8/3/09 - 8/5/09
“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.”
And so our adventure begins.
August 3, 2009
It was pretty much impossible to pack to a total of 33 pounds as my camera equipment alone was 15 pounds. Both Matt and I are about 40 pounds each and hopefully we will shed some weight as we go (or I will be wearing a lot of accessories in flight). Our first flight is on American at 7:50pm (boo, not as nice as the foreign carriers). We actually slept a little and landed in Heathrow at 2pm. Never been to England before. Taking the Underground, we actually got to see above ground. I will admit, every time the lady said "Picadilly train going to Cockfosters," we kept chuckling (I'm still laughing). We did a whirlwind tour of London from Buckingham Palace to Big Ben.
Now we can say that we've been in an authentic London phone booth.
Look how cute this pub is and did you see the sign...Great Scotland Yard!
We then took the train to Gatwick to catch our next flight. I never thought 66 degrees could be so hot.
Emirates is a nice carrier but it was extremely strict on the flight to Dubai. Am thinking it was because we were going to a Middle Eastern country or they are just super anal in Gatwick. They weighed everything...carry on as well as check in. They even weighed your purse. And when they say only a purse and one carry on item, they literally mean a purse. Surprised for an international flight. They are also not as lenient in the liquid carry on rules. Long story short, we almost missed our flight because we had to repack so many times because people kept telling us different things. Not sure why people in England have trouble communicating in English. But the interesting story is that we flew on the same flight with Russell Crowe. He had a ton of bags and was stuck at check-in for almost as long as us. We think he just finished filming Robin Hood and was heading back to Australia with his wife and two kids. (He did look a bit out of shape but we swear it was him.)
Dubai is smoggy and full of pollution. The airport is not that big (although the giant elevator is cool) and is full of duty free shopping. I don't think anyone goes to Dubai, it's just a holding cell for people in transit. We were glad to leave. It was 43 celsius (109 F) when we left!
Our flight from Dubai to Dar es Salaam went fine and thank goodness we got our visas before we left because the lines were long at the airport. We landed during their traffic hour so it took us about an hour to get to our hotel. The airport is more in the rural area but not far from the city. Disappointed to see billboards all over the place (yes, I understand the irony of this statement as it is my business). There is a big battle in telecommunications and between Coke and Pepsi (is there really a battle between these two?). As you wait in traffic, people try to sell you everything from toys to spark plugs. It's like the mall coming to you. A lot of dirt roads. After 36 hours of travelling, we were pretty tired. We stayed at the Kilimanjaro Kempinski which is a swanky hotel. Matt was excited that they had washcloths and I was thrilled that a mosquito net was not needed. We are also happy to report that the malarone has not caused us to have strange dreams. Although Matt claims his dreams are more vivid but who knows.
The map below outlines the areas we will be visiting.