Tanzania - MV Liembe

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Fri 3 Oct
The "MV Liembe" had arrived early morning but I couldnít buy a ticket till 1100 so I walked around town, took photos and bought provisions. I got onboard at 1230 after a lengthy and unnecessary police search. I kept back some Kwacha for the fare, and changed the rest to Tanzanian shillings, bought a bottle of Kilimanjaro and went and sat on deck. Marvellous; the land of Swahili and "Kili" beer! It really felt like I was back in a place I belonged and we hadnít even left port yet. We pulled away at 1330 and after several hours sailing (and advancing the clock an hour) we reach the first port in Tanzania, Kasanga, at 1600. On the quay were piles and piles of cement Ė we were likely to be there for hours so I went ashore, had a coke and tried to see the old German boma (failed as it is now occupied by the Tanzanian army). I went for a swim.

Back on the boat I found that I was no longer the only "mzungu" (foreigner), Iíd been joined by two retired teachers, Peter and Ian; on holiday from the UK. We exchanged stories and whiled away the evening together. Peter had grown up on a farm in Tanzania, and taught for some years just outside Dar es Salaam. Now back on holiday, proudly "dusting off" his old Swahili. Ian kept saying he was glad he hadnít brought his wife for many reasons Ė the most obvious was the state of the shipís toilets, which were smelly and wet.

The canteen sat perhaps 50 people and was busy most of the time. On that first evening there was loud rap music blaring from the bar but on the second night it was Phil Collins and Chris de Burg (Iím not sure which is worse). It also has a number of TV monitors around the room showing either pop videos or wildlife films with the sound turned down. The locals seem to love watching lions catch, kill, and chomp on wildebeest, warthog or gazelle.)

My cabin was at the forward end of the ship with two windows facing forward and two windows facing the side. It had a bunk bed, wardrobe, table, chair and washbasin, but sadly no ensuite. It was also a bit smelly Ė which the captain reassured me later was from the routine fumigation that had been done just the previous week. However it did have a power point so I was soon recharging the battery of my digital camera.

At 2200 the ship finally cast away and once again we were on the move.


Tanzania - MV Liembe

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