Our trip from Gatwick involved 3 flights, not a lot of sleep (barring a miserable excuse for a nap outside Dar es Salaam airport), and an ‘eggplant salad’ which was far from edible and more like thick, lumpy cat-sick…thanks Turkish Airlines for that moment of culinary genius.
26 hours of traveling and no change of clothes is not a good recipe, as Soph mentioned I was starting to smell like a bag of Wotsits. After what seemed like an eternity of travelling and waiting in various airports, we arrived in Arusha.
Arusha was exactly what I had expected, crazy… everywhere you look there is something weird, wonderful or just incredibly inventive going on. The people are friendly, and surprisingly enough (based on comments from others about their experiences here) not as pushy as I expected, with multiple people offering to show us around, some wanted us to visit their ‘cousins’ shop as a way of saying thank you for their assistance, but others simply were content enough with just talking to us and being a helping hand to two tired, hungry mzungos from London…always from London, because nobody knows anywhere else in the UK.
We started to learn some Swahili to help us ‘blend in’ – there is really no blending in that can be done when you are a pasty white man straight off the plane, but oh well you have to try. It turns out watching the Lion King before coming out would have been a good start. Hakuna matata, asante sana (squash banana), that sort of thing…
After a meeting with our safari group we needed a nap so headed to our guesthouse (Raha Leo Guesthouse). Having had very little sleep over the course of the previous 24 hours, and a bit of a whirlwind first day in Tanzania, we both woke up from a hour power nap needing a few minutes to retrace our thoughts and remember exactly where we were and why we were in a sweaty, lime green guesthouse room… After gathering our thoughts and realising that we desperately needed something to eat , we met an American couple, Molly and Francesco, at our guesthouse and headed out for a meal at the world famous Khans Barbeque, car garage by day and very popular restaurant by night (strange concept I know!), offering a range of meats all cooked with spices and a selection of salads with an Indian influence throughout. The food was great and a steal for only a couple £s each.
All in all not a bad first day, setting us up nicely for our next 2 – 3 weeks in Tanzania, and hopefully a fantastic 2 days on safari.