On day three I had to get up very early so the taxi driver could get me to the bus terminus on time. The ferries across the bay were getting busier and busier so you could end up waiting up to an hour before you even got on board. SoI assured the young man at reception that I’d be fine but bless him he turned up at my banda at 5.30 to carry my bag to the taxi. The taxi driver was very surly and obviously panicking about getting me to the bus on time. As we queued for the ferry he was in and out of the car with agitation. Eventually after about 20 minutes, he got my bag out of the boot and indicated that we would walk. This was fine by me, so we walked through the crowds to get on the ferry as foot passengers. Oh yes, the crowds it was heaving. People were on their way to work or school and this is before 6 in them morning. So once on the ferry, I found a nice place to stand at the side to watch the traffic – fishing boats, container ships, ferry to Zanzibar. The taxi driver then appeared again and indicated that he’s found another taxi, one already on the ferry. So much for fresh air. I got into the second taxi which was parked right next to the drive shaft and had to endure the whole journey breathing deisel fuel. Ok it was only 5 minutes or so, but I really would have liked to stand at the side. I was deposited at the Scandanavia bus terminal and handed to a young porter. He told me to sit and wait so of course I did. My bus was called and after handing my bag to the driver to pack he asked for my ticket. This I gave him and he looked at me in horror. ‘You haven’t got a seat number!’ he exclaimed. Umm – sorry I said. ‘How can you possibly get on the bus without a seat number?’ he stuttered. ‘Well can’t I just choose a seat?’ I asked. Obviously not as he wouldn’t dignify this suggestion with an answer. The young man was summoned who took me to the ticket office. Eventually a seat number was obtained and I returned to the bus. They didn’t actually give me a boarding card but almost. My bag was now stowed away with the number 25 written on it and the young man actually took me on board and showed me where the seat number 25 was. I must have looked really dim! We set off and once we were going it was quite comfortable and pleasant as the windows were open. The roads in Tanzania are full of minibuses packed to the hilt with passengers and every guide book recommends that you avoid these and use the Scandanavia bus service. I found this excellent advice and the journey was fine. It took 5 hours to get to Tanga and on the way we had a video of what was obviously a very funny film as most of the bus were giggling away. The conductor came round and gave us a choice of Coke or Fanta and a packet of biscuits. He was very insistant on the biscuits and woke up the poor chap next to me to give him his biscuits! Steve met me at Tanga as I think I’ve said before – it was a good job he got on the bus as I would have ended up in Mombasa.

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