Today we'd planned a walking tour of Moshi. Whilst sitting at breakfast, it began teeming down and it looked as though the weather was set in. From there we turned it into a very quiet and restful day. We read, Ally napped and then we talked and even watched Lion King in the preparation for our safari the next day.
Even though the day did us good, both Ally and I slept poorly that night. Ally went to bed late because of her nap and yet we both tossed and turned. Morning came just as sleep did but we were up and excited about our day. We were picked up just after 9am and then we picked up Karen, Leonie's friend. Our driver, was Freddy and we were all packed into an old range rover. Even the one hour drive to Arusha was a bumpy and interesting one. We entered the national park, http://www.tanzaniaparks.com/arusha.html were surprised by the clean western toilets and then we started to climb into the national park. Immediately we saw giraffes feeding off on the right. Freddy lifted the sunroof so we spent much of that initial time standing with our heads stuck out of the roof. I took loads of photos but am unsure about the quality of them. I used my zoom lens but I wasn't happy with what I was seeing through it. The 18-55mm seemed much clearer. I won't know how good they are until I get home.
We stopped for lunch at Small Lake Momela and enjoyed the view over the lake. During the day we saw giraffes, warthogs, monkeys, baboons, buffalo, zebras, waterbuck and various species of birds. The flamingoes were my favourite as they were spectacular and more numerous than what I was expecting. What a stunningly beautiful bird they are. I was disappointed we didn't see any big cats and Ally was quite disappointed that we didn't see any elephants. I hadn't realised that Arusha wasn't an environment for lions. For an hour we did a walking safari with Raj. It was a little disconcerting as he sported a shotgun which was for our protection. On the last leg of our walk he motioned with his hand to move quietly back the way we came whilst he commented 'no problem' as he released the safety on the gun. Karen, was really really scared of the lone buffalo, but strangely I was okay. We doubled back a way and then continued onwards once we were given the all clear.
The safari continued then with the car but we didn't see much else, except for a giraffe which was right beside the car. What an awesome photo opportunity. Ally snoozed on the bumpy ride home. I snoozed a little bit and seriously questioned my stamina in regard to going out later for New Years Eve.
Surprisingly we were out again just after 8pm and we eases to the Indoitaliano Restaurant wondering what cuisine it would serve. Seeing as El Rancho is Italian, one can never be sure. This restaurant did indeed serve Indian and Italian cuisine. I had a samosa for entree and a delicious dhal for main. From there we headed into Glaciers which is a nightclub/beer garden type arrangement. Getting served for a drink was a nightmare as all the local men were served before the white ladies. There was a live band playing reggae music and we sat on plastic chairs staring through the darkness and enjoying the music. They had fireworks which started just after eleven and went spasmodically for over an hour. The main part of the fireworks over midnight were the most spectacular I'd ever seen. We yelled and oohed and aahed and just felt exhilarated to be alive and celebrating New Year in Africa. We hugged and then decided to head home immediately. We were home safe and sound by 12.30am. It was a fabulous night. Dinner, entrance fee to the club, taxis and drinks cost less than $30 each. Wish going out at home was so reasonable. We only had three drinks each, but still very cheap.
After our rotten night's sleep the night before we slept in and soundly until 9.30am. After breakfast we headed into town to conduct our exploration I'd the city. We had a delicious African spiced tea and a samosa and then continued our walk. We looked at the courthouse and once again I was saddened by the dilapidation of the buildings. We bought some souvenirs and explores little lanes that had people in them. At one point nearly walked into a wedding reception. Being New Years Day, most places were shut, but we didn't mind as its much safer walking around with less traffic. Down an alley we found the restaurant attached to the Leopard Hotel. Wehad lunch there, my pizza was quite good, Ally's 4 cheese pizza only had two cheeses, one of which was cheddar slices lol. Even though this was classed as a 'flashy' place, it was very cheap by our standards. We got home 3.30pm, did some hand washing and then napped. The others are expected home soon and then the quiet we've had for the last four days will be gone. I'm looking forward to seeing the girls and catching up on their news and gossip but I will miss it just being Ally and I here.
Back to work tomorrow. We are considering doing something about our placement so that we can experience more.
What will 2013 hold?
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