December 9, 2010 - January 11, 2011
I stayed almost 2 weeks in Dar es Salaam. I had to cure the rash I got on my legs from wearing my bathing suit for 3 days without washing it after swimming in Lake Malawi. The rest of the time was just resting, doing my blog and meeting all the other travellers coming through. One guy from Ireland, Emmett, convinced me to change my plan. Now after Egypt instead of going through the Middle East I’ll go to Libya, Tunisia then take a boat to France. I thought if I go to Libya I would be forced to hire an expensive guide while there but Emmett said if I get just a transit visa I won’t have to, great news!
Some friends from the train from Mbeya leaving
This was outside the YWCA, where I stayed, after a big rain
Finally I took a boat from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar Island. It’s a really touristy place with nice beaches and Stone Town, an old town with lots of winding streets and narrow alleys. The island has a lot Arab influence and the people are mostly Muslim. I spent one night in Stone Town with a couchsurfer, Psam then headed to Kendwa beach the next morning where I met Emmett from Ireland and another traveller Sami from Finland. Zanzibar is a bit expensive but luckily the place we found had dormitories for $12US that included a pretty good breakfast. The place was really nice. It was basically a resort. The beach was great for swimming. One annoying thing though was when you wanted to go swimming the second you crossed the boundary of the hotel “the beach boys” would harass you to buy useless crap.
Cats rule in Stone Town
"Kendwa Rocks" Resort
Emmet, me and Sami
I’d planned to just stay 3 days at Kendwa then leave Zanzibar but I decided to stay a week longer to be there for Christmas. We spent most of the time swimming, playing volleyball and just doing nothing. There was a big party on Christmas and the week before was the “full moon party”. The parties were ok but there were a lot of prostitutes (mostly female tourists with local beach boys) which was kind of seedy. Just before Christmas Emmett and I went back to Stone Town for 2 days to take a “spice tour” where they take you around the forest and show you all the spices that grow there and to take a boat to Prison Island where there is a bunch of giant turtles.
Sami and Yuko from Japan hanging out (I'd met Yuko in Malawi and by chance she was on Zanzibar at the same time)
"Masai Warriors" on the beach (nowadays beach boys)
Guys climb these trees to get coconuts
Turtles, and a couple of tourists with their local boy toys
It was hard to leave but on boxing day I decided I should keep moving. I went back to Dar es Salaam and caught a bus to Diani beach across the border into Kenya. Diani was ok but not nearly as nice as Kendwa. It was nice to be somewhere new though and it was cheaper. New Years was pretty uneventful.
Next I headed to Mombasa, a big city about half an hour away. I stayed three days with another couchsurfer, Cara. Mombasa is not so special. The old town is nice though, sort of like Stone Town. Like Zanzibar the coast of Kenya is very Muslim.
Now I’m in Malindi an Italian Beach Resort Town further up the coast. It was cheap here so I decided to take a few days and do my blog.
My home in Malindi
Crossing my fingers for the referendum in Sudan this week. Hopefully it ends peacefully and the border stays open for me. As for my Ethiopia visa I’m going to go to the embassies in Nairobi and maybe Uganda and hope for the best.
Like I said its very muslim here