We made a hurried return back to Dar just in time for Christmas.. and lo and behold.. we’re still here. What was meant to be a week in town catching up with friends turned into six. Nevertheless – Christine and I are planning our escape for the end of this week.. and who knows – we might even make it.
Here are a few highlights from our prolonged stay in what has become a running contender for ‘home’:
#1 Alfred and Noodles
Sim and Carrie were heading up to Turkey and Sudan for a few weeks and, well, wouldn’t we think about house sitting until their return? After 3 months in our roof tent, we revelled in the luxuries of a solid roof over our heads. We knew it would be difficult leaving so soon, and with this little duo needing a bit of company, we hastily obliged.
#2 Wang Fu Noodles
After weeks of camp cooking, our favourite restaurant in Dar did not disappoint. Yes, we’ve been back more than a few times.
#3 ‘This is Africa’ moments
More so than any other place we’ve yet visited, Darwin Award moments are everyday occurrences in Dar es Salaam. We were stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic one afternoon, and there appeared a come-one-come-all petrol freebie from this Lake Oil Tanker, with double-bagged plastic bags the container of choice.
#4 Mafia Island
Our prolonged stay in Tanzania meant we were just in time for a team trip to Mafia Island. We flew in on a 13-seater Cessna with Leigh, Drew, Jacie, and Dan, to find both an open air terminal and the height of whale shark season awaiting us. Neither would disappoint. After countless trips scouring South East Asia and the East African coast for the majestic whale sharks, we finally, finally, enjoyed a dip with these incredible creatures.
Shy at first, they would quickly dive into deeper water when confronted by the gaggle of arms and legs flailing in front of them. But soon enough, they became comfortable enough for us to approach. It was a special moment to swim side by side the 10m long giants, as they grazed on the abundant plankton. We were awestruck by their languid motion and the ecosystems of marine life travelling alongside. And just when it was time to leave, we found ourselves cornered, encircled by a group of 6 whale sharks as they fed. After this author was dunked unceremoniously underwater by a ‘loved one’ in her vain attempts to dodge oncoming sharks a few too many times, we escaped with our lives, wide eared grins all round.
Time to hit the road!