Saturday, July 11, 2009

Snatching Victoria Part 3 (I swear this is the last one, thanks for humoring me)

Chapter 3:
I awake at 7:00 am Sunday mornint to Roman Cavalry choirs singing, check is Roman Catholic choirs. Anyway, I like it and we have breakfast before making our way to the ferry dock. From there I inquire about where to find the fishermen and am told to walk down the bank. So we do and come to a beach with 6 or 7 long, wooden, fishing boats anchored on the beach and people cooking fish and other people running around and selling fresh fish, almost all tilapia. But one man shows me a nile perch and while I am admiring it on of the Florida girls convinces a fisherman to take us on a boat ride for a small fee. We go down the bank, beside hotel Tilapia, around the Saa Nane island (as far as I can tell it is inhabited by fish eagles, gazelle, and monitor lizards...I was told it has crocodiles but I didn't see any) and then back to the fish beach.

After this we head into town for lunch and run into a guy from Michigan who asks if we have been to the giant fish market. I insist that we have not and he tells us the way. It is a huge building on the water that I have seen several times before and thought was a marina. It smelled like fish and there were miles and miles of fish and I saw some pretty big Nile Perch (4feet +). This place was also guarded by hundreds of Maribu Stork with their long jagged beaks, skinny legs, bald heads, and 5 foot wingspans. Cool and nasty at the same time.

After this we ventured several kilometers out of town and followed a herd of cattle down a dirt road for a couple of miles before coming to this tranquil ranch type place on the lakeshore with a beach and several cabanas and a restaurant and a volleyball net. I had some grilled nile perch with coconut sauce and it was some of the best fish I have ever had. There were also random Masaii guys guarding the door.

We played volleyball then took a cab to a marked that was selling hundreds of kangas, my favorite ones had Barack Obamas picture on them (I thought this was hilarious...I also think he is the king of Africa, these people are Obamamaniacs and they love Americans just because of him). Later on we decided to go to a store and get supplies for the 16 hour bus ride back. This consisted of me leading the group on a wild goose chase because, although the store was real, it was no where near where the lonely liar map said it was. And when we finally fount U-turn grocery (that is the real name), it was closed. So we had ice cream and went back to the hotel and went to bed early because the cab was coming to get us at 4:30 Monday morning to take us to the bus station to catch our 6:00 AM COACH (AM COACH is the name of the bus company) to moshi.

Chapter 4:
4:30 am - I hear a cab pull up outside. Pack my sleeping bag into my backpack, and walk outside to negotiate cab fair. All 6 of us cram into a taxi and then catch our bus. I see a fast, and beautiful sunrise illuminating baobobs in the distance and all I can think about is the song O Sifuni Mungu (if you don't know it look it up sometime...great song). And my billfold is in a very secure place and my money belt actually has money in it.

3:30 pm - the bus breaks down outside of a town called Endasak (prounounced by us as In-da-Suck). We are there for 3 hours and I meet a guy named Moses and another named William who said his dad had 20 wives and 50 children. I am impressed. Hemingway also writes about staying in a nice bed and breakfast near here in Babati but I don't think it exists anymore.

We are hot and the group is disgruntled and wants to hitchhike. Being the mzee (elder), I guess I have the final say...I resist my primal instincts to tear out across the countryside on Chacos making a straight line to Moshi with only a map and my smile to guide me...I tell them there is no way we are leaving the bus.

6:30 pm - They fix teh bus and we get to rolling. At some point during the drive a chicken is behind me and everytime we hit a bump it bellows out a tormented CaCaw! This is the vocalization of my own feelings and amuses me for a long time. i start looking forward to the bumps and laugh out loud often.

12:00 am Tuesday - We get to Arusha and change buses. It has been 18 hours since we left Mwanza.

1:15 am -We arrive home in Moshi and have to take a cab to the hostel. As we are pulling out a land Rover cuts us off and blocks the road. Our cab driver gets out and starts talking to them. I am getting ready to be relieved of my money again when the driver gets back in and starts following the land rover. Then suddenly he turns a different way and takes back roads to our house. I still don't know what this was about but I was glad to be home. I enter the Fortress of Solitude, take my sleeping bag out of my backpack, get in it, and close my eyes. Lala Salama!

The end, thanks for reading.

1 comment: