Day 129- Day 130: Finally across the Rovuma and Mwtara
I woke early ready for the ferry to be there before sunrise, and my hosts were up and eager to see I’d made it through the night! They came up one by one to hug me and wish me well on my journey, and I thanked them heartily.…. In all, a very special human experience.
Lots more stories at the river bank, included seeing hippos close by, but unfortunately, no time for them here. Eventually the ferry arrived and I was over into Tanzania by 10h30am, through customs and immigration which was very slow, and then on my way to Mwtara.
Very nice ride through the Tanzanian villages and arriving at Mtwara I was impressed by its size and how spread out it was. In my search for accommodation I came across this huge and recently built, restaurant / club on the shoreline. I was hungry and in need of a coffee, but being the only customer it proved quite challenging to get some breakfast stuff, from what I soon realised was a night club / Bar venue. I eventually did get something close to breakfast, but I could see this was an abnormal request. Their response to the request was indicative of a customer focus ethic somewhere in the management team, but the waiter had clearly not passed his full competency training! As I was leaving this guy came to me, introduced himself, asked a few questions, and lo and behold he turned out to be the owner and venture manager of this and a few other ‘hospitality’ projects in the area. His name was Haroun, and we ended up going back to his restaurant and having a long discussion. He had worked in South Africa, in a senior management role, then moved back to Tanzania to set up an agency / subsidiary operation for the SA company, and had finally got out clearly make a lot of money, and now at the age of 40 something he was on a serious capitalist / fame drive. All interesting, and I sensed he wanted my input, ideas, etc, and asked me to meet him for a drink in the evening. He helped me with the accommodation options, and I settled for a place called Sirona Beach Lodge. OK, place but the staff attitude wasn’t great, and also full of gas company people.
I ended up having drinks and dinner with Haroun and then he proceeded to show me his brand new night club, complete will pole dancers, 3 bars, and very high tech lights and music facilities. This guy was on a mission, may!
I decided to stay a second day in Mwtara, as Haroun, wanted to talk business, and had also sold me on the idea of enjoying a night club experience!
A few more stories here, but maybe later when I get time…..
12th and 13th Sep