The town of Dulmen, Germany.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Dulmen, Germany.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Winterswijk, Netherlands.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Arrived in Albania... country #41 for us!

When we left you off in yesterday's blog post we had arrived in Doha, Qatar for a two and a half hour layover.

Oh, I forgot to tell you about our luggage. We are traveling with a small backpack each, and a carry on size suitcase each. When we checked in for our original flight in Dar es Salaam, they told us they were marking our checked bags to include the flight to Tirana on a different carrier. I didn't think that was possible, and that we would have to pick them up in Rome, but they insisted it would work.

Monday, March 15, 2021

The plan is coming together, but not without some hiccups...

Writing this from FCO (Rome) Airport in Italy. It is now Monday afternoon at around 2:00pm local time. We are here waiting for our connecting flight to Tirana, Albania later this afternoon.

When we left our apartment in Dar es Salaam, we had to be out by 11:00am, but our flight wasn't until 9:30pm. So we just went to the airport and hung out. We took an Uber taxi from the house, and we couldn't believe how cheap it was. For the 12 km (7.5 mile) trip, it cost 10,500 shillings ($5.65 CAD, $4.50 USD). I thought they made a mistake, but our host had told us it was the cheapest way.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

I'm not normally a negative person

But today, we are quite happy to be negative!

On Saturday, a mere 28 hours after being tested, we received an email and a text message from the National Public Health Laboratory here in Tanzania. 

We are NEGATIVE.

The very official looking certificate was dated March 13th so we are well within the 96 hour window given by our airline for compliance with their rules.

So... we are definitely off to Albania!

Saturday, March 13, 2021

So now we wait

Yesterday was Covid PCR test day. 

We are flying to Albania on Sunday evening, and although the country itself does not require any sort of testing as a requirement for entry, we are flying with Qatar Airways and they require a negative Covid PCR test certificate that has been done within 96 hours of boarding the plane.

So we made appointments to have the tests done at the nearby Muhumbili University Hospital. You book the day, but not the time. They said they take samples between 8am and 5pm, and we wanted to show up right at 8am.

Friday, March 12, 2021

It's better to keep your expectations low so that you're not disappointed

The problem with spending six days in Dar es Salaam is that it's about four days too many! There's really not a lot worth seeing, and of course it's so hot that it's not really enjoyable just to go out and wander around. Which is too bad, because there are interesting things to see just watching people get on with their daily lives.

So, we force ourselves to go out and get some exercise. On Thursday, we walked over to the Botanical Gardens. Ruth had read that it wasn't anything special, and that it would have been better after rainy season. 

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Visit to the hospital

We woke up yesterday morning with no power in our little apartment. So far, in our experience in Tanzania, the power goes out regularly, so we didn't think anything of it. After an hour or so, I went outside and noticed that the air conditioning was running in the apartment next to us!

So I sent a message to our host, and he was on it right away. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Back in civilization!

Our main reason for being here in Dar es Salaam so early is that we are flying with Qatar Airways this coming Sunday, and the airline themselves require a negative PCR test done within 96 hours prior to boarding your flight. There's not a lot of accurate detailed information available online regarding where to get the test, or how much it costs. So we wanted to get here with lots of time to spare in order to figure things out.

The government has a website to register for booking your test, but all it does is list the different centers that take the samples. The samples are then sent to the main government laboratory for analysis, and your results are posted online within 24 hours. Or at least that's the way things are supposed to work.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

You never know what to expect on a travel day

I've said it before... travel days are always interesting. It's probably the reason I never sleep very well the night before a travel day, You just never know what's going to happen or what's going to go wrong. And sometimes (it does happen occasionally!) we are surprised when everything goes according to plan!

We were up early because we had prearranged with our taxi guy in Tanga to pick us up at 7:00am. Sure enough, he arrived at about 6:50am, so the day was off to a good start.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

We are off to the big city

We are up early this Monday morning because our taxi guy is picking us up at 7:00am!

On Sunday, we walked into town to what we thought was where we could buy tickets for today's bus ride. But it turns out that sometime in the last four months that particular bus company moved, and I could not find any current information online. But, we asked some questions and found that we had to head another kilometer to a different bus line.

Once we get into our new motorhome, what's the plan?

Of course it's too soon to make any firm plans, and whatever we end up doing will depend totally on what time of year it is. We know that we will have maximum three months in Albania, so that brings us up to June 15th or so. With any luck at all, hopefully we will be allowed into Germany by then so that we can pick up our new motorhome.

If that happens at that time, our plan is to head north!

Saturday, March 6, 2021

The highlights of Tanga

Despite the heat, we figured we had better get out and see the highlights of the city. We thought about riding the bikes over to the beach area, but while it's a slight downhill the whole way there, it would be a slight uphill the whole way back! 

So we decided to walk the 7 kms (4.3 miles) one way, find somewhere to have a meal, and then take a taxi back.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Biding our time

We came to Tanzania specifically to hike Kilimanjaro, and we honestly figured we could take up the balance of two months here without much problem. And that is certainly doable... if you have lots of money to spend.

But doing Tanzania on a tight budget is not that enjoyable. Now that we have our flights to Albania booked for March 14th, we feel like we are just biding our time until we can get out of here.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Paying for our new motorhome

Sometimes the logistics of making a big purchase in a far away country can be a little overwhelming. 

I remember when we bought our truck and camper in Australia how we jumped through hoops trying to follow all the right procedures. After all, we were physically in Mexico at the time... and we were buying an Australian vehicle by paying a Swiss bank from our Canadian bank. 

And, we didn't want to get taken advantage of by the big banks in Canada. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Well, there's that mess sorted out... for now...

Unimpressed with KLM. 

I was double checking our flight times and I went into "manage bookings" on the KLM website yesterday morning. I happened to notice that the first leg of our flights from Dar es Salaam to Amsterdam was showing as "Cancelled". 

Hmph. I hadn't received any email from KLM telling me they had cancelled my flights. I wonder when I would have found out if I hadn't been checking for something else.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Travel days are always interesting

We were up at 6:30am Monday morning.

There are no "scheduled" buses that run between Lushoto and Tanga. We had asked around a few days earlier, and it seems that beginning at 7:00am or so, they depart every ten minutes "or so". Considering it's a distance of 168 kms (104 miles), we thought that was an awfully lot of buses, but it turned out to be accurate based on our experience.