So, I am back in Africa, Tanzania – East Africa. I’ve been in the country a week now. Many smells and sounds, honking horns, dusty streets and chaotic traffic! I spent my first night in Dar es Salaam at Safari Inn, a good hostel. Private rooms only. The following day I met up with my first couch surfing host, a cool, crazy guy named Maricky. His place is so far south in the city it is like being in a separate village. A bucket shower and a shared bathroom between at least 18 people. The two toilets are just holes! We went to Zebra bar and hung out I tried local food rice and meat, using my hands. Next we headed to the local chip shop. A common and cheap dish is Chips Mayai – chips and eggs mixed together – delicious.
Dar es Salaam is the country’s largest city on the east coast. Not many tourist attractions apart from the National Museum and several markets. The Village Museum, which I visited with other tourists, is also worth a gander!
Next headed to Zanzibar. People have helped me from place to place for a small price. I took a hostel taxi to the port on my second day and purchased my ferry ticket to Stone Town, Zanzibar. This was my second stop. I planned to stay with another couch surfer. Hassan. He met me and we had lunch then headed to Prison Island. We took a dhow – a traditional wooden boat with outboard engine. Once on the small island, we headed to the large tortoise colony – giants who are now protected. They number some 2000 so I’m told. I touched a couple and one even began walking at a snails pace!! Their shells feel like hard stones. Next we visited the so-called prison. This was actually used for quarantining people with tropical diseases from Zanzibar. They were often left to die with no way of escaping the island. This place was closed in the 1970s.
Back on Stone Town, I discovered Hassan couldn’t host me as he lived far from town, 9 km, on a rough and, in his words, a dangerous road. I ended up in a hostel. Annoying, that is travelling. The following day Hassan arrived only to inform me he had to go to a relative’s funeral! This would take all day. Luckily I had contacted another couch surfer and she was available to show me around some of Stone with their original chains. The following day I left to go to Demani Lodge near Paje in the east – a beach resort where I rest for two days before returning to Dar es Salaam. More to follow soon.
Still in Stone Town. An interesting small historical city with narrow winding roads/alleys. I also touched the monument to slaves – six stone headed victims. We visited the Livingstone House where Dr. David Livingstone, 19th century British explorer was laid to rest before being transported back to Britain. We also explored several shops eventually arriving at the Spice Market. This was fantastic, lively with many people bartering for goods. I smelt the many spices available; from vanilla to clove, ginger to coriander! Also available were soaps. We found some seashells to feel in all shapes and sizes. Next was the former slave market and prison. These were underground chambers where up to 40 men where held in one small room before being sold at market. The British built Anglican St Joseph church is above the slave market.