I was warned that this next day was going to be a long commute followed by the worst traffic I have ever experienced. I have commuted from the north end of Toronto into the heart of the city for years, how bad could this be? Answer: Toronto has NOTHING on Dar es Salaam.
The literal snail’s pace of traffic was bad, but the apparent zero control on auto emissions made it utterly unbearable. Bangkok was bad, this was horrific, especially in a truck with no air conditioning.
After a day that started on the road at 5 am, we finally arrived at our fortified camp site, just outside the city limits. It was after 7 pm and I had been on the road for over 14 hours. I dragged myself to the bar to get a well deserved drink and what I saw when I looked beyond the outdoor pool table was breathtaking.
A pristine beach, lined by 10 metre palm trees and lighting the whole scene perfectly was a full moon. The ordeal of a cramped back and diesel fume overload was immediately erased from my memory as I enjoyed dinner and a drink in the moonlight, all while listening to the sounds of palm leaves swaying in the wind.
To top off my experience, for three dollars, I had the option to upgrade to a “Banta”. This would turn out to be the best three dollars I have ever spent. I had no idea that a Banta was a house on stilts, directly on the beach.