Transit from Nairobbery

Trip Start Sep 15, 2009
Trip End Nov 21, 2009

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Flag of Tanzania  ,
Monday, October 5, 2009

We all piled into our new home for the next two weeks and made our way to the Tanzania/Kenya border.  The tour leader said it would be one of the worst roads and I was a little skeptical because I had made the journey previously and all I remember were huge potholes the size of cars.  And that isn’t an exaggeration!  The driver had to swerve in and out of the lanes(there weren’t lanes) so we wouldn’t fall in the holes.  But when we made our way down to the border, it seemed pretty good to me.  The border came and I got a nice little surprise from the friendly Tanzanians.  As I walked up to the window to get my passport stamped and pay my $50 visa fee like everyone else, I was told that because I was American I had to pay $100 for the visa.  I was pretty freakin pissed because the last time I was here it was only $50 and now it was double.  I think it is BS how they tax the lowly people like myself just because of politics or they want to make more money.  The only other country to charge $100 is Ireland.  And they are charging Pakistan $200.  After crossing the border with $50 less in my pocket, the roads turned to crap.  It was basically a crappy gravel road that was bumpy as hell.  You would think a road linking a major city and a somewhat major city would be decent enough to drive on.  Not this one.  Again, “This is Africa.“  There were times where it seemed we were the only ones driving on the road because we didn’t pass anyone for a very long time.  The terrain also turned into a virtual desert real quick with Masai people either herding their livestock or just sitting by the side of the road.  It was kind of creepy but cool.  We arrived in I think the town of Arusha and were given some free time to walk around a Masai market.  I didn’t buy anything because I didn’t feel like carrying stuff for 6 more weeks.  Then we were led to some people for a walking tour of a town where 120 different tribes of people have collectively come together to live in peace and harmony.  We walked in and around people’s homes, schools, and churches.  We saw a wood carving shop where guys were making the statues and what not that you see for sale(stuff for sale), a painting school(stuff for sale), had a hike up the mountain where my sandal broke on me, and had a traditional African meal prepared by women in huts.  Dam the meal was good!  Remember before when I said that I didn’t want to buy anything, I went crazy and bought things.  I figured what the hell.  I bought a wood statue, 2 paintings, and a Masai blanket.  The kind of blanket the Masai people actually use to cover themselves.  Now I have to carry the stuff around with me.  It’s ok….I’ve got some pretty cool stuff.  Afterward, we made camp somewhere else and I recruited a few guys to go for a jog with me.  One a Scotsman, the other an Aussie.  We ran around the neighborhood and we were probably the talk of the town.  Three white guys running around the streets for fun!  Little kids came out and were waving like crazy at us, and the cars and trucks would roll by you and kick red clay dust in your face.  It was short but greatly appreciated!
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