Welcome to Tanzania

Welcome to Tanzania

A quick update as we take the ferry from Dar Es Salaam.

We had a long flight from Toronto to Dar. The plane went Toronto-Rome-Addis Ababa-Dar Es Salaam. We were quite comfortable from Toronto to Rome because we had three seats to ourselves. A young guy from Fort McMurray was on his way to Rwanda was sharing our row but moved giving us more space. However, in Rome, lots of people got on and the plane was full. We were then quite crowded and cramped. When we arrived in Addis it was much relief to unfold myself. The flight from Addis to Dar was quite empty. Nic went and slept in a row of three seats to herself. We both had some good sleep on that flight. The meals on all of the flights were quite good. We flew Ethiopian Airways even though we had thought we were flying Air Canada. We had booked on points. The plane left Toronto a full hour ahead of schedule. Not sure how that happened.

When we arrived in Dar, we got a taxi to the Nikko Hotel. As always, the taxi drivers started following us around the airport until we picked one. I guess we are always skeptical of the aggressive ones and want to make sure we get a fair price. We found the taxi stand and made sure of the cost before picking a driver. In the end it was $30 US to our hotel. More than we had thought.
The Nikko Hotel is a nice enough hotel. Room was quite small but there was TV, Internet, A/C, and a good breakfast. We wanted to book a hotel for when we first arrived because we knew we would want to sleep lots to adjust our clocks. We kept ourselves awake as long as we could and finally fell asleep around 10pm Tanzania time. That is about 2pm Toronto time and noon Fort Smith time. We crashed hard but were quite refreshed in the morning.

For our one day in Dar Es Salaam, we decided to just walk around and explore a bit. We booked a ferry ticket to Zanzibar which is what we are doing now. $40 for a VIP ticket. Look at us, VIPs… more to the point… Nicola bought a VIP ticket. I think the difference was $5 for VIP. The VIP area has wifi and very comfy chairs.

In Dar, we walked up to the fish market. There were several people who wanted us to do a “tour” with them. They wanted to be paid to be our personal guide. They are pretty persistent. In the end we just did our own thing. One guy however toured us around the fish market for free. We got some good pictures of the hustle and bustle of the fish market. In total we probably walked about 10-12 kilometres yesterday.
We stopped at a Subway restaurant for lunch just to show Jeff Clubine that there was Subway in Tanzania. Jeff is addicted. For dinner we went to the restaurant in our hotel. We had a couple of Tanzanian beers which were quite good after a long day.

I stopped to inquire about a SIM card for my cell phone. It is very cheap. Basically a weekly bundle is $2.50. It should be active later today. It will give us some data which will allow us to get some international calls and texts on our phone. Not that we really need it because the world is covered with wifi we have learned. A couple of years ago we were in the jungles of Borneo and we had wifi.

Nicola checked out a couple of jewellers for tanzanite rings. We left our rings at home so as not to look affluent (funny to think about ourselves that way). We will likely get a couple of inexpensive rings because in some areas they do not look kindly on unmarried couples sharing rooms. She did not buy anything yet.

A few minutes ago we bought a flight from Zanzibar to Kilimanjaro for the 8th. We are a step ahead. We have only booked a couple of days in Stonetown, Zanzibar and then will move up island for a few days.

Our ride is coming to an end shortly… so thats all for now. More in a couple of days.