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Two Years & Twice Around the World...  

Tanzania Flag TANZANIA


July 9 - July 11. TANZANIA The last two days getting to Dar felt long.  Mommy Hooligan asked to sit with me again and I made the mistake of agreeing.  But, in the end, I just couldn't stand to be next to her.  She had to move because her dear baby son (at 15 years old) needed to stretch out.  He'd done absolutely nothing for two days but they catered to him like a two year old.  I told her that we all wanted to stretch out and she laid into me about having my own seat for so long.   I wasn't the only one that did.  There were five other people who were alone but she kept asking to sit with me. I was the smallest and with her Amazonian size it was easier to squishEntering Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania next to me.  I really had to bite my tongue.  We had shared our seats with her kids earlier in the trip and I had shared my seat with her as well.  At the start of the trip Rob and I had planned to just switch with them to give everyone a chance to stretch out.  We'd had to share during most of our previous trip while single travelers kept their own seats the whole time.  It did seem fair to share a bit but after their moaning and complaining and not helping out for the past week I just didn't feel very charitable.  It was all I could do to keep from just telling her what I thought of them all.  So, Rob switched seats with me and she didn't find it so comfortable sitting next to someone bigger and moved.  I tried to be civil after that but just didn't want to interact with any of them anymore. 

At the border we had the money changers again.  After messing up our last money change, Daddy Hooligan had been very loud about how he wouldn't have anything to change at the next border.  He was the only person that had anything to change at the Malawi-Tanzanian border.  The rest of us didn't want to be involved with his ineptness again.  Then he griped about not being able to change the coins which amounted to about six cents!  

The campsite in between Malawi and Dar was near Iringa. It was fairly high in altitude and the cool, dry air felt good.  We upgraded again and the cabin we had was the nicest place we'd stayed in a month.  The small bar was a cozy place that served amarula coffees while we sat on stools in front of small coal stoves.  Amarula came from the fruit of the Amarula tree and tastes a bit like Bailey's.  Fortunately the Drifters group we had met back in Vic Falls was there as well so enjoyed talking with them.  They'd crossed paths with us at Kande and Chitimba as well.  Their group had its own problems and it reminded us that none of these trips were perfect.

On the final haul to Dar we had the straw that broke the Camel's back.  The Hooligan son, who we had nicknamed Forest, wasn't the brightest kid.  He didn't want to hold his bottle of soda on the extremely bumpy road and decided it was a good idea to wedge it between his seat and the wall of the truck.  It wasn't a good idea to begin with but he didn't even bother to see if the bottle fit before just dropping it through a gap that was too wide.  It fell all over Rob's shoes and got soaked through his backpack to the laptop bag.   He apologized but didn't really make a serious effort to help clean up his mess, nor did his mother. Rob let out a couple of strong comments and the mother turned to him and just saidDonnie, Lucinda, and Phumbu it was his fault for leaving the laptop on the floor.  Rob laid into her a bit about their trash and throwing things out of the truck and generally poor behavior but didn't even scratch the surface of our list of complaints.  He just replied that people like us shouldn't travel.  It was a shocking comment coming from her.  They traveled every year and you would have thought it was the first time they had ever left Scotland.  I tried to just sooth the situation, like Rob had done for me the day before, but I wanted to say that people like her shouldn't have reproduced.  

When we arrived in Dar we had to stop for Danie to buy our ferry tickets for the following day.  They also had a new passenger to pick up, Wendy from California  She was already at the campsite we were scheduled to use but Danie and Lucinda had heard there were some recent violent attacks of people on the beach there and were changing to a different camp.  They sent a cab to pick up Wendy.  The beaches in front of these camps were known to be havens for robbery but these recent robberies had involved cutting the people as well.  The camp we drove to was some distance outside the city but as we unloaded our  bags it was impossible not to notice the sign at the end of the beach that read "Muggings beyond this Point".  That is why people traveled in overland trucks from fortified campground to fortified campground.  It wasn't a nice feeling.   

We had dinner at the camp restaurant and Mommy Hooligan was rude enough to comment how pleased Andrew was that he didn't have to do dishes - like he'd ever done them during the whole trip.  Then she made a fuss about them bringing her the wrong dish.  Lucinda looked at the woman's own handwriting on the list and showed her that she'd gotten what she had ordered.  It was a good example of why not to do drugs.  Forest Hooligan had been smoking up with his parents' approval during the trip so it wasn't hard to imagine why they themselves acted like brain-fried idiots. 

The last morning we were dropped off at the ferry dock.  As Daddy Hooligan retrieved his ample stock of booze from the cooler he blatantly let the water from his bags drip all over our bags.  When I commented the alpha twin just laughed heartily.  I whispered under my breath "Stupid is as stupid does".  I couldn't get away from these people soon enough.  It started to feel like being in their presence was a possible risk of bodily harm. 

Before boarding the boat we had breakfast and the group was so divided it was comical.  The Hooligans sat together.  Matt, Wendy, Andre, and Anke sat at another table - the new group that would continue on to Nairobi together.  We sat with Danie and Lucinda. 

After our two hour ferry ride we had to scramble to get our bags off the boat in the midst of hoards of touts and passengers.  A fight over something ensued just as we were getting our bags. Rob had climbed up on the rack to left them down with the struggle started.  Thinking it was a distraction in order to steal our bags I kept hold of everything we had on the ground.  They knocked a lens out of Rob's glasses so I yelled for them to move away.  Condescendingly a man next to me just said "Hakuna Matata" (No worries).  I gave him a nasty look and showed him the glasses with a lens missing.  Miraculously someone found the lens on the floor.  Welcome to Zanzibar.

Saleem, the travel agency guy that Danie and Lucinda arranged for us, picked us up in a minibus.  He took our passports to get an entry stamp.  (Zanzibar is actually part of Tanzania but their strive for independence keeps them trying to operate like a separate entity).  Saleem dropped us a the Safari Lodge and from there we decided that we wanted to be on our own.  The tour was over for us.  We left ahead of the rest of the group to explore the town after arranging to meet Matt, Wendy, Anke, and Adres for a good-bye drink at the Africa House hotel at sunset.

SOUTH AFRICA Cape Town June 3-9


NAMIBIA Fish River Canyon June 10-12 Sossuvlei June 13-14 Solataire- Cape Cross June 14-17 Sptizkoppe- Etosha June 17-18 Etosha National Park June 19-20 Nkwasi (Angola) June 20-21

BOTSWANA Okavango Delta June 22 June 23-24 Chobe National Park June 26 (I) June 26 (II) June 26 (III)

ZIMBABWE Victoria Falls June 27-28 June 29

ZAMBIA Victoria Falls June 30-July 1 Lusaka July 2

MALAWI Luwawa July 3 Kande Beach July 4-5 July 6 July 7 Chitimba July 8

TANZANIA Dar Es Salaam July 9-11