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Mananca. Plateste. Iubeste / Eat. Pay. Love

Su Shi

196 vizualizări

Tanzania 31/05 - 03/06/2012


Tanzania e o masinarie de tocat bani. Aceasta tara vasta contine cele mai tari destinatii pentru safari, un arhipelag tropical cu situri fantastice pentru scufundari si snorkeling, si cel mai inalt munte din Africa. Am survolat craterul Ngorongoro in imaginatie, am explorat Serengeti pe dupa pleoape inchise ai am urcat Kilimanjaro in vis. Pentru ca sa faci toate astea pe bune, si sa mai si calatoresti in jurul lumii, inseamna ca ai tai au cumparat Internetul. In fine, am hotarat ca nu vom vorbi despre cum strugurii sunt acri, pentru, se stie, cele mai bune lucruri in viata sunt gratis. Planul nostru era sa ne bagam motocicleta in niste hartoape, sa vedem un lac, sa traversam o bucata de ocean, si sa ne simtim bine, dand uitarii faptul ca ajunsesem in perioada optima pentru a asita la marea migratie din Serengeti. Am iesit deci din Mozambique, si am intrat in Tanzania, tot pe un pod, de data asta pe unul adevarat.

Save your money. Tanzania wants your blood, sweat and tears. It wants you cash-drained and on the next plane to wherever you came from. This vast country boasts stellar safari destinations, a tropical archipelago with some of the best diving on the planet and the highest peak in Africa. We craned our imagination at Ngorongoro, explored Serengeti behind eyelids wide shut and climbed Kilimajaro in our dreams. But to enjoy all that, and afford to travel around the world, you’d better own the Internet. Now, we decided we would not be bitter about that, ‘cause you know, best things in life are free. The plan was to ride some dirt, see some lake, sail some sea and have a ball while not thinking about the fact that we had arrived at the peak of wildebeest migration across the Serengeti. We exited Mozambique and crossed into Tanzania the same way we had entered, o a bridge. This time, a proper one.


Si ne-am intalnit cu inca un simpatic. Trebuie sa incepem sa-i catalogam

And encountered another cutie. I think we’ll start a Chameleon Hall Of Fame 


In Africa e o idee buna sa te prezinti la frontiera cu lectiille facute. Stiam prea bine ca nu ne trebuie viza pentru Tanzania, dar documentele oficiale din granita erau de alta parere; mi-a luat 2 ore, dar am rezolvat: fara bani, fara spagi, ofiterii politicosi si prietenosi. Am descoperit ca aveau wifi in birouri!

Arriving at African borders with the visa regulations for your particular nationality well researched: always a good idea. This officers were super friendly, but their border documents stated that we needed to purchase a visa. It helped a lot that I was sure we didn’t, so even if it took 2 hours, we sorted out our documents money free. And there was even wifi on the premises!


Cum am intrat in primul sat, ne-am dat seama ca am tras lozul castigator in ceea ce priveste oferta cu de-ale gurii. Daca in Mozambique optiunile erau minimale, in Tanzania, pe de alta parte, distractia tine de burta: sa-ti alegi, prajesti, savurezi, si chiar sa-ti platesti mancarea. Intrasem pe orarul Swahili, ceea ce insemna ca inca se servea micul dejun: ceai indian condimentat (chai( cu lapte si chapati.

Straight off the bat, we knew we had hit a foodie jackpot with new country. While in Mozambique the options were minimal, in Tanzania on the other hand, good time appeared to be all about food: selecting it, frying it, eating it, even paying for it. Swahili time meant the day had just begun, so there was indian spiced tea (chai) with milk and chapati for breakfast in this local joint. 


Pentru ca nu mancasem mare lucru in ziua precedenta, am plusat cu o portie din ceea ce aveam sa ne lamurim ca e mancarea favorita in Tanzania. Ei bine, Ana nu se atinge de cartofi, mai ales prajiti, dar in urmatoarele 20 de zile avea sa invete sa ii savureze asa cum si tanzanienii o fac: chipsi mayai, adica o omleta cu ceva cartofi prajiti inauntru. Aveam o banuiala ca in tara asta nu o sa prea folosim resoul.

Plus our first taste of a national favorite that was to become an unavoidable, but filling staple for us. Ana hates chips, but for the next 20 days she would learn to enjoy them as Tanzanians do: chipsi mayai (omlette with chips inside). We had a feeling we would not make much use of our stove here, with all the cheap street-side bonanza. 



