Friday, 7 September 2007
FROM ZANZIBAR TO KILIMANJARO
I wasn't planning to go to Zanzibar as it seemed a bit extravagant in the context of my journey. However, I couldn't miss out, so I went there and blew my budget for the next 6 months. I found the island to be interesting and beautiful, but also a bit of a tourist trap. The most affordable accommodation was in the old city (Stone Town) where I stayed most of the time. I cycled to the idyllic palm-lined coral beaches of the East Coast, where I stayed in one of the many resort hotels. There is no camp site on the island, and informal camping is illegal (government tax on tourist rooms). The ferry is also not cheap, and the ride back to Dar Es Salaam was so rough that the guy handing out puke-bags looked like a bar room stripper the way he was swinging on the support poles (fortunately he managed to keep his clothes on). North of Dar I did find a nice camp site at the coastal town of Bagamoyo, where I braai'd fresh Snapper bought from local fishermen. From there I made my way North-West, staying mostly in small village guest houses. The only other Mzungu's I saw during that time were at the windows of the many speeding busses. There was one exception, when I stopped at a roadside motel for a drink I heard Afrikaans being spoken (2 guys from SA who work for Vodacom in Tanzania). I spent 2 days in Moshi at the foot of Kilimanjaro, but unfortunately the mountain was covered in cloud and I only had a glimpse of the peak. I couldn't wait forever for a good view and a photo, so I've moved on to Arusha where I'll stay for a few days (laundry, etc., and bike service). Sorry no photo of Kilimanjaro, but I've included one of a rather weathered climber I met in the mirror. Distances since Dar have been:- Zanzibar 19; Paje 52; Stone Town 53; Kinduchi 32; Bagamoyo 60; Msata 68; Makata 76; Korogwe 89; Hedaru 106; Same 57; Moshi 111; and Arusha 84.