Out for another hike around Lushoto, Tanzania!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Lushoto, Tanzania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Tanga City on March 1st.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Official change of plans

In December, we had booked our flight out of Tanzania for March 21st, with a destination of Dusseldorf, Germany. We had some faint hope of possibly being able to pick up our new motorhome at that time. Now, with only four weeks to go before our scheduled flight, we highly doubt that the entrance restrictions to Germany will be lifted by that time.

Our flight with KLM was fully flexible, with no change fees. So the only extra would be whatever the fare difference was to fly somewhere else. 

I've mentioned in previous posts of our desire to visit Albania. We actually might have originally gone there instead of Tanzania, but Albania is fairly cool in January. Anyhow, by mid March Albania will be very pleasant.

So yesterday, I spent way more time than it should have taken getting our flights changed.

The problem was that KLM's website would not accept the change. There is a glitch somewhere, and the only destination changes it would allow were within Germany! However, the flight routing I wanted definitely showed up when I searched for a new flight.

KLM's facebook based customer support was no help. They said that the flight routing I wanted didn't even exist. They later told me that they only had access to fares based on the KLM Dutch website, and that fares on the KLM Canadian website could be different. 

Eventually, I had them fully cancel my original booking and process a credit voucher. I then booked a brand new flight and used the credit vouchers as partial payment. The flight booked perfectly and we have confirmed tickets.

So now, we will be leaving Tanzania on March 18th. Flying from Dar es Salaam to Amsterdam, connecting to Rome, and connecting to Tirana, Albania.

North to Amsterdam, then backtracking to Rome, then across to Tirana.

Our original flights to Dusseldorf had cost $469 CAD per person, but the ones to Tirana were $95 CAD more, so a total of $564 CAD ($447 USD) each for the one way trip.

I have already booked us a full month car rental for €210 ($321 CAD, $255 USD), with an option to extend it as I would expect we will be there for more than a month. Now, we will have three months from March 19th to decide our next move.

When we depart Dar es Salaam on March 18th, we have to get a PCR test done 72 hours before. The National Health Laboratories in Dar es Salaam do them for $100 USD each, with results in 24 hours then at the airport we have to have a rapid test done 4 hours before the flight and it costs $25 USD.

I had mentioned that we wouldn't be returning to Canada by air while that ridiculous overpriced mandatory hotel stay is in place. However, the loophole is that you can still cross the land border from the U.S. into Canada and not have to do the hotel thing. So we could conceivably fly into Washington DC and connect onto a United flight to Ogdensburg, New York and simply walk across the border. Our daughter might be able to drop off a car for us to hop into and we could drive directly to Ruth's dad's house to do the 14 day quarantine. So, you never know. We might still make it to Canada in May!

Other than the internet research, yesterday was mostly a day of rest. We did go out for lunch, and then bought a few fruits and veggies at the market.

Lunch. I had the pepper steak and chips.
 It was pretty good!

Ruth ordered the beef stew, but they made a mistake and brought the beef curry. We didn't bother correcting them because it was good too.

Then we went through the Sunday market and picked up some fruits and veggies...

Cost was 5,500 shillings.
($3.00 CAD, $2.40 USD) for everything.

Looks like we've got a few rain days in the forecast for this week. But there are lots of books to read here, and we have some movies to watch!

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And in Canada... 



22 comments:

  1. I don't think you are allowed to walk across the Prescott/Ogdensburg bridge anymore. They removed part of the sidewalk several years ago.

    Can you cross the Ogdensburg International Bridge?
    The Ogdensburg–Prescott International Bridge allows for both passenger and commercial vehicles to cross the Canada-United States border; neither cyclists nor pedestrians are permitted to cross this bridge.

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    1. Interesting... thanks Duncan! Maybe we could hire you to drive us across... :-)

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    2. I live 2 miles from the bridge on the Canadian side if there is anything I can do to help. I can't drive across to even pick you up. If I cross the imaginary line I am in big trouble. A taxi (commercial vehicle) might work.

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    3. Ah, right... I forgot you were on the Canadian side! Yes, a taxi might work. Thanks Duncan!

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  2. Friends of mine have plans similar to yours -- getting across the land border from the US into Canada. However, they have been told that instead of walking, they should be dropped right at the Customs office in a taxi. Then they would be allowed to walk into Canadian territory and be met by someone or pick up a car like you're planning. I'm sharing this in case it could help your plans!

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    1. Yes, it sounds like a taxi might be the best bet! Thanks Armande.

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  3. P.S. I'm looking forward to discovering a new (to me)country : Albania. Hope it's as nice as Turkey! Thanks for sharing on your blog -- love reading you every morning!

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    1. We are also looking forward to a "new" to us country, it should be an interesting visit. We figure it is going to remind us more of Romania then Turkey but it could be a combination of the two.

      We are happy to hear that you love reading our blog each and every morning. :-)

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  4. What is the green fruit/vegetable in the top right corner?

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  5. You would be paying at least $3 for two peppers in E.Ontario right about now.

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    1. We believe it, fruits and veggies aren't cheap in Canada!

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  6. Looks like you'll have more planning to do before your plane heads to the US.
    Peppers alone are over $3.00 a pound here in Windsor.
    Be Safe and Enjoy your next adventure.

    It's about time.

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    1. We aren't even sure if we will head back to Canada so it is still too early to do any planning yet!

      Fruits and veggies are cheap here but there also isn't a lot of variety, mostly onions, potatoes, peppers, carrots, okra, cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach or the like, pineapples, watermelon, mangoes, papayas, bananas, limes and a small amount of apples and that is about it!

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  7. All sounds very complicated. Hopefully things will be better by the time you need to decide. Enjoy Albania in the mean time. Travel safe!

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    1. So much can change between now and May, we will wait and see what is happening before we make any kind of decision to head back to Canada via the USA.

      For now will look forward to our time in Albania. :-)

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  8. I know you're probably getting sick about people warning you and asking you about COVID, but I noticed on a worldwide map I got the other day that Albania was in the highest risk category. I found this just now online https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/covid-4/coronavirus-albania (Level 4, Very High: "Travelers should avoid all travel to Albania.") I know how smart you both are and expect this is old news to you, but just be even more cautious than usual, please!

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    1. We are totally keeping on our eye on the news but we also don't believe everything that they say/write. Also every country has their own way of tracking the numbers and there are so many variables that again we don't trust the numbers that are put out there. When we were in Turkey we were also told that it had some of the highest numbers of COVID in the world! We will keep on being as careful as we can and by staying in Airbnb's, using rental cars when possible it helps reduce our contact with people and just in general keeping our distance, so far we seem to be doing a good job. :-)

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  9. I love the idea of you getting around the Canadian hotel expense. Walking into your own country is the coolest, but taking a taxi is splashy, if its so short you can walk. Best of luck in Albania.

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    1. We still haven't decided whether or not we will return to Canada in May, we will wait and see how this go between now and then as things are still changing quickly all the time.

      Looks like we wouldn't be able to walk across the bridge at the border crossing we have in mind so it will have to be by taxi or some sort of vehicle, if we do in fact decide to go this route.

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  10. Whew! I finally finished reading through your blogs since the Kili hike....took me all of three hours with writing the odd comment here and there. Really thrilled and happy that you are staying safe and healthy during these unusual times and still exploring and sharing your experiences. You two are simply amazing! Safe travels.

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    1. Wow, that is a lot of reading that you had to do! Glad to hear that you are all caught up now and that you have enjoyed our posts and pictures.

      We are always doing our best to keep healthy and safe but still wanting to enjoy life. :-)

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