26 March 2013

Tanga to Pangani
Rasta Ally and hotel
Beach view and dinner out

We are heading out to Pangani today. The Tanga hotel is willing to keep our bags in storage, so we are only taking a small bag as we will be returning here.
Pangani is a small fishing village 45 km south along the coast and is supposed to have stunning beaches. We are looking forward to chilling out for a few days.
A fairly early start and a walk back to the bus station.

Local transport.. it gets you there

Local transport.. it gets you there

A daladala is easily found and after a bit of confusion we are allowed to take a seat. It fills up quickly and we set off. Daladala’s do not run on set times, they just leave when they are full.
We were warned that the road is a bit bumpy as it is a dirt road, but it is only 45 km away, so how bad can it be?

Well, pretty bad. The sand road that we were expecting was made up of rocks. Bumpy rocks. And the road was built up, so that the water can flow of easily, but that also meant that the minibus is hanging at a 30 degree angle for most of the way, as the sides of the road are slightly less rocky then the top section. Along the way more people are picked up and even though we have seats, we are still cramped. The locals have no problem leaning against sitting passengers if this is more comfortable for them then just standing and holding onto the roof. Not comfy for the sitting passengers.. We arrive in Pangani about 3 hours later..

The town is only small but there are a few hotels and guest houses about. The first one is pricey so we keep going. Tourist info is signposted and this seems like a good idea. It turns out to be the Cultural Tourism program, but the guy is very nice. (Cultural Tourism programs seem to be all over Tanzania. Guided walks, boats tours etc. but not independent tourist info though)

The only wildlife we saw today

The only wildlife we saw today

He gives us a list of all the activities that are possible in and around Pangani and some look really good. Driving out to see some hippo’s ? No, the hippo’s are not there any more. A boat to go out snorkeling in the marine reserve? 90 US a person plus 10US reserve fees (way too much for us) A tour through the sisal plantations and factory? Don’t know how much that is. And that was the same answer for the other options. So how about a cheap place to stay in town? That was easy. The Stop Over hotel for only 10.000 a night.. He called his brother to walk us over there.

I wish we had taken this photo!

I wish we had taken this photo!

Rasta Ally showed up and took us to check in. About a kilometre or so away close to the beach. At the beach is the community centre, a nice place for a cool drink with ocean views. Ally has to get back to work, but wants to come back at 17.00 to show us a good place for dinner. Great! We pass the hours in between with being lazy and enjoying the quiet. By 17.30 Ally hasn’t shown up yet, so we set out on our own. Back in town we notice how many cafe’s and clubs there are. Surprising in a mostly Muslim little town.

Sisal plantation

Sisal plantation

We find a place that does beer and food and manage to order some. We off course don’t speak Swahili, but everybody here thinks that we ought to. Not everybody speaks English and we have to resort to some charades to get food. Eventually it is easier to walk up to the “buffet” area and just see what’s there. (So far all food we have had has been reheated.) We decide on some rice with sauce and beef on a stick. It is served with some pickled salad and half a banana.
We were hungry coming here, but the meal is so big that we only just manage to fit it all in. Back at the Stop Over we see Ally. He got busy with work, but can take us to diner now. A little to late, but nice of him anyway.

Not the best nights sleep. We are a bit worried about mosquitoes and malaria, and there are a lot of the little biters around here. Luckily the mosquito net keeps most of them away from us.



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