• Over old ground: South from Dar es Salaam November 8th, 2011

    “When travelling alone one can behave childishly without fear of derision” (Devla Murphy)

    In reflection the bus journey was far more memorable than the cycling. On a November morning eleven years ago I travelled on what must surely have been the oldest bus pulling out of Dar es Salaam that day. The journey to Kilwa Masoko, some 350km to the south, took 2 days.

  • Then and now: Tips for surviving Africa October 25th, 2011

    “There are two good reasons why cyclists should be wary of camping in Africa. In inhabited regions a bicycle is quite likely to be stolen; in uninhabited regions there is a remote possibility that the cyclist will be stolen – and consumed” (Devla Murphy)

    At first they wanted $2000 for the marijuana I was found with in my pocket. This was a bad dream surely. There I was sitting in the back seat of a car being driven around Dar es Salaam, whilst a man much bigger than me in the passenger seat said I would be going to prison for five years unless I paid. How could I have been so stupid to trust this guy on the street, now sitting next to me in the car and clearly a police informer?

  • Never die: The Bagamoyo boat October 11th, 2011

    It would have been simpler, needless to say a whole lot safer to leave Zanzibar on one of the regular high-speed ferries that shuttle back and forth to Dar es Salaam. The moment one approaches the port there is no shortage of commission-hungry touts waiting to escort you to one of many ticket offices. Here the ticket price will be quoted in US dollars (double or several times the local resident price) and you will be whisked away in air-conditioned comfort on a boat that maintains a schedule. Travel in places where there are lots of tourists is sometimes just too easy.