Arriving in Dar

Dar es Salaam Travel Blog

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Upon arrival - tired but generally in one piece.
I think I appreciate the Hotel Mediterraneo a LOT more after the fact. Arriving undoubtedly shocked my senses and my body. From the moment I arrived I felt like I was constantly enveloped in a hot, sticky fog that seeped into every pore of my body. I was not used to the dirt that also clings to the humidity and every surface felt like a booby trap for germs. The water in Tanzania is tinged yellow and I was so worried to even bathe in it. Now, I miss everything so dearly. I miss the way the moisture protects my skin and brings just enough volume to my hair to feel bouyant. I miss how the temperature changes signal morning and pulls me awake with alertness and puts me to bed at night. I just don't miss the bugs =)

Our hotel is really wonderful.
Ale, Nipanema and Mahimbo
Every morning I was awaken by the sound of the waves hitting the rock on the side of the property just after 6am. Fishermen float by every morning at around 8am, paddling their canoe. The sounds combined with the morning heat, I never slept more than 6 hours a day but felt perfectly wonderful for the rest of the day.

I was a bit on edge when I first arrived and smoked a lot to calm down and collect myself. There's something about the humidity and good air quality that allowed me to smoke a pack a day and not even feel it. Smoking was just like breathing, just slightly better =) Ok, enough of that.

Ale, Mahimbo and the rest of their family arrived shortly and I had never been happier to see a familiar face. I was really glad to meet Mahimbo and his family, and to see Ale's family again, as well as to meet Louisa and her brother.
At mid-tide at Hotel Mediterraneo
Mahimbo spoke with a lovely British accent and was a really strong and charismatic figure. I can see why he is the state representative for DRC. His mother, Nipanema was also a strong, charismatic, and extremely acute person - she really blew me away by how active and effective in all matters she was.

It was a veritable United Nations already. English was mixed with Italian, Eva and I chatted a bit in Spanish. Mama Mdoe and Mahimbo would lapse into Swahili, and this was before the French people arrived! I never felt more confused or more giddy with excitement than these first hours. I was completely caught off guard by the weather and the environment and then I was elated by all the cultural mishmash and being able to understand a little bit of everything except Swahili (which I know a few words of now!).
A cafe at the Slipway

We soon all left the hotel and it was perfect running errands and getting to see the city while getting important things done. I will ever be grateful for Ale and Mahimbo carting this convoy of people around with them wherever they went and allowing us to see what goes on in a person's day-to-day. The poor couple literally accomodated every last person's needs and wishes in their group of 15 and even ended up taking us with them on their honeymoon to Zanzibar. If that's not a rock solid indication of what lovely, selfless people they are, I don't know what is. Through all the ups and downs and frustrating moments, the consistency of their care for us was evident.

We drove around Dar a bit on a hunt for one of Mahimbo's multiple cell phones and got to see many diplomatic embassies nestled away behind high gates or tucked just out of view behind trees.
I learned that the American Embassy in Tanzania was bombed something like 3 times, which didn't really strike a chord with me until I got back to the States. It doesn't seem fair that a country who is so generous and is always one of the first to come to another's aid when disaster occurs or help is needed is the target of such hatred and blame. At the same time, I am aware our policies are often hypocritical, but I think we suffer from a population that neither cares about voting or feels as if they'll ever be represented correctly. I'm still trying to reconcile the mess of good intentions and bad politics that I live in.
jenn79 says:
This hotel is called Hotel Mediteranneo (or something with the word "mediterranean"). It's about 20 minutes outside of Dar, though. But in my opinion, quite worth it and very safe.
Posted on: Jul 18, 2008
Lonyo says:
hey dear nice pics.....just inquiring...which hotel was this?
Posted on: Jul 17, 2008
thenewextrememimi says:
Hee, hard to find another Cali girl that loves smoking :)
Posted on: Feb 25, 2008
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Upon arrival - tired but generally…
Upon arrival - tired but generall…
Ale, Nipanema and Mahimbo
Ale, Nipanema and Mahimbo
At mid-tide at Hotel Mediterraneo
At mid-tide at Hotel Mediterraneo
A cafe at the Slipway
A cafe at the Slipway
View from the bar at Hotel Mediter…
View from the bar at Hotel Medite…