4:00am, Cape Town

Begrudgingly getting out of bed to pack the bag- and after Jo had just 3 hours sleep- we were taken by a very cheerful Mark to the airport, to start the trip to Zanzibar.

Flights being flights, nothing much interesting happened aside from being the first time I’ve had my name announced as one of the very, very late passengers who MUST report to gate 8 or our baggage will be offloaded. We were, in fact at the gate trying to do last minute internet banking on the phone.

Dar es Salaam international airport is nothing special. The tropical heat seems to have spurred the decision to have nothing at the airport except customs and immigration. All other services are obtained from little dodgy looking outdoor stalls, where money can be changed at the most dubious looking places and a couple of hundred taxi drivers are available- suprisingly at fixed rates.

Our destination for the night was Mikadi beach, and after an hour or so of the slow ballet of the insane driving through Dar, we arrived at the ferry that crosses the Harbour mouth. Along with approximately 1000 people, we lurched onto the decrepit vessel hoping that it would not capsize leaving us trapped on the caged-in lower deck. But it was only a short 5 minute trip and we safely arrived at an (almost) tropical paradise beach resort.

‘Almost’, because the harbour, and what looks very much like a massive sewerage pipe is just around the corner, so the water was quite dirty.

But happy to be in Tanzania we did what the locals do, and settled down for a couple of beers in the amiable atmosphere of the lodge bar.

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