Pangani to Tongoni
Tongoni to Tanga
Leaving Pangani. We are heading back to Tanga. A fairly early start as we want to stop along the way to visit the Tongoni ruins.
Tongoni is only a small village, directly along the way. The name means “deserted village”. There are the ruins of a mosque and more than 40 graves of Shirazi tombs. Most of them from the 14th century when the Sharizi-Swahili civilization was at its height. Sounds interesting!
Catching a daladala was easy enough and we got dropped at The turnoff. About a kilometres walk, got us to the new Tongoni village. The houses are mostly mostly made of mud, but also quite a few concrete ones.
The ruins were sign posted and along the way the caretaker came to meet us and show us the path there. Going to the ticket office we already walked along the site. It is really small.. (?) The remains of the mosque are made out of coral stone, but it looks a lot like concrete. Only one pillar is still standing. Around the area are lots of graves, but they are all modern.
The care taker is friendly, but the fun ends when he points towards the price list on the wall. 20.000 shillings for us to see the ruins, about 14 dollars. (For residents it would be 500 shillings.) Wow, we don’t even have that much money on us.. We did not expect it to be so expensive. We apologise for wasting his time and ask if it is ok to walk to the ocean.
The coast here again is covered in mangrove and he tells us there is not much to see, but we can. Walking off, he comes back to us to warn us. “Keep your bag close, because people might try to steel it. And don’t take photo’s of people.” This is the smallest town we have been in so far in Tanzania, and we really did think it would be safe. Small town, everybody knows everybody, etc.
But again we get the safety warnings.. It does not make us feel any better.
We make it to the mangroves and find a place to sit, watching out over the moored fishing boats. Nice and peaceful.
well, this was not a very interesting detour, but we walk back to the road. We only had to wait for about half an hour for a new minibus to take us to back to Tanga.
For dinner we decided to try some real African food : Ugali. We have seen it on different menu’s, but have not ordered it before, as we don’t actually know what it is. But, let’s try it!
We get a big metal plate with different sections for the different veggies and the main section for the Ugali. (the plate is a bit like a prison dinner plate) Ugali turns out to be extremely over cooked rice, cooled down so it form one big lump and than reheated for us to eat.
You break of bits and eat it with the three different veggies presented : Baked beans, greyish spinach and tomato sauce…. I guess you can tell that we were not impressed. We did eat it, but it is very tasteless. With all the veggies on display in the markets, we are surprised on how little fresh ones we get in our meals.
For the next two days we lazied around Tanga. Also because our stomachs are not dealing to well with the food here.