Team FroJo 2010 travel blog

Ushongo beach

Team FroJo

Our new friend Rahimu

We head to the coast spending one night in the lovely sleepy town of Tanga, blissfully free of touts. For us, thats reason enough to highly recommend this small town! We see a large barn style building with a band practicing and find out that its actually a church getting ready for the next days service! Two hours from Tanga is Pangani, and then a little further south Ushongo beach that boasts some incredible untouched stretches of beach. We are met in Pangani by a nice quiet spoken old man who tells us that the only way to get to the beach hotels is with a $20 taxi. Even though he is kind and nice, we would much rather take the local dala dala (minibus) but it seems there are none. Perhaps the locals dont go to the beach..?? So we give in and wait with him to take the ferry over the river to where our taxi awaits. We chat with him about the area and he tells us that there are about 5 hotels on the beach, all of which are foreign owned. All of a sudden we are unsure. Taking a taxi to a German hotel in Tanzania is not really what we signed up for. We dont like this feeling of being forced out of the Africa we are enjoying and back into that comfortable tourist world that some would much rather we inhabit. In the taxi we consider just turning right back around but decide that we've come this far, we will see what it is all about. On the road we find a very relaxed and cheap South African owned hotel right on the beach and without a single other tourist and decide we will start there at least. It turns out that our hotel, Drifters, sits right next to the mud-hut village of Ushongo. On our first night we meet Rahimu who shows us the Banda (hut) he is building and offers to show us around his village and takes us to meet his mother. His mother invites us to lunch the next day, which we accept and come with a big bag of sugar to thank her for kindness. She is overjoyed and invites us again to lunch the next day. Rahimu decides that we are no longer tourists, we are his friends. So we sit with him on the beach and look up at the moon and talk about his banda and a lovely sounding girl who is calling him from Dar es Salaam. After 3 days Rahimu helps us find a dude with a boat that can take us over to Zanzibar and we decide to give him a little money to help him complete the building of his banda. He is overwhelmed and its nice to see a smile that big. As his boat drives back to the mainland he waves and waves until we cant see him anymore.

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