Walking Home

reveries of an amateur long-distance hiker

March 28

March 30th, 2016

March 28

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Exploring Dar Es Salaam, walking of course. Out of city center on a quiet holiday morning. Easter extends to Monday here, though not sure what the dominant religion is– passed a cathedral and a large mosque, no gompas though. We walked out past the fish market, a large concrete structure on the water surrounded by open space. Both within and without there were low wooden tables where the fish were dumped out, either for display to be sold or to be cleaned by the many people sitting around them. The scales fly, making silvery showers as they scrap with incredible speed. A man was dismembering a large skate with a knife that looked like a machete. The ground all around was covered with fish offal which they pushed back into the water where large wooden fishing boats were moored, offloading their catch. We then walked out along Barack Obama Drive, pausing for a moment to try to get a picture of the sign only to be rushed away by a machinegun toting soldier guarding a military entrance: No Pictures! We walked a couple of hours out of the city, through neighborhoods with charcoal restaurants– grills and shiny scrubbed woks out front in the heat. We stopped first at a cove with fishing boats where there was an expat patio bar where we ate and watched the boats come in and out– some power boats but mostly low wooden ones with lanteen rigged sails. A man waded out in front of us tossing a fishing line and rapidly pulling it in. At first I thought he wasn’t catching anything until I saw he carried a bag on his shoulder and was catching small sardine-like fish with each cast. We then made our way over to Coco beach, a long strip of good sand completely full of holiday swimmers. Music played, people laughed and splashed, the perfect late afternoon spot. We caught a three wheeled taxi back to centre city for a grilled street food dinner, and then some sun-induced exhausted sleep.

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