Tanzania - going to Paradise

The American Ken who picked me up from the border to Kigoma, has been living for twenty years in Bujumbura with his wife and his ten adopted children (all orphans from Burundi). He was fanatical about Christianity and began to "preach" while driving. I remembered that I had a couchsurfer from the US some time ago and she said that i will meet many christian fanatics if i hitchhike across the US... Ken was totally  crazy about God and it seemed useless for me to get involved in any arguing. My previous experience from the UK where i did argue with fanatics, had taught me that there is no point, it just leads to endless silly monologs, and they are just like the radio, they repeat the same thing again and again :) Otherwise, Ken was a very nice guy, at the Tanzanian border we bought visas - $ 50 for me and $ 100 for Ken because he has American passport. Arriving in Kigoma Ken invited me to meet his family. They came to Tanzania for holidays, they were going to sail in Lake Kivu by a yacht constructed by Ken's brother. His brother lives in Kigoma for many years and has made a sailing yacht. I met Ken's ten children, I was interested to see how they were totally different than the children of Burundi, speaking pure American English, dressed entirely different from the locals kids and on behavior just like American kids, the only difference between them, Ken and his wife was the skin color. Otherwise they look like a happy family, a typical American family :)
They fed me a delisious breakfast and i was ready to take off for the main road to Arusha - hundreds of kilometers of dirt road with almost no traffic.
The first day I could only get to the next town Kasulu. There, a local suggested I pitched the tent in their unfinished house. I stayed there with the hens who had little chicks and i was so happy that i have this shelter, the rain was coming. In the evening the mother cooked ugali and it was so tasty, i really enjoyed it after this long day.
The second day i didn't make a good progress again. Just before dark i pitched the tent next to a parking for trucks, that was the end of the dirt road so now i am on the main road. Day 3 was considerably more successful, a slow truck took me all the way to Singida, which is 300 km from Arusha. There, at midnight i found myself in the city center. While trying to walk out of it, a few boda-boda (taxi) drivers stopped me and asked what i'm doing on the streets at night with my huge backpack. They were very worried that someone will rob me, the typical African thinking. .. They were, however, surprisingly pleasant, although being motor taxi (usually these guys are annoying). They were all very keen to help me with whatever they could and one of them invited me to sleep in his house. After a short ride on the motorbike i ended up in the home of this young man, his wife and their 4 months old son. In the living room they still had greeting cards from their wedding hanged on the walls :) Really nice and hospitable people, i felt guilty that i only had to sit and wait for the girl to serve me food. But as many times as I offered help, she said no and insisted that i sit on a chair and drink and eat more and more :) We talked till late, they invited me to sleep inside the house, but as always I could not resist the temptation of the garden. :) I can't even imagine this trip without a tent, Africa is a paradise for sleeping outside, I can not imagine to close myself in, and i feel it won't be easy to live in a house again when i get back home :))

