This post is the second in a set of publications which will describe the last trip I did in East Africa, back in August, leading me to Zanzibar and back again. Read the first post here.
After a good nights sleep, I was ready to catch the bus to Dar Es Salaam.
The bus leaves every day at 6.45am and arrives at around 8pm, quite a long journey.
The beginning of the trip wasn’t too exciting, the view was very similar and rather dull, I took this time to sleep a bit more (I am not a morning person).
After the short nap, I woke up to a very different landscape: dry lands with light brown hills. The land of the Masai.
Not long after, we had to get off the bus as we had reached the border Kenya-Tanzania (I find border checkpoints in East Africa very unsettling, so I searched for a picture to give you an idea: border checkpoint in Namanga). After all the paperwork has been completed, we returned to the bus heading to Arusha.
Arusha, capital of the Arusha region, is a mandatory stop for hikers, mainly for being very close to the Arusha National Park, the Mt. Meru Forest Reserve and, more importantly, to the Mt. Kilimanjaro National Park, home of the famous Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Seeing this majestic mountain wasn’t just an amazing visual experience (it is truly beautiful) but it was also a personal and emotional experience for me.
I was on the bus when I turned and noticed the mountain, I would have almost missed it! The traveler in me was in awe, the photographer in me reached for the camera and snapped a couple of shots and the kid in me just realized where I was.
You probably need a backstory on this: the (very) young me, already at 6 years old, loved visiting foreign places and seeing breathtaking scenarios and I did that, every weekend, on my grandma’s couch.
I would often go through my uncle’s VHS’s and “visit” many different countries (especially countries in Eastern Asia) and, on Sundays, I used to watch a TV show called “Alle falde del Kilimanjaro” (something along the lines of: ‘On the slopes of Kilimanjaro’). It was definitely my favourite, it used to bring my young mind to places that I would have never imagined, meet people and see places that were very far away.
It was probably a series of other more significant events that made me love travelling but I still think that the program has a part in it.
Back then, it would have seemed inconceivable. But here I was, near the slopes of the Kilimanjaro.
I had a sudden realization of where I was and what I was doing and it just felt right.
The trip continued with rapid changes in the landscape from savanna-like areas to cultivated fields.
I arrived in Dar Es Salaam at night (it gets dark early there, even in Summer) and managed to get a hold of my host. He was with some other people watching an old movie and eating food, the Tanzanian way (eating using hands and chapatis).
After the dinner and the movie, we headed to his house and finally had our well-deserved rest.