A vacation from my travels

Hello Hello,

Plans have completely changed since my last writing… surprise surprise, but I’m certainly excited for it. I was meant to go to Uganda via Kenya and meet a friend in kenya, until I realized the chaos had erupted again! I had a stressful day of not knowing what to do- risk overlanding to meet my friend, fly direct to Uganda OR wait 10 days and meet Heather in Mbeya (southern tanzania) to overland to Malawi. After much debating I choose traveling with a friend to a place I wanted to go but had decided I wouldn’t overland on my own. It’s safe, I just assume it would be more difficult than Tanzania.

So, I flew to Zanzibar and spent 7 wonderful days there- 6 on the beach soaking up the sun and floating in beautiful azure waters. Paradise. time flies. It’s also amazing how you can do nothing- lie in the sun, read, swim, and eat and feel tired most of the day. It’s strange how when you do next to nothing it makes you more tired. I was impressed that I read 1.5 books. Before Zanzibar, I read one book that took me 2 months to read because I never made time for it.

I spent the day trying getting my bus ticket, eating Chinese food-yum! and looking for a southern Africa guide book. I went to every book shop in central Dar and it couldn’t be found. One young Muslim woman walked me to a book shop but it was closed, which seemed to have loads of guidebooks and the other shop was out of stock. I got my exercise today.

I came back to the hotel and was ready to ask anyone if they wanted to trade their Southern Africa guide for my East Africa one, though I knew the chances were slim. It seems most travelers to Tanzania have a set path and are not overlanding from Southern Africa.  Anyhow, someone was watching out for me because I asked the only young guy in the hotel if he happened to have a southern africa guide. “No, but I’ve been to south africa… and am headed to Malawi. I have copies of the pages from the southern africa guide,” he says. We barely exchange names and I ask if I can run off with all 32 pages of worshipped paper, knowing that it’s after 6pm and most shops are closing. I went to two places, got assistance from a store that wasn’t open on where to go for potential open places. None were opened. I was getting worried that finally I had the info I needed but wouldn’t be able to copy it. I went back to the air-conditioned internet cafe, 6 blocks away and to my happiness were still open!Success! (instead of paying $35-50 for the guide book, I paid $1.40 for photocopies, what a deal).

My impression of Dar is better. It’s not ideal place to land coming from Europe or the US been alone with out a plan, like when I initially arrived. Now that I’m familiar with Tanzania and know how to respond or simply deal with cultural friendliness and men, it’s much easier. I also walk as if I knew where I’m going and I feel at ease. Before I’m sure people could tell I didn’t know where I was going, new- fresh meat. People were also friendlier.  It also helped that I prepared myself and planned what I needed to do so it wouldn’t feel so bad, like telling a child something they don’t want to do but will be rewarded later. Funny. I’m also in a good mood after 6 days on the beach (though money was stolen from me in the dorms at Kendwa rocks, 99% sure someone who worked there took my 20,000 or $18 as only money was taken and stole $130 from someone else, a traveler would have taking my memory cards and other gadgets) and knowing I will have a friend to travel with for the next month.

After Malawi… I will either go with Heather to Mozambique, stay longer than her or go to Jo’burg with her for her March 6 flight. I’m not sure of anything and barely know anything about Malawi. Get to read up on my 9-10 hr bus ride tomorrow! Its exciting… I’m also very happy to return to my favorite place, Capetown, South Africa, which inspired this trip. I would love to spend lots of time exploring the country and hanging out in Capetown. Will see what’s meant to be!

Lauren

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One thought on “A vacation from my travels

  1. Hi Lauren,

    I’m so glad you are out of Moshi and experiencing the rest of Africa. You seem to have been through your share of ups and downs on your recent adventures…it’s all part of the fun. Believe me, when you look back, you’ll appreciate the misadventures; they tend to make for better stories.
    I’m home in NJ looking for jobs during the week, visiting friends on the weekends, and wishing I was still traveling always.

    Stay safe and have fun in Malawi; the lake is awesome!

    Meghan

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