In the morning i left with many thanks. I started hitchhiking to Arusha and i thought - 300 km is all what's left, i can do that by lunch. Yes but NO! I got a ride with the slowest possible truck and it was shaking on these broken roads many long hours... till 21:00 in the evening. It took me a whole day to pass 300 km.. Good thing my host there was a Frenchman who does not go to bed early and I was not embarrassed to disturb him at that time. Romain came to pick me up from the center with another couchsurfer - a girl from Vietnam, who was also his guests. We ate outside and after we got back home we talked till late about our adventures. Romain has lived in India for five years and we share the same love for India. So we started talking about India and forgot how late it was.  
The next day Romain was busy with work, he is owner of a tour agency. Arusha is a very touristic place in Tanzania, not far from here are Ngorongoro, Serengheti and Kilimandjaro, it is full of tourists here playing big money to enter the national parks. Just to climb Kilimandjaro tourists pay around $ 2000 for a few days.  
The whole day i was trying to deal with stupid problems...My sneakers were too much open in the front so  half of my foot was outside. I found a shoemaker to fix them a little bit so at least sand and mud will not enter, it is clear that water will go through :) Then i was looking for camouflage pants because there is almost nothing left of mine but i didn't find any in Arusha. At least I walked around the city and explored it.
In the evening two couchsurfers from Denmark came to Romain's home so we were 4 guests and 1 host, we could conquer the house :) They said that they lived in Uganda for six months, volunteering for the Red Cross. Now, before they leave to Europe, they have decided to travel a bit around Tanzania. They immediately started talking about malaria, one of them had it three times already and almost died once. She said she was even taking the antimalaria pills in advance but still got it. Funny how these foreigners in Africa only talk about malaria :) I never even thought about it and i get no mousquito bites because i love the mousquitos so why should i worry :)The next day I managed to get to Dar es Salaam with a long ride in a fancy car. All the way from Kigoma to Dar nature changed often, it was so magical, green forests, savannah, rocky mountains, bright orange soil, followed by gray one with grown like mushrooms Massai clay houses in the same color as the respective soil in the area .. . For the first time i saw Baobab trees and i was speechless seeing this stunningly beautiful huge tree! Baobab is my favorite tree, undoubtedly :) Since I'm in Tanzania i love to sit under the shade of Baobab and listen to the birds, which are so colorfull and singing beautifully :) 
I arrived in Dar after dark, there was a monstrous traffic jam due to the floods, many houses and bridges were carried away. I had a host or something like that, i actually camped in the garden of a couchsurfer who  never met in person because she was gone for Christmas holidays, but it was so nice of her, that she let me sleep in her lush garden on the beach in the north of Dar. It was more convenient to get to the place on foot, cars were totally stuck in the traffic. At the door of the house i was welcomed by the security guard and the dog Simba, who immediately became a friend of mine. I pitched the tent under the palm trees in the garden and fell asleep, but not for a long time. A massive tropical storm hit me shortly after i went to sleep. It lasted many hours, there was thunders, very heavy rain and strong wind almost until morning. The tent just couldn't resist such heavy rain and the wind blowing like crazy, so all night I fought with water, trying to sneak from all sides and the wind trying to break the tent... In the morning there was something like a lake under me in the tent but the sun was just coming out behind the clouds. My smile never left my face since i stuck my head out of the tent and saw the landscape ... beach as far as my eyes could see, the sea so calm, palm trees softly swinging tired of the strong winds... Ahhh ... how beautiful the sea is after a storm! I see the ocean for the first time since Djibouti. I passed so many jungles, mountains, deserts since than and finally i am on the coast again and i have the ocean just in front of me... the total freedom and infinity, i felt like i wanted to fly, but instead i jumped into the sea :)) Then i walked all day with my soaked with salt water clothes. I hitchhiked all around the city, it was so easy! In the evening i had difficulties to go back to the garden because the bridge over the river in this part of Dar was totally ruined.  

The next morning I went early to the center to buy a ticket for the ferry to Zanzibar at 12:00. I killed some time in the city and just before noon i jumped on the boat named Flying Horse :)) In September a similar ferry sunk and over 100 people died. Africans can not swim, they never learn how, so when there are accidents in the water, many people drown.

Now some happy news: 
Since yesterday - 30.12 music is back in my life !!! I have no words to thank Kalin, who sent me an mp3-player from Bulgaria to Dar and made my Christmas possible and wonderful, although so far from home. :) I will never forget this and it will completely change my journey, because this is what i was missing most! Now i will stop seeing the negative things around me, will stop hearing the negative people and will start seeing everything only in pink color! :) Nothing can annoyed me anymore, nothing can break me! Maybe if i had music earlier, even the horrible people in Ethiopia would seem great to me :)) I just can not believe how much joy it brings me and how different looks the environment surrounding me. Moreover, in Tanzania i finally achieved a huge victory! After four months on the road i finally got rid of my expectations about Africa and started to accept and LOVE AFRICA as it is, with all its ups and downs! In order not to have a very disappointing trip i just had to fight with myself and begin to see Africa only from it's positive side. The days in Zanzibar gave me the time i needed to realize where i was and how happy and rich person i am, it is a paradise here and now, this stunning scenery, friendly people and amazing culture! So it took me time to stop noticing the annoying people and to travel again as i did in Asia - seeing only the positive and ignoring completely the negative side. Africa is a real diamond and i finally found it !!! HAKUNA MATATAAAAAAAA

1 comment:

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