To Arusha (with kindness of strangers).

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Flag of Tanzania  , Arusha,
Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Ahhh!! local buses! Africa does interesting versions. Cram as many people in as possible and drive like a maniac. We had a six hour journey (it was supposed to be four) from Nairobi airport to Arusha in Tanzania. We weren't able to sit together with Heather scoring a fully veiled young Muslim Mum, with a fractious and fidgety child to share with and Avan next to a chap who worked for the United Nations.

Halfway through the journey we had to go through the border and the officer demanded $50 US each  for Visas. We didn't have our Lonely Planet with us (still in the lost luggage) to check this but could do nothing and had to pay.

When we arrived in Arusha the bus stopped at an out of town depot and for once there didn't seem to be a taxi in sight. It was (8.30pm and dark). Missing that Lonely Planet again we didn't even have the actual address of where our accommodation was booked (it was marked in the LP!). As is often the case in travelling, the kindness of strangers comes to the fore just when you need it. When we asked the bus driver if he knew the Flamingo Hotel and how we would find it, the UN rep spoke to the driver, who then said he would take us right to the door if we stayed on the bus! 

A lovely young Tanzanian receptionist welcomed us to our very budget hotel ($15US including breakfast a night) and recommended a place close by for us to eat. We went up  to our room and were relieved to see a mosquito net in place! Following our receptionist's advice we went to eat at "Khan's Chicken on the Bonnet". This amazing eatery was an outdoor BBQ chicken place. By day Khan is the local mechanic and "RAC equivalent" by night he runs his chicken joint and it was fabulous. We were starving and filled up on tasty garlic naan bread and lots of BBQ chicken, all for a few $A's. Back at our accommodation, we again faced the problem of not having an alarm clock (in our luggage of course) and an early pick up for our safari. "Hakuna Matata" (no worries) said our lovely receptionist - I'll wake you up and make your breakfast in  time. As it turned out she didn't have to wake us, the Muslim call to prayer did a fine job of waking us. A day full of kindness and assistance to us crazy foreigners.
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