Up long before dawn to hike into the town center for our six fifteen bus. Bus was long and the scenery wasn't as fascinating the second time around. To make things worse the video system had a very loud buzz that made the sound track unintelligible and even cut through my walkman's earphones - of course that didn't stop them from showing videos the entire way... On the plus side we did get to see some animals from the road - nothing exciting, just impala and monkeys (vervets and baboons) - but it was still nice to have some distractions.
Got in to Dar around 1:30. Went directly to the port to do battle with the touts. There was a two o'clock ferry, but the price wouldn't come down to what we wanted to pay - I'm sure that they were positive we'd pay whatever to leave right away - they were wrong. Negotiated a fair price on the four o'clock ferry. Went and had a quick snack and a cold drink - it was hot there after the mountains! Then we changed money and went in to the Egypt Air office to confirm our flights back to Egypt. We'd gone in to confirm our tickets on a whim - good thing, as for some reason the computer had me marked as waitlisted (despite it saying confirmed on my tickets). Because we're a full month ahead of our flight date we've confirmed before most people so they were able to give me a confirmed spot - I think they just moved someone else off the confirmed list to the waitlist! Then we did a quick email check and headed for the boat.
The ferry took almost two hours across - nothing exciting. On the Zanzibar side there was the usual annoying rush to get off (no one is willing to wait here) then there was hassles with immigration. Zanzibar likes to pretend it's a different country from Tanzania so we have to go through immigration - never mind that of the three hundred people on the boat only six of us had to go through - just a small annoyance after a long day. Then we had to face the taxi drivers, hotel touts, tour operators, etc. I almost lost my cool with this guy who wanted to show us to a hotel. He smelled like he had been drinking and would not leave us alone. Even when I stopped glared at him and told him very rudely to go away he still kept spouting his "Hakuna Matata" (no worries) crap. Finally we got to the hotel we were looking for - and it was full. Found a room in seedy hotel around the corner. Our room actually turned out to be great - it was the penthouse - large, on the fifth story, adjacent to a rooftop patio, and with fabulous views of the Stone Town skyline - the only drawback was the cold water shower and toilet was shared.
Unfortunately the room isn't available tomorrow night, so on our way out to eat we stopped at our first choice (a much nicer looking hotel) and made reservations to stay tomorrow. Walked down to Forodhani Gardens to eat. This is where all the street venders set up in the evening - you can get anything: fish, chicken, beef, lamb, lobster and crab, and lots of vegetarian puffs, pastries, etc. It wasn't nearly as cheap as I remember it, but we still both ate for three dollars total. After eating tried to walk around to some of the crafts stalls but we were too tired and ended up going back to the hotel to sleep.