30 June 2009

Vomit comet

Our return to mainland Tanzania yesterday was a bit of a testing journey.

We left Jambiani at 10am and made the 2 hour trip across Zanzibar in a fairly sensible minibus. That part of the journey went to plan apart from being stopped a total of 5 times by different police patrols for backhanders . . . Er, I mean driver and vehicle documentation checks!

We got back into Stone Town at midday with plenty of time to get the 1pm ferry back to Dar es Salaam. Well it would have been if the bloke in the ticket office could have been bothered to sell us a ticket. However he decided that he couldn't be arsed so we had to buy a ticket from another ferry operator whose boat didn't leave until 4pm. Just the 4 hours to sit and wait with our bags then. Thank god that Mercury's bar is next door to the ferry terminal.

After waiting for three and a half hours we made our way to board the ferry to be met by the World's biggest scrum. Three passenger ferries had docked at virtually the same time and were simultaneously trying to unload and load their passengers and cargo from a single pier. It was absolute pandemonium.

After another hour of waiting, queuing, being pushed, pulled, squashed, squeezed, elbowed, jostled and hit with various pieces of luggage we eventually made it onto the pier just as they pulled the gangplank away from the boat that we were trying to board.

Thankfully we only had to wait another 20 minutes for another boat to dock. This was again followed by more pushing, shoving and using luggage as weaponry in order to try and get on board.

The ferry that we caught was advertised as a fast ferry, and for once they weren't joking. This was a REALLY fast ferry . . . regardless of the fact that the sea was rough. We were going so fast the catamaran felt like it spent more time out of the water than in it. This of course led to the vast majority of the passengers being sick. However; because we were going really fast over a really rough sea they were really sick. Not just a bit sick, but a whole lot sick. The sounds and smells were just horrific.

Liz has sworn never to go on another boat again . . . She was just like Steve Redgrave when he gave that infamous interview as he got out of the boat at the 2000 Olympics after he won his 4th gold medal!

Just as we thought the day couldn't have got any worse . . . It did! There were no rooms left at Jambo Inn which meant that we had to check back into the dirt at Safari Inn down the road. Thankfully our room this time was cleaner than the last one we had (well lets face it, it couldn't have been any dirtier)

After a traumatic days travel we headed off out for dinner to be met by some rather unusual menu items. Monday's special of the day was "Bheja Masala (minced brains of cow cooked in gravy with capsicums, onions, tomato - medium spice)". There were also his n her's deserts on offer; "macho nuts" and "big cups". Stop ye tittering at the back . . . They're ice creams!

No comments:

Post a Comment