How are you? My grand adventure should take me to Nairobi in the next week. Its been an interesting few weeks stretching out along the beaches of Dar Salaam and Zanzibar in Tanzania. My credit card needed to be replaced which is not an easy task, but UPS came through about as quickly as Tom Hanks did delivering his last package after being rescued in the movie Cast Away.
Next came the end of another quality BMW part.. a broken clutch cable left me stranded in Dar Salaam. Relying on African hospitality, Simon and I spent the week finding the right parts and people to fabricate a new one. So short of another delay, I will put on some miles again starting Friday, December 2.
Stonetown brought with it the first time I thought I was going to be hauled off to the police station for not wearing my helmet. It may also have been me screaming at the policeman that he was a Fn idiot. The crowd that gathered was amused, but it took some doing before I was on my way again. My next stop was for a cold beer. The policeman, who was not succesful getting a payoff from me, probably went to a shebeen (local bar). A shebeen is a local place that often looks like a shack with a bare power line illegally attached to a fridge keeping a few beers cool for a big spender. Shake Shake is a local brew that is served warm in a 1.5 litre carton. It has the taste of watered down porridge, and looks the same. It's made from maze. Me, I went to a local bar.
It's now almost impossible to avoid the tour bus trail. Big overland trucks roll into the lodges late at night with 20 - 30 weary, shaken, young adventurous souls. They skip across Africa on their three week tours setting up tents in nothing more than parking lots, cooking and cleaning before heading out the next morning at 5am. They make fast photo stops at all the usual guide book "must see" places before returning to their offices back home to show friends and family "Africa."
It's common for the odd tourist to depart the rolling brothel they paid big money for, to just gather their things and let the bus leave without them, ready to see Africa on their own. I have now met up with such persons who got off said bus 10 years ago, and they are still here! Sounds a little cynical LOL, but hey that's just me!
Truthfully if interested in visiting Africa, I would love to see a face from home. I will even play the part of a pale-skinned tour guide for a warm beer! In West Africa I could not give American currency away if I wanted to. In East Africa the tour bus trail has created inflation and a need for green backs, so bring a few extra. No crazy lines shopping for Black Friday specials, pepper spray, shootings, or even a need for more stuff we cannot afford.