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there and back again...

a travellers tale by Leia Carey

View Carpe Africa on leiasj's travel map.

So once more I am back in "Sunny" England again.

But returning to my last few days in Africa, I spent Saturday learning to scuba dive. I was quite nervous, considering my not liking snorkelling and not being an amazing swimmer. But after watching a dvd in the morning and spending some time underwater learning how to breath towards the shore (only panicking a couple of times), I felt much better. The masks fitted much better then with snorkelling and i didn't have to worry about a big wave coming down my air supply. Just so long as my mouth piece didn't get knocked out. So in the afternoon Bethan (who is already Padi qualified) joined me as I went for my first scuba dive!! We didn't go too far away because some people on our boat got sea sick, so we just went to the nearby restaurant jetty. It didn't matter much to me, because I still had an amazing time and saw some beautiful fish. We went down to about 12metres and were down for 43 minutes. I saw a Dory fish from Finding Nemo, a stone fish and a catfish, and a whole load of fish that looked very pretty!! And of course all of the coral looked very pretty also.

On Sunday we had to return to Stone Town, I packed my bag ready for the flight home and surprisingly fitted everything in (minus a few clothes to be thrown away, of course). We got in the dala dala back to Stone town and spent the afternoon spending the last of our money buying last minute souvenirs. After then chilling out in the room for a couple of hours we went out to the market to get some cheap but delicious food. I had a couple of savoury and a sweet Zanzibar pizza, a naan, falafel, a potato ball and a meatball, washed down with some freshly squeezed cane juice. I also bought some crisps for the next day and all this only cost me 4800tsh, which is less then £2!!!

We caught the ferry across to Dar early in the morning, which was a nightmare. We didn't get seats so ended up sitting on the stairs by the toilets and on the way up to the deck. So by half way through the 2 hour journey people were rushing past us in all directions to be sick! Needless to say, this was not conducive to a vomit free journey for myself, and I proceeded to spend the rest of the journey myself rushing to the toilet, there being no room up on deck to get any fresh air.

When we finally arrived in Dar I had emptied my stomach of its contents and Bethan had a little while until her flight so we headed to a bakery with a couple from another truck, and spent a few hours there. We then got in a taxi, which dropped me off at the hotel I had booked and took the others to the airport. I had a double room booked because Hamish had though Bethan was staying with me, I went into the hotel to enquire about changing to a single room, which I was told would cost me $42!! With my Lonely Planet book in hand I told them to stick their room and headed to find a taxi to take me to a hostel that would cost me $16!! I went for a wonder from the hotel, but there wasn't much to see, so I spent the day relaxing in my room.

I got up at 4:30am to go to the airport. My flight wasn't until 9am but I was at the airport in plenty of time. Checked in and my bag wasn't overweight, which was a bonus!!! Bought some last minute things at the duty free and boarded. Flight was pretty smooth, just got annoyed at it taking 40minutes to taxi across the whole of Heathrow it seemed!!!

Posted by leiasj 08:41 Archived in United Kingdom

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Hi Leia, glad to hear you have arrived home safe and sound. What a great experience you have had, we are really jealous and are looking forward to seeing you at the wedding of you know who. love to all G & G xxx

by davaud

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