Thursday, December 1, 2011

Country #90: Bouncing into Tanzania

Although it may not seem like it, there was actually a method to my madness. There was a reason that I voluntarily boarded a local bus for the 13 hour bone-jarring ride from Mombasa to Dar Es Salaam. It is not for naught that I spent more time sitting across from a woman whose carry-on was a cranky and vociferous rooster than I did on my flight from Miami to Amsterdam. It is not without cause that I put myself in a situation where, as the only non-African passport holder, I took the longest being processed at the Kenya/ Tanzania border and subsequently had to run like a crazy woman lest the bus continue on without me. Like the proverbial chicken (but not the one on the lady's lap), I simply had to get to the other side.

This is where I would begin my first Intrepid/ Dragoman overland trip.  I confess that in the past, when planning my own travels, I have cribbed many an itinerary from these companies.  In many countries, this is actually pretty easy to do, relying on public transportation in lieu of their signature overland trucks, at a fraction of the cost.  However, East Africa is different. My experience on the chicken bus had only emphasized my suspicion that this was in no way a practical alternative in this part of the world.  So, instead, I had signed up for a 14 day excursion, dubbed the Road to Zanzibar, that would eventually bring me back to Nairobi.