Day 180 - 182 Tanzania : Mikadi Beach Resort

We slept in a little later this morning and eventually got up at around 8am.  After a shared cooling splash in the open air showers (they are delightful! - clean with white tiles and reed walls - very boutique) we had some breakfast and met Thomas who was camping in the same spot as us in his white Land Rover Defender. 

That afternoon we went for a snorkel with Ben and Kate and came back to find that we had some new neighbours.  Whilst we were out, Dickie and Claire had arrived with their 2 girls, Sonja and Natasha (Bunny).  They are travelling northwards on their way back to the UK from SA.  Trevor went into an immediate state of envy as they are travelling in their Land Rover Defender (Dylan) and towing an off-road trailer, Daisy. a_SG107126 When we had first started talking about and planning our trip, Trevor had wanted us to travel with a trailer but after some long and protracted discussions well into the night, we had decided against it (no, I didn't bully him into changing his mind, he did that on his own!!).  We spent some time all chatting together but then left the Danby's to get settled whilst Kate and Ben came over for supper.  Later we all met up and had a couple of beers while we again chatted about our respective trips and adventures that we had been having along the way.




Sunday saw Trevor and I off to Dar-es-Salaam town centre and in search of some internet access to catch up again.  We took a stroll to the ferry and within 20 minutes were over on the North side.  Prior to leaving I had mentioned that we were going to be stopping in at the fish market and asked whether anyone wanted to join us in some fresh fish that night.  We were on a hunt for some barracuda.  Everyone was keen so with 7 people to feed we would need a biggish catch!

Once in town, we found some high speed access at the Paradise City Hotel and managed to catch up with our banking and admin work.  Although it was quite expensive at TSH5000 for an hour (£2.50), they left us on for 1.5hours and it was really fast so all the videos that we had been unable to upload for so long were done in a flash.

After a Steers burger and chips for lunch (yes, we did succumb..) we set off for the fish market and some serious haggling.  Turns out that there was barracuda available but it took at least 30 minutes of serious debate, walking away and being called back to work the price down from TSH8000 (£4) per kilo (Mzungu ripoff price) to just over TSH3500 (£1.75) per kilo (Mzungu price but a much better deal considering we'd paid TSH3500 per kilo in Pangani).  The final decider was when I said to my new fishmonger friend Chris, "Take it or leave it.  You want to sell your fish, I want to buy it.  If you want to hang onto a 6.5kg barracuda in the hope that you'll sell it tomorrow after the new catch comes in, it's up to you,"  and began to walk away.  "Ok, ok, TSH25000 to include TSH1000 for cleaning and you have a deal."  We shook hands and there were smiles all round.  "You are hard, Mama," he said, "just like our own women.  You paid a good price, thank you."  He had a good price for his fish and I was happy to pay what I thought was a great price (spectacular, even!) for fresh barracuda. 

Boris (so nicknamed by Kate when we got back to camp!) was cleaned and scaled, head left on and tucked into a big plastic shopping bag.  Not an easy feat when Boris, dear soul, weighed 6.5kg and was over 1 metre of pure fish muscle.  Yum.  Trevor slung him over his shoulder and we made for the ferry.  Passing the local street vendors, we picked up some more salad ingredients, added these to our load and set off for the campsite.  Arriving on the south beach side we picked up a bajaj - a local tuk-tuk - and made for home. 

Once we arrived back, Boris a_Pangani and Dar es Salaam 014  a_Pangani and Dar es Salaam 012 was duly washed and cleaned and hung in a tree covered with a mosquito net called in to keep the flies off.  But the net was hanging crooked and the flies were still feasting on him through the net pressed onto him, so Trevor quickly fashioned a tripod from which we hung  a freshly washed Boris and said mozzie net.  Job done.  Flies held at bay and they disappeared as quickly as they had appeared. 

Once everyone had arrived back at the campsite, Boris duly admired and photographed, Ben and I set to work chopping him up a_Pangani and Dar es Salaam 018.  We created barracuda cutlets for supper that night   and filleted the rest for a meal the next day.  The cutlets were doused in olive oil, maldon sea salt and Robertson's Spice for Fish and left to marinade whilst we rustled up a huge salad and the boys started a fire going.  With Boris flashed cooked over the hot coals a_Pangani and Dar es Salaam 020, we put all our tables together and sat around eating the most fabulous fresh barracuda and salad and chatting about our respective days.  We decided then that we would all try to get our cars sorted on Monday and all leave on Tuesday to visit Zanzibar together.  It felt like we were planning a holiday!  Since our cars are our homes, it certainly felt like a holiday.

Monday morning and we all went our separate ways.  Kate and Ben went to get Helga's welding completed (now that the power was back on) to fix her roof-rack that had fallen off on the horrible roads in the Serengeti (we are so glad we didn't go, there are so many reports of bad roads and lack of animals for US$400 to go through Serengenti and Ngorogoro and that's without going into the crater!).  Dickie took Dylan and Trevor and I took Sully and went through to the Land Rover garage in Dar.  Dickie to arrange to have Dylan serviced, a crack in a fuel tank repaired and a new left back brake dust cover replaced (yes, EXACTLY the same as us) and us to try and track down some brake dust covers that had come adrift on the Singida road over a week ago now.  Dylan was booked in a for a service the following week and an order was placed for 3 new brake dust covers.  After a quick glance at the ferry queue for cars, we thought that it was short enough for us to get on quite quickly.  Not so!!!  Even being nearly at the front of the queue meant a wait of over an hour before we finally got on and over to north beach.  We should have gone the "long" way around.  Next time.

We still had to try and fill our gas cylinders as we now had 1 completely empty and the other only half full so we set off on our challenge for the day.  Following Tracks4Africa, we went to Chiku's Gas Refills of all Major Cylinders but turns out that Chiku is really rude and a bit of an arse and doesn't do them anymore.  Perhaps it was just us, or he was having a bad day - who knows?  We found an Oryx garage and they pointed us to a hard-to-find store - Namanga Gas (S6 46.739 E39 16.316).  We were in luck - he would send them away to be filled.  Turns out though that they were never filled as the gas delivery to Dar was still sitting on a ship somewhere not being allowed into harbour.  sigh.  We have since heard that the Oryx Hanygas (S6 51.053 E39 17.743) on Tracks4Africa is where you can get most major gas cylinders filled - if they have the gas of course!  Then it was off to Shoprite and Game at the Mlimani Shopping Centre for a little light retail therapy and to get some US$ that we needed to pay for our holiday on Zanzibar Island.  2 hours later with said US$ clutched in our grubby paws, a belly full of fried chicken and several bags of groceries, we set off back to the campsite.  This time ignoring the GPS and going via the road instead of the ferry.

We arrived back at the camp and everyone slowly started dribbling back in.  After a snorkel and swim, we dried ourselves off and started to cook supper.  Fragrant Green Thai curry with Boris finally being used up.  He really was a great feast having fed 7 people for 2 days.  We all went to bed relatively early ready to leave the next day for our holiday to Zanzibar Island.