Leaving Rwanda for the last time was a little like entering it for the first time; rushed and confusing. Due to the fire at Nairobi airport, I cancelled my flight to Dar via Nairobi and instead went straight to Zanzibar via Addis Ababa. I always swore I would never fly on Ethiopian Airlines but, like most things in life, given a certain set of circumstances, I gave them a try and they were excellent. Not only were they early, the food was fantastic and I had the best chicken curry somewhere over Tanzania.
A few days in Zanzibar to meet lovely friends, recharge, eat my own bodyweight in seafood, cry a little about not being in the forest any more, and practise being a backpacker – I swore I’d never carry a backpack ever again after my earlier backpacking efforts in the days of yore – you are so conspicuous and immediately entered into the ‘gang’ of backpackers whether you like it or not (guess whether I like or like not) – but after some convincing by friends that a small suitcase would be troublesome on buses etc. I (again) broke my vow.
So here I am surrounded by Peace Corps volunteers (sorry Nick) chatting to me about how rubbish the food is in Kenya and how farmers refuse to invest and expect everything to be paid for them. Oh dear. As we’re going to be on the same train for three days, I think I’ll hold my tongue. On this occasion.
We’re all going to be getting the Mukuba Express from Dar es salaam to Kapiri Moshi in Zambia. It leaves soon and I’m very excited.
I think my first day as a backpacker has gone fairly well:
Got up ridiculously early? Check. Had to break out of locked guest house and nearly miss ferry? Check. Stupid unhealthy food for breakfast (emergency ration mini Dairy Milk)? Check. Break ‘no bananas in your bag EVER’ rule? Double check (ug). Use Internet cafe? Check. Hunched over laptop playing loud movies? No! Oh dear. I was doing really well.
When I got off the ferry and everyone was trying to take you somewhere. Anywhere. In their taxi, a man gave me a card about being prepared for god. This was just before I got my train ticket handed to me. How did he know this was my first day as a backpacker?
Note from the author: I’m writing this (and future) post on an iPhone 3GS which has been dropped around 365 times and may give up at any time) so have no idea what this post will look like…