October 25, 2005 GMT
I've Got A Bike, You Can Ride It If You Like. Actually No You Can't.

25/9/05. Stone Town, Zanzibar.

Back to the port for a ferry tomorrow and the three day ride to the Malawi border. In Jambiani yesterday the 1000th person of the trip asked me if they could have a go on my bike. So that's 1000 times I've said "Not if I live to be a billion. I'd rather feed my lips into a paper shredder."

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Seaweed farm, Jambiani

There are places in Zanzibar, where, floating in blood-temperature water two feet deep, body cushioned by butter-coloured powdery sand, you can't help laughing out loud at the Bountyness of it all. But if you're going to go, go now! Prices have doubled since the guidebook I'm using came out in April 2004, though haggling is well worth it (e.g. half price if you stay a week).

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And don't go on the optimistically named "New Happy" ferry. It's old and depressed and it takes six hours to get there. I was charged $25 US for me and $30 for Fluffy. Imagine my light-hearted acceptance of life's oddball quirks, when, on arriving at the port in Z'bar, the dock fellows refused to take my bike off the boat unless I paid yet more cash.
To put that in context, the 90 minute fast ferry is $35 for a person and $20 for a bike. And it's not 95% full of potatoes, and it has a toilet.

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"Shut up, dude! Of course they're not going to bloody drop i... oh..."

(Note to self [# a million in a series of infinity]: Do not go into the first place you see and accept their assertion that "The New Happy is the only way you can get a motorcycle from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar" in future.)
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Posted by Simon Fitzpatrick at October 25, 2005 01:51 PM GMT
 


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