Thursday, April 11, 2013

First Impressions

Africa welcomed me back with a big hot, wet hug at 3:00 AM Wednesday morning. After flying 18 hours, I really didn't care where we landed, as long as we were on the ground. Now. 

Flying into Dar in the dark gave me absolutely no vista of the city or coastline, and a 20 minute drive to the hotel in the quiet blackness of the early morning did not provide much more intel. FM did come through with a welcome present, however. 
Let's just say it was the prettiest thing I saw all day.
It's warm here. Very warm. And the rainy season. Which means it rains. Spontaneously. I need to remember to bring my umbrella on my daily morning walk. This type of rain gives new meaning to "pop up showers". Because they truly do just pop-up. There's cloud cover and a slight ever present breeze, which may be the only thing keeping me alive.
There's no beach here at Oyster Bay. Just Oyster beds. 
Honestly, I can't get over how desolate it all feels out here. Obviously, I've been nowhere outside of a mile radius of the hotel. But there is not a lot going on. Next door is The Slipway, which is a small outdoor mall with a grocery, bank, pharmacy and requisite souvenir stands. I saw a necklace I bought in Senegal there today.
That's the Hilton looming in the backdrop. The SUV is from selling Kangas to tourists for $10/each.
There is a casino down at the end of the peninsula. And a bowling alley. Two guesses as to which one I'm more interested in. I'm sure we'll get down there this weekend. Also planning a little island hop on Saturday or Sunday, depending on the weather, for some snorkeling.
The nice man in the bungalow at the end of the pier will sell us tickets to Bongoyo Island.
Our hotel is, of course, very pleasant. The people we've met are extremely friendly and outgoing. As an added bonus, they all speak English (thank you British colonialism). They do, however, drive on the wrong side of the road and the car. I must remember this when crossing streets. If I ever see any traffic.
My picture of the VERY empty road is blurry, so enjoy this gratuitous picture of the painted eaves at  The Slipway
Things are cheap (meaning beer), and we dined on some fine Mexican food at a hole in the wall restaurant last night. Seriously. My first meal in Tanzania was Mexican food. And decent Mexican food at that.

Two large telecom cables were cut in the Indian Ocean last week, which means our internet access is sporadic at best. Thought I'd take the time to make this post while it was working.

So, I've been here an entire 35 hours. Seems like a lot more. I think I'll take a nap.
Lonely boat on the Oyster beds.


Anonymous said...

Do you have access to an underwater camera for your snorkel trip? I'd love to see what you see there as well.

Bill H. said...

One of the joys of travel is that you never know what you will find, good Mexican restaurants in Tanzaniz? Who knew??