Howdy, y’all! Happy February! I hope you had a memorable Valentine’s/Singles’ Awareness Day (whichever applies to your current situation) filled with at least some kind of love. I am having a hard time realizing that it’s already mid-February! Where has time gone?? We only have about 10 more weeks here at Riverside then it’s homeward bound. Goodness! As our time draws to a close here, we have been trying to get some more traveling in. We only recently got back from going to Zanzibar, a island off the coast of Tanzania in the Indian Ocean. Wasn’t that an adventure! Here, let me tell you about it:
It was a cold, dark, stormy night. The wind was howling in the trees and nary a soul was stirring. Actually, it wasn’t that cool out and the noise in the trees were bush babies, but it was still night (at least in my book). The five of us – Jeff, Moses, Kris, Tanya, and I – left Riverside via taxi around 05:00 in the morning. Kris, being the tallest and possessing the longest legs of us all got to sit up front with the driver while the rest of us got crammed into the backseat (me riding on Tanya’s lap – sorry Tanya) all the way to Lusaka. Once there, we caught a bus to Kapiri where we purchased train tickets, food, met and talked to travelers from the UK, and waited several hours for our train to arrive. When it did, we excitedly joined the queue and boarded the train, eagerly searching for our cabin. Well, our “cabin” was a little room with the dimensions of about 6′ x 8′. This included 6 beds stacked – 3 on each side of the room – with a small table bolted to the floor next to the window and that was it. Oh, and we had a door (obviously) and some vents running down either side. We threw our bags on one of the top bunks and settled down, ready to begin our journey. Not too far into it, small, dried fish began to rain on us. After much confusion and searching, we discovered a few more along with some old banana peels on the top bunk where we haphazardly tossed our luggage. Ew?? The rest of the train ride was full of stops (minor break downs [our first happening only 20 minutes into the ride] and train stations), card games (lots and lots of card games… lots of card games… oh goodness, all of the card games), pictures (the scenery was absolutely to die for!), and bothersome doors (when closed all of the way our cabin door was extremely hard to open from the inside and near impossible from the outside).
We got into Dar es Salaam around 02:00 Thursday morning (our 46-hour train ride ended up being around 60 hours) but received permission to sleep on the train until around 06:30. However, we were more than ready to get off so we ditched around 05:30, may I say after we drew a lot of attention from trying and failing at opening our door. I’m pretty sure people thought we were left behind by the train. Oops. Dar es Salaam, though a city of tales and trials, is really quite lovely at such an early hour. There’s just something about the early morning in a city – the opening of shops, the dream-like trance with which things move, the feeling that something big is about to happen- that I love. Being cooped up in a train car for so long made up gung-ho to walk all of the way to the ferry office (about 6km). We made it, most of the way, before finally caving in a getting a taxi (thank goodness because I had been sick the day before and whatever energy I possessed when I woke up was rapidly diminishing). This taxi was much like the first – Kris up front, the rest of us squished into the back, and me on Tanya’s lap (again, sorry Tanya).
This is getting long, so I’ll fast-forward a bit…. got our boat tickets (after finding out Tanzania is an hour ahead of Zambia)… rode the ferry over to Zanzibar (about a 1 1/2 hour trip)…. met Joonatan (a fellow traveling student from Finland) …. got a taxi out to where we were going to be staying (another hour or so trip)…. “checked-in,” so to say, to Baby Bush, and went to take showers. *sigh* Despite the water being salty, it was scrumptious to feel clean again :3
And that, ladies and gentleman, is part one of Travels, Travels Everywhere saga. Tune in next time folks to hear more about the beach, good food, interesting offers, and more!
As a side note: it’s a real confidence booster when you walk out of your house in the morning all fresh, clean, feelin’ good, and flies start immediately buzzing you. Are you kidding me??! This is the best it’s gonna get today! Lousy flies…