Pilaf aromat, mishkaki (kabap), cartofi dulci, casava prajita…

Spicy pilau, mishkaki (kebab), sweet potato, fried cassava…


Caracatita, calamar, chiftele de cartofi si curry…

Octopus, squid, curried potato dumplings…


Si fructul pasiunii, care pe marginea drumului se vinde in galeti de 10 kile de vopsea lavabila, pe mai putin de 2 euro. Si asta e doar o selectie din fabuloasa oferta culinara

And passion fruit sold in 10 liter paint buckets for less than 2 euros (to briefly mention what is on offer in markets and with hawkers)


Dupa ce am dormit intr-un camp, a doua zi am condus motocicleta pana in Dar Es Salaam.

After sleeping in a field, next day we drove to Dar Es Salaam.


Dar cum campingurile erau zgomotoase si cu tarife piperate, iar orasul e… un oras, am ajuns sa campam mai in nord, la 70 de km, in Bagamoyo

As we found the campsites in Kitumbue to be noisy and pricey, and the city, well, a city, we camped 70 km north, in Bagamoyo. 


Acesta era orasul de unde si-au inceput expeditiile pentru cucerirea interiorului  Africii toti acei fgaimosi exploratori din sec. XIX: Stanley, Grant, Burton, Speke. Pentru David Livingstone insa, orasul a fost nu numai punct de plecare, cu si final al calatoriei pe continent, si prin viata; cadavrul sau a fost adus pe brate de porteri, de langa lacul Bangweulu, Zambia, aflat la 1500 de km distanta. Dar fosta centrula conial era deja faimos. Miile de sclavi adusi din Africa centrala pentru a fi trimisi in Zanzibar, apoi peste marea Arabiei, catre destinatia finala, il poreclisera ‘Bwagamoyo’ (‘frange inima’). Mostenirea culturala si arhitecturala a orasului nu este departe de ceea ce exista in Zanzibar, insa conservarea cladirilor nu e tocmai o prioritate pentru localnici. Ruinele gloriei apuse sunt folosite pentru depozitarea gunoiului sau ca buda publica.

This was the place where all those 19th Century pioneers - Stanley, Grant, Burton, Speke - set off to explore the interior of the continent. For David Livingstone, it would be the start of his African journey and the last stop in life: he returned there only dead, his body carried 1500 miles by his porters from Lake Bangweulu in Zambia. Already famous for centuries, the town had been known as ‘Bwagamoyo’ (‘crush the heart’), the place where thousands of slaves who had marched eastwards out of Central Africa awaited to be shipped to nearby Zanzibar, and then towards their final destination somewhere in the Gulf, across the Arabian Sea. To preserve what remains of the former German administrative centre isn’t a priority at all: most crumbling coral-brick buildings are used to dump rubbish or to empty ones bowels. Even if the architecture and details are just as interesting as in the famous Stone Town of Zanzibar island.


Seara, am iesit la o bere

At night we went out for a beer


Unele lucruri trebuie traite asa cum vin. Zanzibar, stia prea bine, nu e o destinatie pentru buzunarul nostru. Dar ne doream sa mergem acolo oricum, fie si numai pentru a cunoaste familia prietenei noastre din Lubumbashi, care e nascuta in Zanzibar. Aveam nevoie de un plan. Avionul iesea din discutie, deci trebuia sa ajungem in arhipelag pe mare. In septembrie 2011, un feribot care transporta 800 de pasageri din Uguja (insula principala) si Pemba s-a scufundat, si 200 de oameni au murit. De multi ani guvernul interzice trasportul turistilor cu barcile de lemn traditionale (dhow). Toate astea ar fi trebuit sa dea oricui de gandit. Apoi l-am intalnit pe Daudi, un capitan de dhow, care pentru 15,000 de shillingi (7,5 Euro, dar deja de 3 ori cat ar plati un localnic) avea sa ne duca in ‘siguranta’ in Zanzibar (daca ne calci pe urme si vrei sa aranjezi o calatorie similara, suna-l la +255713334674; un minim de swahili e recomandabil). Era oare decizia noastra potential periculoasa?

Some days one just got to live and maybe venture out of their league. Zanzibar, we knew too well, was not a destination for budget travelers. But we wanted to go there anyway, at least to meet the family of our Zanzibari friend from Lubumbashi. We needed a plan. Air travel was out of the question, so sea travel it was. In september 2011, a ferry carrying 800 passengers from Uguja (the main island in the Zanzibar archipelago) to Pemba capsized, and over 200 people died. And dhows had long been forbidden to take foreigners on board. That ought to give anybody considering a sea voyage across the Zanzibar channel some food for thought. Then we met Daudi, captain on a traditional Omani dhow, who, for 15,000 shillings (7,5 Euro, but already three times the price a local would pay) would take us to the archipelago (call him at +255713334674 to arrange your journey, minimal swahili recommended). Later we would be appalled to learn that a ferry ticket would have costed US 35 for one way. Was our decision to take a wind-powered, medieval style wooden dhow potentially dangerous? 


