For our two week vacation that we had, we planned to visit the west of Tanzania. The west feels like the wild, wild west for us because it takes us so long to get there. Also, there aren’t any Peace Corps volunteers that way and so we really needed to rely on the very outdated Lonely Planet guide.
Using this map above of Tanzania, you can see Njombe nearby where Jon and I work. We went to Kigoma in the western part of Tanzania. Although it appears that it’s just a straight shot northwest of Njombe, the unfortunate part is there is not a road that goes that way. What this means is we needed to take a 12 hour bus ride to Morogoro (not on map, but basically where you can see the word Rufiji). I will admit to you now the thing that I hate the most about Tanzania: buses. There is no such thing as a good bus, at best you might get a bus that is bearable to travel in. Why do I hate buses so badly? Well, at a later date, you might find my in-progress list of 101 reasons why I hate Tanzanian buses. I currently have 40 reasons listed.
Anyway, so 12 hours later, we get to Morogoro which is a familiar city for us because that’s where we did our training. The goodluck Gods just weren’t with me that day. Jon and I tried two guesthouses and they were booked. At this point it was dark and a good 25 minute walk to the main road. We decided to stay in the worst guesthouse I have ever stayed in here in Tanzania. For a whopping $2.50 USD per night, I guess I can’t expect much.
The next day when we were supposed to catch our bus to Kahama – a city that is about another 13-14 hours away, we were finally informed of the bad news. After waiting at the bus stand for nearly 4 hours, the bus company told us our bus was in an accident and it would not be coming that day. Awesome. So, we had to spend another night in Morogoro at not as gross of a guesthouse but a very loud one.
The next morning, we caught our bus around 10:00am and arrived to Kahama at 11:00 p.m. We found a nice but loud guesthouse around midnight to sleep in for only 5 hours until we caught our next bus to Kigoma at 6:00 a.m. This bus was terrible on many accounts, but got even worse when it broke down 2 hours before Kigoma. After an hour of trying to fix this problem, the bus people determined it was irreparable. We caught another bus going our way, 3 buses after trying to punch down Tanzanians to get on a bus. Finally, at about 7:30pm, we got to our guesthouse and arrived to Kigoma. Check later for posts about why we tortured ourselves to get out west.