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.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Tanzania - Arusha

Dedicated to Erin on her 20th Birthday

I'm writing from Arusha, a bustling and dusty town that lies precisely halfway between Capetown and Cairo. They've even marked the exact spot with a Coca-Cola Commemorative Clock in a roundabout.

We've been sleeping in a snake park, with my tent pitched against a low wall that divides me from seven large Nile crocodiles. There are Masaai guards in colourful robes reclining in the shade, and scanty-brained guineafowl that chase each other around the grounds, leaving trails of dust in their wake like a Warner Brothers cartoon. The truck mob is aware that we're only going to be together for another few days, and there's a combination of regret, simmering tensions, and anticipations of future travels in the air. The ascent of Kilimanjaro being undertaken by three or four of us is a particular favourite topic, and one I would have loved to participate in had I not required a return to Cairo on a specific date. At least this way I have a good reason to return to Africa one day in the future.

Tonight we're celebrating Erin's birthday, which may end up as another drag costume party like the one we had in Malawi. (and I'm totally aware you've heard nothing about that one...) There's also likely to be a lot of shopping for Masaai beaded jewellery and textiles, plus a visit to one of their local villages.

Tomorrow we're off bush camping an game viewing in Serengeti and the Ngorongoro crater for a couple of days. There will be no internet, and I doubt I will be checking it again in Nairobi before I fly out to Cairo. This could be the last blog post for several days, just like I said last time.


  • At Wednesday, February 08, 2006 9:44:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Sam,

    We look forward to tackling Kilimanjaro with you one day. Yassir is cooking up a storm and DJ is packaging up a sale that she made on ebay. I hope that the Snake park is comfortable and inspiring.

    Y, DJ, L & Assard!


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