Sam Bowker: The Grand Tour Diary (2005 - 2006)

This is the archived journal of a 2005-2006 'Grand Tour' around the Eastern Mediterranean and along East Africa, written by Sam Bowker, whilst in search of his PhD topic.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Tanzania - Zanzibar

Dedicated to the Pursuit of Dreams

After four years, I am finally here. The air smells of cloves, the alleys are light-filled and intriguingly stocked with unusual shops and narrow homes, spectacular and intricately carved doors line the steets. The buildings altrnate between frsh white paint and decrepit moulding black. You can hear and see Arabic and Swahili everywhere. It's everything I wanted it to be, and I've only been here for an hour or two.

A masaai is nonchalantly leaning against the window of the internet cafe. My mates have spread out to tackle whatver they desire d- lunch, photography, shopping, email, mindless meandering, etc. I expect to spend two days here in Stonetown, then maybe another two up on the northern beaches, taking the opportunity to snorkle the Indian ocean.

I'm very happy indeed. And because it deserves a mention, Dar-es-Salaam is not a good place to have a hangover in. Fortunately I was spared the worst of that suffered by some of my mates, but the experience of being stuck in a teribly slow-moving and heavily-laden ferry downwind of the drying fish markets is one that I only need do once. It reminds me of a seaside version of Cairo - chaotic, loud, but with fresher air and a distinct odour of old dried fish.


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