I’m back in Cape Town! It was so nice to sleep in my own bed last night!
Our last couple of days were spent in Zanzibar, mostly just relaxing. We walked around the city a bit more, visited one of the nearby islands, and made sure to eat as much fresh mango as possible (it tastes so much better there than anywhere else. Pineapple too!).
The island we visited is called Prison Island, despite the fact it was never used as a prison. The British originally intended it to be used as a prison, but with cholera outbreaks in ships coming from India, they decided it would be better used as a quarantine station (and eventually a ‘health resort,’ with Brits living on the main island of Zanzibar, Unguja, coming to visit for day trips while quarantining travellers). Currently, there is a hotel on it, as well as a tortoise sanctuary.
We spent our last night on the island having drinks at the Africa House, which is one of the best places in Zanzibar to watch the sunset. The Africa House used to be the English Club (established in 1888), a social club open to (obviously) only English residents. It is the oldest such club in East Africa, and, ever since 1964, with the abolition of secular social clubs, has been open to everyone.
After that night, Julia and I headed off to Dar to spend one last night before our flight to Cape Town. Of course, since it was the end of the trip, nothing could go smoothly for me. After having bought our ferry tickets the day before (which was an ordeal in itself to ensure we were at the right office), we boarded the ferry to find my ticket (but not Julia’s) was not valid. I waited about fifteen minutes while they ‘called the office’ (I swear they just talk into their microphones to make it look like they’re doing something sometimes) and let every other passenger on. Without any explanation, they finally let me on the ferry, which was quite fortunate as it was the last one of the day. The next morning, checking into our flight to Joburg, however, I again got to the counter to be told my name was not in the system and that I would have to go to the sales counter (despite the fact that I told them I had my confirmation on my computer and could pull it up). So, after another half hour delay, the sales counter wrote me a note to take back to the bag drop saying that I was, in fact, on the flight. When we arrived in Joburg, again, I went to check in with British Airways, and the online kiosk wouldn’t allow my checkin because I was apparently using a different credit card than the one that had made my booking (I wish, that would mean someone else had bought my ticket for me and I forgot it was the holidays, so was gouged by the price). So after being rejected by every mode of transportation that day, I arrived in Cape Town and had a cab driver try to charge me 200 rand to get home. Are you kidding me bru? Needless to say, I paid half that, but again, had to tell my cab driver the most efficient route to get home (how do I know this city better than them?).
I loved this trip – it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m so fortunate that I’m in a position where I was able to do it and enjoy it, with full realization that my dog will be eating better than me for the next eight months due to my lack of funds. I’d love to do it again (likely the second time around I’ll leave the bungee jump out) and maybe make it all the way from Cape Town to Cairo. The bus rides gave me a lot of time to reflect on where I am now (and to sweat, damn lack of AC) and realize (or maybe just accept) that I really don’t have a clue what I’m doing, but I have to live with all the choices I’ve made up to this point, and make the most of them. Yes, it took me 12, 711km to come to that simple realization.
Interactive map of the entire route:
I get to spend another week or so in Cape Town and then it’s back to the cold, so time to make the most of it!