, but perhaps for the first time ever, I felt the effects of being a 'white person' (terminology I dislike) as I walked around the city. I had men run to catch up with me just to try and sell me something, or try and lead me somewhere. And every taxi journey ended with an abrupt, forceful demand for money - in dollars.

The hostel I stayed at was, in polite terms, basic. I'm on a budget obviously, so hotels are out of the question. But I've had some very good hostel experiences up until the last one. The power cut out every hour, which meant no air con (I most definitely promised to myself never to complain about cold blasts of air con again: something entirely taken for granted by myself in the UAE). The bed definitely housed a few unwanted critters, as I had bites around my ankles yesterday morning, and to top it all, as I made way to my room last night a man appeared in the corridor, asking if I would like him to send some 'company' for the night. Door swiftly shut and bolted needless to say.

I am slightly changing my plans for travelling around Africa, as it's harder then I imagined. Buses and trains are options, but not safe, and I'm not so sure I'd feel comfortable, given recent experience just on foot, to travel on my own for longer distances.

So I'll be heading back into South Africa, into Cape Town to end my time here. I've heard so many good things about Cape Town from travellers, and it is somewhere I've wanted to go for a fair few years now.

But first, Zanzibar. I caught the two and a half hour ferry at midday today, enduring a whole CD's worth of Celine Dion filtering out from speakers in the cabin: the film track to Titanic was a poor choice, and the irony was most definitely grimaced at as I battled with seasickness. The sky, a menacing grey that threatened rain while in Dar es Salaam broke out into a brilliant blue as the ferry docked, and feeling a little seasick, but unable to sway down to the walkway, thanks to the weight of my rucksack, which feels heavier today somehow. I have already made a mental note that I will be sniffing out a good Chinese massage when I get to Beijing after Africa.

After waiting for change to be sought from my dollars (I paid the visa charge that I couldn't pay in Dar es Salaam) I managed, with the help of yet another persistent man, to find a nearby hostel. This one is utter luxury compared to my last, and I managed to knock down the nightly charge of $35 to $20, which is my budget for the next seven nights.

And I already have a plan for tomorrow, which makes me feel better - not having a plan makes me nervous and reminds me too much of my drastic lifestyle change. Yes it was my choice to come travelling, but I'm still feeling a little overwhelmed by that decision some days, such as when I changed over some money a few days ago at a bureau du change - this calls for you to show your passport and write down your details, including your permanent home address. Which I don't have right now.

So I'm heading north tomorrow by a shuttle bus, which will pick me up from the hostel at 8am. The north coast is meant to be lined with beautiful white beaches: camera and bikini at the ready.
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Gudgebum on

Its so true what you say about dar es salam. So much unwatnted attention its annoying. A lot more than anywhere else for some reason.....
Hope you still having a great time sweedart xxx

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