Din anumite puncte de vedere, probabil ca da: nu stiam care e hramul capitanului, la bord nici urma de veste de salvare; tot ce am putut face a afosts a ne lasam nr. de telefon din Romanoa la receptia capingului unde am parcat Tenerele. Pentru ca lasam motocicleta pe continent, ar fi fost scump si complicat cu hartogaraia sa o luam cu noi. Speram ca rudele lui Chams o sa ne ajute cu un magarus sau ceva de genul asta pentru a ne putea deplasa incolo si incoace. Cat mareea era inca joasa, ne-am carat bagajele, inclusiv cortul. In aparenta este ilegal sa campezi in Zamzibar, dar suntem in Africa, cui ii pasa? Pe plaja barbatii licitau captura de peste a zilei, iar femeile o preparau.

In some respects, it was: there were no life jackets on board, we didn’t know the captain, all we could do to was leave our Romanian mobile no. with the campsite where we had parked the motorbike. Taking our Tenere across would have been possible, but we wanted to avoid any customs entanglement in the semiautonomous Zanzibar. We figured Chams’ folks would fetch us a donkey or something to ride about. While the tide was still low, we carried our stuff (including our tent) onboard. Camping is supposedly illegal on Zanzibar, but this is in Africa, nobody cares. On the beach men actioned the catch of the day and women cooked it. 



Versiunea tanzaniana a unui chai-walla vindea, ca multi altii, cafea si prajiturici cat unghia pentru 50 de shilingi 

The tanzanian version of chai-wallas sold bite-size groundnut cookies with black coffee at 50 shillings a pop. We thought about how even the poorest of the poor can, and does afford to enjoy a sweet moment.


Pentru Daudi, marfa conta. In afara de noi doi si jovialul echipaj din 4, mai era doar un pasager la bord. In rest, rosii, ardei grasi si saltele. Daudi a carmit barca straveche, apoi toata lumea a pus osul sa ridice catargul si sa ridice vele in bataia vantului: a fost un moment electric, si pentru o clipa am simtit ca ne imbarcam intr-o calatorie pe care nu o vom uita niciodata.

For Daudi, this trip was all about cargo. Besides the jovial 4 men crew and the two of us, there was just one more passenger squeezed on top of tomatoes, bell peppers and mattresses. We watched Daudi steering the age-old vessel. The unfurling of the sail gave us a full body buzz of excitement - we knew were embarking on one of those journeys one doesn’t easily forget.


Acum mai bine de trei decenii, mama vroia musai sa se distreze de Anul Nou. Cea de-a doua sarcina ii ajunsese la termen, dar a mai rezistat inca 3 zile de petrecere si voie buna, pentru a ma naste pe treptele maternitatii, practic pe bancheta din spate a Fordului Taunus al bunicului. Faptul ca am venit pe lume intr-un vehicul mi-a pecetluit soarta: masinile, motocicletele sunt viata mea. Chiar si copilaria mi-am petrecut-o incarcand sa fur meserie de la bunicul meu, mecanic auto. Pe mare insa, e cu totul alta poveste. Pe la jumatatea drumului, daca mijeam bine ochii, puteam zari si continentul, si Zanzibar. Cam atunci m-a lovit si raul de mare, cu toata forta. Nu aveam nimic de facut, decat sa zac pe rosii si sa incerc sa atipesc.

Over 30 years ago my mum was determined have her New Year’s bash. She was about to pop her second child, but she made it through another 3 days of fun and dance, eventually giving birth on the steps of the maternity, basically on the backseat of my grandfather’s Ford Taunus. Being born in a vehicle sealed my faith. I spent my childhood near motorized machines, creeping around my grandfather (who was a mechanic), begging to be allowed to temper with the tools and steal some secrets of the trade. Rocking it on the sea though, was a whole other ball game. Halfway through, if we squinted really hard, we could see both the mainland and Zanzibar. That’s about when I became so seasick, that I was ‘come on, stomach, don’t fail me now’. Nothing left to do but lay on top of those tomatoes and try to snooze.  


4 ore mai tarziu erau intampinati de Nassur in portul de langa Stone Town (‘orasul de piatra’). Urma sa stam la sora lui mai mare, Neyfuu. Aveam iar norocul sa stam cu localnici, iar karma de adusese intr-un camin plin de dragoste, femei frumoase si copii cuminti.

4 hours later we arrived in the harbor near Stone Town, where Nassur picked us up. We would stay at his sisters’s place, Neyfuu. We were lucky again to spend time with local people and this time our karma had brought us to another happy home, filled with Zanzibari beauties and kids. 


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