Lakeshore waterfront at Pogradec, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Pogradec, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Shkoder, Albania on May 19th!

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Exploring Arusha, and seeing how the other half lives

We hung around the apartment in the morning, and then at lunch time we had made plans to meet our new friends Ryan and Marti at an Indian curry restaurant in the central area. 

It was about a 3 km (1.8 mile) walk from the apartment to the center of Arusha so we set off at 12 noon for our 12:30pm lunch.

Arusha is a busy city of about 500,000 people. There aren't really that many attractions, and the main reason tourists come to Arusha is to use it as a base prior to going on safari in Serengeti National Park.

The side road near our apartment.

Getting close to downtown.

Sure enough, Ryan and Marti were there waiting for us at the Five Chutneys Indian restaurant. It's a little hole in the wall vegetarian place that gets really good reviews. We forgot to take photos!

Lunch was good, and we had lots to talk about. Ryan and Marti are a young (around 30) couple from Texas. They are on a one month vacation here. They are doing the Kilimanjaro climb starting on Sunday, and coincidentally they are doing the same route that we are. We hope to be able to get together again a week from Monday when they have (hopefully) completed it.

After lunch, we went to the big market building and then wandered around the central area.



You can see one white person in the photo above. Of course we stand out like a sore thumb. I think we might have seen two or three other white people the whole time. But everybody is extremely friendly towards us, with many people saying hello.

Justin tells us there are no racial issues of any kind in Tanzania. People are just people. Also, there are no religious issues at all. Half the population are Christian, and half are Muslim. But he says everybody loves one another.



Traffic circle monument.

As I said, there's not really a lot to see in the city of Arusha itself. Moshi is actually a nicer city, so we may head over there at some point once we are finished with the safari stuff in February.

Ryan and Marti had invited us back to their hotel to sit around the pool for the afternoon. There is an online app something like Uber to get a taxi here, and they have been using that so we got a drive to the Mt. Meru Hotel.

It's a fancy place. And very empty right now.

View from their fourth floor room.

View from our sun lounging chairs.

The hotel and pool.

Ryan, Marti, and Ruth.

Ruth with her Pina Colada.

We had a nice afternoon sitting around the pool. I almost went for a swim. I even had my swim shorts on. But the water was just too cold for my liking. And while it's fairly hot (we are right at the equator) when the sun is out, with the clouds it was just comfortable. The temperature is around 29C (84F) and there is very little humidity. It's really very pleasant.

Late afternoon we said goodbye to them and did the 4 km (2.5 mile) walk back to our apartment. Justin had a friend over, Abdallah who it turns out will be one of our porters on the Mt. Meru hike. So we sat and talked with them for the evening.

Today, Abdallah is taking us on a hike to a waterfall. He says it's about 10 kms (6 miles) walk uphill  from the apartment, but that we can take a bus back if we feel like it. We'll see how we do, but we'll probably walk both ways since returning will be all downhill!

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And in Canada...



17 comments:

  1. “Everybody loves one another”- love it!❤️

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    1. So do we! Too bad the whole world couldn't think this way. :-)

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  2. I agree with Connie and Barry, how wonderful to be in a nation where everyone loves each other and no racial issues 💕

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    1. It is really nice to see how everyone gets along so well and how welcoming everyone is to us. As I said in my comment to Connie and Barry, it is too bad that the whole world can't think this way.

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    2. As someone who has lived in Africa, I can tell you that tribalism has been a curse in many parts of the continent.

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    3. That may be in some parts but from what we have seen so far here in Tanzania, that doesn't seem to be the case.

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  3. We agree, it's nice that everyone gets along.
    Looks like you have more exploring to do then you originally thought.
    Be Safe and Enjoy the Waterfall.

    It's about time.

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    1. We knew that there would be lots of exploring to do on this trip!

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  4. It all sounds wonderful. I find it interesting that nobody is wearing masks. Is COVID not an issue?

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    1. Yeah that is disconcerting. Although apart from S Africa, I don;t think it has hit africa as hard

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    2. It is a very different culture and one that we look forward to seeing more of. It is definitely quite different to our experiences in Namibia and South Africa where things were a little more modern, not so here.

      Nope, nobody wears masks here and there are no restrictions at all. We think the level of Covid here is very low or almost non-existent. One person that we read about that went to get his PCR test done at the hosptial which was in a room opposite one set up for Covid patients and it was empty. We aren't going to be naive and think that it isn't here but for the people living here it isn't a big concern other than the fact that there are so few tourists around.

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  5. I thought Arusha was a bit of a hole, but mind you it rained for days when I was there. Which killed Kilimanjaro due to heavy snow. Same time of year you are there actually. I was there on Jan 17, 1998. I recognize that market. I never noticed any racial stuff either, but it was sure apparent in neighboring Kenya, especially tribal divisions. Only thing I noticed in Tanzania was tension over Zanzibar which considers itself independant.

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    1. We have had some rain almost every day we have been here so far but it also hasn't been solid rain so we are still able to get out and about with no issues.

      We find pretty much everyone to be very friendly and welcoming.

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  6. I don’t think COVID or other variants have hit African countries hard yet. However I would have thought since so many tourists come from other parts of the world and are potential carriers , masks would have been worn a least by them.

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    1. In the tourist hotels and the airport you need to wear masks and some of the tour groups show people with masks on but we aren't sure it that is just for show or not. Also at the moment there really aren't all that many tourists and those coming in on certain airlines require a PCR test but you are not required to have one to enter the country.

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  7. I hope you remain healthy and safe during your travels there. That place almost sounds idyllic with people being as friendly and non- judgmental as they say they are. Safe travels.

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    1. We hope the same!

      It definitely seems to be a very peaceful country, the different groups of people here in Tanzania certainly seem to get along well and are very welcoming to everyone. I guess we will have a better idea as we spend more time here.

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