Wednesday, January 1, 2014
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” ― Augustine of Hippo
We are now in Dar Es Salaam on the coast of Tanzania, right on the Indian Ocean. Although it is only a one hour and twenty minute flight from Mwanza to Dar Es Salaam, it took us thirteen hours to get here. We got up at six am to pack and left Bunda at nine am, driving straight to Mwanza where we went to our favorite Chinese restaurant on the lake. Got to the airport around one pm for our flight that didn’t leave until four twenty pm (did a lot of waiting). The plane was a jet (had to be, the company is called FastJet—I guess no one would use an airline called SlowJet) and the flight was full but nice. The airport is much better than the one in Nairobi and we got our bags quickly and found the driver from the hotel with a sign with our name on it. There are bad taxi drivers in Dar Es Salaam and the embassy had warned us only to use drivers we knew were good. Took almost an hour to get from the airport to the hotel where we checked in at seven pm—thirteen hours after we had gotten up and eleven hours after we had left Bunda. When we arrived at the hotel, even though our driver was from the hotel, the car was searched and a guy with a mirror on a stick checked under the car. When we got to the main entrance, there was another security check just like at the airport complete with baggage x-ray and metal detectors. Even inside the hotel, you can’t use the elevators unless you have a room key—another safety feature. We were very tired, but after a quick shower, we had a dinner date (our first in years) at one of the hotel restaurants. Too expensive for every day, but as it was our last date in 2013, we really enjoyed it. The package that had been sent by DHL and got to Dar Es Salaam on December 19th was not at the hotel. They front desk is trying to track it down, but as today is New Year’s, probably nothing will happen until tomorrow. We get a free breakfast and it was enough to get us through the day, I think. Nothing to do today, but read and relax. Tomorrow, I will take my ailing computer to the Apple store here and that is all that is planned. Friday, I meet with the U.S. Embassy to get my passport renewed and that is all that is planned for that day. Get the picture? We are reading and relaxing as our main occupation. Wish you were here.