I also went past a huge thunder shower that was falling about 400m from the road – not a drop of rain fell on me but it made for a great photo. Talk about ‘isolated thunder shower’!
I got to Dar-es-Salaam (meaning ‘Haven of Peace’) later that evening after a long days riding. ‘Haven’ is probably the wrong word to describe Dar. Dar is a huge city that is really dusty, dirty and over-crowded with people in various stages of disease. I unfortunately arrived during peak traffic which was ridiculously congested. Pedestrians, cars, busses and animals seem to do as they please creating huge traffic jams that move nowhere. Drivers sit in their vehicles blowing their hooters and suffocating the streets with their unserviced vehicle’s exhaust fumes. It took me a further two hours to find a hotel (the Starlight Hotel) which was more affordable (only US$39 per night which is cheap for Dar). The hotel had rats the size of small cats running around the outside parking (which in the evening doubles as a restaurant) eating whatever scraps they could get. What a dump.
After some great private detective work in Nungwi, I managed to catch up with Olly and Huon (his real name is Colquhoun William Writhit Fleming :-) at the Jambo Brothers backpackers. Needless to say a good couple of beers were shared before we headed out to a beach party for further beers and shooters. Quite a night which resulted in the following day lying on the beach (fighting the flies) and suffering a hangover. Managed to take some great photo’s of the beach and the sunset. Zanzibar is really beautiful and is a must for anyone travelling through this area.
On 12/3 we went back to Stone Town and caught up with Mel for lunch. Mel is great fun – great seeing her again – we have all agreed to meet up in a week or so in Nairobi. Olly, Huon and I then headed back to Dar and back to the dodgy hotel – I was relieved to find my motorbike still all in one piece!!
The next day Olly and Huon left early to catch up with Jonny in Malindi, while I stayed in Dar to try and see if I could find a battery for my satellite phone. No luck though. I also spent a few hours trying to get a refund back from a dodgy ferry ticket dealer who had given Olly and Huon tickets for the wrong ferry (he gave them tickets for the cheaper ‘slow’ ferry that takes 8 hours to cross to Zanzibar, but charged them the price of the ‘fast’ ferry) – at first the ticket dealer refused to give me the refund but after I got a policeman involved I managed to get most of the money back for them.