After some thought, we decided to go to Zanzibar. If we are already here. I investigated from here and there, and check the harbour just in case. It turns out Zanzibar is a bit like Tanzania and then again, is not. Moving around with your transport requires a lot of customs procedures, some sort of paperwork, payment of some taxes and a pretty decent additional fee in the form of a ferry ticket. And in both directions. Thus, we leave the bike at the guesthouse yard and go with a particularly small bag.
All that is necessary (and as it later turns out unnecessary) fit into a tank bag. I hadn’t used it that way before but it’s quite comfortable. The bag also has a shoulder strap that makes it especially comfortable to use.
The ferry leaves from the city center and the economy ticket costs 35$. Business class 40$ and Royal 50$. We are simple people …. The 2.5h is a bit surprising since the ship is a fast catamaran, the same as the new Lindaline ferries. Although Zansibar is not far from the shore, the distance between ports is the same as between Tallinn and Helsinki, that’s why the relatively long crossing.
We reach Stone Town when it was about to get dark. Aggressive taxi drivers and other intermediaries are so much that it’s really angering. Since the accommodation we have chosen is on the opposite side of the island, we needed to do two things. First, get some cash, and then find a dala-dala that would take us to the right place. After a bit of searching, we found the right ATM. Then we set out to find the right dala-dala. It turned out to be a headache. We found the right direction quite easily but it got complicated after that. You ask someone which bus goes where. Immediately there are several people ready to help you find the right bus. The bus found, we sit in and, as magically, the same assistant who led us to the right bus, is also a conductor and asks for money. Give 15 000! Yeah, right. No, okay, give 10,000. No, no, you will get 5000. No ok, give 6000. Okay, you’ll get 6000. Everything goes very fast, the people gather, the bus is so full that I stand on one leg. Then it turns out that this bus leads only to the city border, and we’ll have to switch to another bus there.
When I arrive, I see that others pay 500 per person. Damn. Since the same character is missing, there’s nothing to do. We go in search for the right bus again and everything is the same. Again, there is an intermediary who guides us to the right bus and again tries to cash in. This time I’m wiser and say that no money can be received before arrival. The guy protests and people on the seats next to us say that we have to pay. I explain that I have already paid and do not intend to pay more for some random guys. It makes a difference. The guy tries to save the situation by saying that we have to pay him for carrying the luggage. Since we do not have any luggage, it’s clear to the audience who is who and another mediator is being thrown out of the bus. Later, passengers apologize for the fact that even they sometimes can not understand who is the conductor and pay twice. That’s why it’s better to pay when you arrive. The correct number is 2,000 for driving to the other side of the island.
Let’s be honest, we are talking about small amounts. But the numbers are large and it creates confusion. And every cent counts when paying for nothing, especially if it is bluntly demanded. Moreover, there is different currency in every country and when you are already tired by the evening it’s really difficult.
The last 5 km we ride on the back seats of small motorbikes. The bus turns to the left, but we needed to go the right. It’s okay. The moped does not break down and we arrive safely.