Welcome back to Our Traveling saga part two. We hope you enjoy the read!
Once we were clean and semi-settled I conked out for a few hours while the rest of the group went exploring and to get supper. I awoke in the dark and decided to take a hike with the intent on finding the others. Baby Bush was just a hop, skip, and a jump (almost literally, or a 10 second walk if you didn’t intend on both feet ever leaving the ground at the same time) from the Indian Ocean. We had a lovely view from the hostel and the closeness was quite convenient. Anywho, I decided to start walking along the beach when I spotted what looked like a restaurant of sorts that was being occupied by some people who closely resembled my missing posse. I walked closer and upon further inspection, realized my initial guess was correct and they had even ordered me food! Funny thing about ordering food on Zanzibar is it takes a while. Island time + African time = a really long time. In consolation, the food was really delicious.
The rest of the days were full of walking the beach, swimming, alternately getting stung by Bluebottles (small Portuguese man-o-war…. yes, I know man-o-wars are huge, but most research classifies this as one; however, I am unafraid of standing corrected), exploring, walking on the beach again, reading, relaxing, eating, more walking on the beach (sometimes even at night!), and using the Internet. Oh, and did I mention walking on the beach?? Moses and I even woke up early (04:30 early!!!), along with a fellow American traveler, to watch the Superbowl (true Americans know where their priorities lie: football>sleep). Unfortunately, we misjudged the time and then we couldn’t even get it to stream. Pity. We did enjoy watching the ads and halftime (#leftshark) on YouTube. I maaaaay have drank a few cups of coffee that morning and might’ve worried Tanya when I woke her up around 09:00 (sorry, Tanya).
We were able to “partake” in a Muslim-African wedding reception while staying at Baby Bush. The party ended up being a disappointment. They came, they ate, they drank, they left – I believe all in about an hour’s time. But we, along with some of the staff and some awesome people we met from Norway, enjoyed the music and lights. We also got to visit The Rock – well, all except Tanya who was incapacitated by a Bluebottle earlier that morning. The Rock is a restaurant/bar located, well, on a rock, just chilling in the Indian Ocean. At low tide, you can walk out to it, but need a boat (or swim, I suppose) to access it during high tide. We excitedly jumped in the boat, headed over, climbed up the stairs, sat down, took one look at the menu, and immediately began making plans to go someplace cheaper. But the view was lovely. Other trips included going into a local town or catching a crowded Dahla Dahla (spelling?) ride into Stone Town. And believe me you, those Dahla Dahlas are filled to the brim and overflowing with people.
All too soon, or not soon enough?, we were packing up and catching a Dahla dahla back to Stone Town, a ferry back to Dar es Salaam (we saw dolphins and a flying fish while on the ferry!), and a bus (not many people wished to relive the train experience again, I wonder why..?) back to Lusaka. The bus ended up leaving early the next morning, so we booked a hotel room just outside of Dar for the night. While scrounging around for some supper, we met Elijah and Moses, two travelers from Israel. The funny thing was that they became interested in getting to know us from our shoes (apparently Chacos are big in Israel… who knew?). We enjoyed learning about them and visa versa. The night was spent with Tanya and I sharing the mattress on the floor, Jeffrey and Kris enjoying the bed frame, and Moses cozying up in an overstuffed chair.
Morning came all too soon when we packed up and loaded ourselves into the bus. We got squished into the last row of seats (conveniently because there were five) amongst a bunch of textiles and everyone else’s luggage. We were told that the trip would only take about 25 or so hours to complete (hey, beats the 60 hours on a train, no?)… unfortunately, traffic delayed us and we couldn’t reach the border before it closed. We did reach the border, around 21:30, and settled in for a long night on the bus. Kris and I (and Tanya, when she was awake) *cough* enjoyed *cough* listening to the ramblings of a drunk guy pretty much the whole night. Moses and Jeffrey found unoccupied seats to stretch out near the front. In the morning, we rushed around getting things organized first on the Tanzanian side and then on the Zambian side; our hurry was unnecessary because we didn’t end up continuing our journey until 13:30 😛 All-in-all, our 25-hour bus journey turned into a 48-hour imprisonment. We were able to, er, broaden our music and movie-viewing, um, experiences with the selected reel that they played, and replayed, and replayed again. Oh! And while driving through a game park, we saw baboons, impala, zebras, and what I’m pretty sure were rhinos! You know, just a regular road trip through Africa 😉
We finally reached Turnpike around 06:30 on Thursday morning. Let me tell you, the hike back to Riverside never felt so good! We felt like survivors returning from a war. We got in, showered, and went straight to bed. Tanya let me sleep until just before 16:00 – goodness! Despite the adventure, the fun, the travels, and the experiences, it felt so nice to be home again!
While out traveling, you really get to know people. You learn that there are people everywhere who are kind and helpful, willing to lend a hand without expecting something in return. At the same time, there are people who are only looking for ways to appease themselves, and they will stop at nothing to get it. Humanity is funny that way.
Oh, and a quote from Mark Twain to close out the saga: “I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” Love you guys 🙂