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The equatorial summer’s gotten pretty oppressive as of late (bar yesterday’s freaky monsoon storm which covered Kili in unprecedented amounts of snow), so we were really glad to escape last weekend into the Usambara Mountains in the northeast of the country, a (terrible) 7-hour bus ride and a literal world away from the dusty plains …
…And we’re off to a “Swiss Alp feeling in an African setting”. I have a major backlog of blog ideas but night-long power cuts and a wonky wifi have gotten in the way recently, so bear with me. I’ll be back next week with plenty of pictures of the lush Usambara mountains in tow… worth the wait, I promise.
Have a good one, wherever you are.
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Eight AM on a Saturday morning in our new casa and I thought I’d finally write about our safari and put up a selection on those 800+ pictures I took. Honestly, I feel like we both had to recover from five days of brutally early mornings (5.30AM wake-ups every day and neither of us are …
Day 2: waterfall hike on the foothills of Mount K, Day 3: beers by the pool…
After a couple of relaxed Moshi days with ol’pops, a refreshingly low-key New Years with friends, a fun but exhausting day at Amani (we both have an entirely new level of appreciation for teachers’ need to have long summer breaks after this experience), we’re getting ready for another journey, this time to the muddy plains of Serengeti and the majestic Ngorongoro crater.
As we pack up to leave our beloved B&B (we’re moving into a house-share for the remaining two+ months) and I try my very best not to stress too much about packing our messy little life up, that strange concoction of excitement, anticipation and jitters sets in our travel-bound bellies. We have four nights in open-to-the-wild campsites ahead of us, long drives on shitty roads, a hot air balloon ride, plenty of questionable experiences in poorly maintained and over-used national park toilets, and hopefully an encounter or two with the magnificent beasts of the East African plains. I’m hoping for a few leopards and a rhino sighting. B’s looking forward to coming car-to-face with the famed Serengeti lions. I think we’re all just hoping to avoid the brunt of the later-than-usual seasonal rains and have the safari of a lifetime…
On that note, we wish you all a wonderful, mindful start to the new year. Fill it with happy moments, big plans and everything good and gorgeous in between.
(Whoop-whoop! This is the 40th post on our wee little blog, by the way. Thanks for reading, caring and sharing, folks.)
It’s hard not to fall for the lived-in, Middle East-meets-tropical-Africa charms of Zanzibar. Without romanticizing the poverty that many of the island’s inhabitants suffer, or overlooking the neglect that has caused UNESCO to threaten to remove the island’s historic old town from its list of World Heritage Sites, the island positively oozes a kind of otherworldly charm. It’s made all the more palpable by decades of decay and the sheer weight of the history the island carries; you smell it in the labyrinth-like alleyways of the old town after the rains, you see it in the peeling paints and crumbling facades of the buildings, and perhaps most arrestingly in the unusual ethnic diversity of this small island – from Arabs to Africans and all shades in between. You can also just feel it. It’s history you don’t have to read about or intellectualize – it’s just there, each and every day, staring straight at you as you stare back in awe.
A Christmas unlike any other: cinnamon daiquiris in lieu of glögg, a Zanzibari dinner-a-deux instead of a turkey feast with the family, snow-white sand and a gleaming turquoise ocean instead of the cozy, candle-lit darkness of December up North. It’s a relaxed, unselfconscious slice of paradise, enveloped in a soothing breeze that makes missing all that familiar festiveness back home somehow alright.
As Masaai-for-hire wander the beaches one last time before the sun sets, and we settle in for our happy hour daiquiris, this balmy breeze makes me think: if heaven had a temperature, this would surely be it.
We’re there with you in spirit, miss you today more than ever and send lots of warm vibes and love your way. Have a merry one.