Journeying to Arusha for our Safari
Hello: If this is the first time you have come to my blog on my trip to Tanzania, you might find it more enjoyable if you scrolled down to the bottom of the blogs. That way you will read the material in the time sequence in which the trip occurred. Just a thought.
Wednesday, December 26th. Boxing Day (Yes, the British Tradition still holds and this day after Christmas is a holiday in Tanzania) We, Rube, Todo and I were up at 5 am.
With an 8 am bus departure planned we did not want to err in arrival time. However, there were hardly any cars on the road, of course, it’s Boxing Day. We picked up Kaschka, Pere and Winnie’s son, a young man, so thin he is truly a reed with an engaging smile. He had insisted that Todo and I buy bus tickets thru Metro Bus Service. The most important feature being they serve cold drinks enroute. We did so.
The bus terminal is outdoors with raised cement platforms, 3 feet wide up which are lined up across a three basket ball court-sized area. There were few buses at the stands.
Todo and Rube were amazed the place wasn’t jammed with both travelers and sellers of water and cashews etc. At first we worried not that our bus was not present. But as the minutes ticked by we became concerned. Todo called the emergency number only to discover the bus had” mechanical troubles” With the appropriate amount of dismay by Todo a man arrived and took us across four platforms to another bus – which turned out to cost more and didn’t serve juices! We boarded, had cold bottle water passed through the window by Todo and eventually we started off.
The trip – 9 hours long – passed quite quickly. I was intrigued by everything passed. The weather for the first four hours was hot. Todo had given us a plastic container filled with fried bananas – our primary sustenance for the day. At a stop we bought an ice cream bar.
At every bus stop there were vendors pushing food etc at each window of the bus, hoping we would buy.
At Liverpool, yes, can you believe the name – British influence, we disembarked to stretch our legs. This stand was a beautiful site
On the drive we saw a plethora of mango trees. Rice fields. So many partially built buildings. I am told developers run out of money. And, as we traveled Rube told me about a custom that surprised me. It seems that when a woman has a baby, she is call Mama and the last name of the first born child. That cleared up a lot for me. I couldn’t understand why so many had different names within a family.
After Liverpool the temperature went from the mid- 90’s to the low ’80’s. Quite divine. We had hoped to see Mt Kilimanjaro when we reached Moshi, about 30 minutes before Arusha but the clouds and rain had taken over. There is a very unique African project in Moshi. Street people clean the streets by picking rejected bottles (water, coke etc.) and taking them to a recycling center for payment. (Sounds like San Francisco.) The strees are so clean in Moshi.
We arrived in Arusha just as dusk hit. We were guests that evening with Othman Kitine, a colleague and good friend of Pereus. They both have spent their career with the Bank of Tanzania. Now, Othman is the Manager of the Arusha Branch. When he and his wife had been to San Francisco Rube had shown them the town. He was returning the favor by hosting us. We were mighty glad to be in a lovely home with a wonderfully cooked dinner.