How to bring out the ruby in you
Im slightly behind in this blog since Im now in Asia and this is all about Africa but there are some important facts to note!
It turns out that Christmas really isn't such a big deal in Tanzania. Generally there is beer and a party but not much more. Luckily for me it still meant a boiling hot day spent minus all very annoying Christmas soundtracks and a huge blue fish on the bbq. Good times. ps I also tried the chicken.
I was slightly concerned that I may arrive into Dar es Salaam to spend New years alone in a griy hotel room with the perils of the english winter causing chaos at the airports. Fortunately all my amazing friends made it, albeit sadly without their luggage. I have never been known for having the most extensive wardrobe in the world but lucky for Sam, Zoe and George I was able to provide them all with an adequate outfit whilst they waited. Never have they looked so good!
We learnt a few valuable lessons over the course of the trip. Firstly is to always buy the expensive suncream. It turns out that all cheap suncream in Tanzania is not actually suncream. We learnt the hard way with 3 different brands (weirdly they are all made in Thailand? We all bought factor 40+ but the best of them all was 'Ruby Girl' Does exactly what it says on the bottle....turns you ruby!! It was supposed to be factor 60, but for Laura and Milli it worked out more like factor 60 sunning oil. A few hours intop their ruby girl experience and it was all over for the next 3 days. Blisters and peel were all that awaited them. Luckily it was a 2 week holiday and they had time to get over this.
Amazing times were had enjoying the Zanzibarian coast, snorkelling, shell collecting, dining on good seafood, playing drinking games with the Norwegians; all the usual high activity things you can do. Particularly so for Milli who took up extreme power napping as part of the first week. During the second week we hit up the northern coastline of mainland Tanzania; a place called Pangani. The journey was better for some than for others. Whilst everyone else takes a ferry to Dar, we managed to arrange a small motorboat to take us across the 2 hour trip. What could ever go wrong when you are in the safe hands of Captain Luvely Jubly!! Nothing it seemed for myself, laura, george and Milli, except for the fact that it took over 3 hours and the good captain had to keep asking the local fishermen where Pangani actually was! However Zoe and Sam followed our lead and 5 hours after they set off from Stone Town, darkness had set in and there were serious concerns that they were lost at sea. It was a huge relief when two drenched sea farers turned up soon after, again with the good Captain who looked equally as relieved to still be alive. Apparently his GPS was just a compass and he really didn't have a clue. You live and learn!
It was a brilliant holiday. Sam picks up the award for most sporting, Laura definetly wins the sun bather of the year and Milli picked up the award for trekking most off the beaten track. Noone looked more comfortable on a dala dala. Some extreme group bonding was done on the days where all 6 of us had the s***s. Think George can win the award for most endurance to it.
And then I finally left Africa...the heart of the world. It is the most incredible continent. Admittedly I only saw a tiny part of it but what I saw has truly won me over. Africa is the place where the poorest of people will meet you with such hug warmth and generosity despit the fact that they have so little themselves. Its the place where the children run as free as the chickens and the wind as they play safely in the fields and towns with makeshift toys and big winning smiles. Its the land where strangers become instant friends as everyone piles into tiny cramped buses and has such fun whilst they travel. It has magical beaches, wildlide beyond a wildest dream and the spirit of adventure runs throughout it. For me Asia certainly has a lot to live up to!