Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dar Es Salaam

Well the beginning of my trip has been quite fast paced. I met my good friend Jamie in Dar es Salaam. My plane was delayed and after essentially flying for 26 hours I got to my hotel at 5am right in time for the sunrise and call to prayer from the local mosque just down the road. The next morning we tried to sleep to give ourselves a few hours of sleep not sitting in a chair, but the heat and noises of the city would not let us. The first day was getting our bearings and making a game plan. We explored a little of Dar and decided there was not much to see. We made out plan to take the bus to a place in the North of Tanzania called Moshi, which is one of the bases for climbing Kilimanjaro. The next morning we arrived promptly for our 6am bus and at about 6:45am our “Luxury” air conditioned (the windows opened) bus arrived. We set out for what I can firmly say was one of the longest and most miserable bus rides of my life. The long and short of it. Totally jetlagged we boarded the bus to get out of the city. By 9am we were covered in sweat and soot…inside the bus. Moments after barreling down a hill and breakneck speed we pulled off to the side of the road to drop someone off. As we pulled back onto the road there was a horrible crunching noise and thud. We thought we had run over one of the fruit vendors who had been running along side the bus. After a few moments of confusion we peered under the bus and saw the entire drive shaft leading to the back tires on the ground. So grateful it had happened on the side of the road and not barreling down the road moments before where we surely would have flipped the next question was how do we get out of here. Before we knew what was really going on a local welder came to access the situation. He drove away with the drive shaft. After two miserable hours languishing in the heat of the day he returned and attached it to the bus. The rest of the ride alongside dramatic mountains that shoot out of the ground covered in vegetation was a blur. Unable to keep my eyes open I dozed in and out of lucidity. Finally at 7pm 12 hours after we started we ended up in Moshi our destination that supposedly took 7 hrs to get to. I arrived at my hotel and took one of the best showers of my life!

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