Thursday, January 27, 2011

Two Weeks and Counting

Two weeks from today, Mandy and I will be boarding our first plane en route for Tanzania. I cannot believe this trip has come so quickly. It seems like so long ago that Brian and Nicole left for their year in Africa and we began deciding whether we would be able to go visit them. I'm glad the answer was "yes."

I thought today I would tell you about what our transportation will be like during our trip. Needless to say, it is going to be extremely long and strenuous. It will take 3 separate flights just to make it to Tanzania. We will first fly non-stop from Seattle to Amsterdam, a 10-hour flight. From there we will take another 10-hour flight from Amsterdam to Nairobi, Kenya. And finally, we will have about a 2-hour flight from Nairobi to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Brian & Emily heading to Chamwino
We will arrive in Dar es Salaam at 11pm on a Friday night, get a hotel room for the night, and then early Saturday morning we will board a bus, with Brian and Nicole, for our 6-hour bus ride to Dodoma. Dodoma is a pretty big city of over 300,000 people that is in the center of the country and is about 20 minutes north of Chamwino, which is our final destination. There are no good, paved roads from Dodoma to Chamwino, so the best way to get into the village is on the back of a motorcycle, which is exactly what we are going to do. I'm actually really excited about this part of the journey. I think it will be a fun, quirky way to travel, complete with our luggage strapped to our backs.

Our return home is roughly the same trip, just in reverse. We will have some additional travel, however, in order to get up to our safari. Evidently there are two ways to get from Dodoma to the Serengeti. One way is 14 hours, but takes you on good, paved roads the entire way. The other route is only 10 hours but is on the highway from hell, a completely unpaved road that is supposedly horrendously bumpy and dusty. Let's just say I hope we opt for the former.

While this trip will exhaust us with the strenuous travel and jet lag, I am incredibly excited about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This is going to be amazing!!

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