October 7, 2014

Tanzania: Dar Es Salaam

New Teddy's Place did not have wi-fi so my research on flights from Zanzibar to Lushoto (a town in the Usumbara Mountains) was a bit set back. Since we arrived in Zanzibar we had only heard awful stories about Dar Es Salaam and the Ubungo bus station so I really wanted to avoid it all together. Unfortunately, our departure from Zanzibar ended with my mom and I catching the 12:30pm Kilimanjaro III ferry to Dar Es Salaam. After a rough 1.5 hours at sea the ferry pulled into Dar Es Salaam and everyone standing outside the ferry terminal gates asked if we needed a taxi. Since Fanny recently told us a story about how she was kidnapped by her taxi driver for two hours and had everything stolen from her I did not want to get in a taxi (she was in an unmarked taxi - there are registered taxis which would be a better option). 

{ The view from our Econolodge balcony }
My mom and I walked down Morogoro St. to Jambo Inn and paced back and forth looking at every Land Rover repair shop and the tiny LP map "I swear it is suppose to be right here". Turns out Jambo Inn closed over a year ago, we must have looked like fools to the locals (Dear Lonely Planet, The Tanzania section of the East Africa guide book needs to be updated. Love, Loyal LP Costumer). We ended up at Econolodge, which isn't the same version they have in the U.S. but at $21/night I can ignore the brown dirty walls (has anyone heard of bleach?) and the broken shower handles.

My mom and I quickly noticed that Dar Es Salaam was not a place we wanted to spend any time. It was the dirtiest city I have been to and I was thankful we were leaving first thing the next morning. We had the afternoon to arrange our bus from Dar Es Salaam to Lushoto. Econolodge suggested Shambalai bus because it went direct to Lushoto but we were a little skeptical of what kind of bus we would show up to since we had only heard of Dar Express and Kilimanjaro Express from other travelers. We spent the afternoon stopping by the Dar Express and Kilimanjaro Express ticket offices. Turns out Kilimanjaro Express picks up from their ticket office which was a block away from Econolodge. No taxi needed!

{ Always traffic in Dar Es Salaam }

{ Kilimanjaro Express }

{ Bust stop fruit market }
{ Woke up to this corn in my face }
At 6:00am we met Kilimanjaro Express and were off to Mambo. Once we got off the bus in Mambo we were quickly surrounded by men and shoved into an already full dala dala (local bus). There were thirteen of us in an eight seater van. You could say there were people everywhere. I spent most of the hour ride laughing at my mom in the back seat squished between three Tanzania men and a kid on her lamp. As we arrived in Lushoto sure enough Shambalai bus was at the bus station completely full of people and looking like it was about to fall apart. My mom and I were relived we took Kilimanjaro Express, at least we had our seats to ourselves.


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