The drive back to Arusha was relatively uneventful. By now, we are used to seeing men and boys herding cows, goats and sheep, and people carrying huge bundles – on their heads, on their bicycles or in their cars. We did see Maasai boys who had recently been circumcised. After the initial days of recovery, the boys wear warrior paint and dress all in black. It’s not clear to me what the purpose of the attire is, but several boys dressed in that way were standing along the road, and I was able to get a photo. Mount Meru, as you approach Arusha from Karatu, is pretty impressive, as well, and is much more visible than Kilimanjaro.
We had hoped to stay again at the hostel where we had stayed enroute from Sinya to Karatu, but Mama Simba’s place was booked up, so we stayed at a nearby hostel owned by Mama Christina. It was a castle-like structure, and the nine of us occupied two rooms – bunk beds again.
In the morning, we set off for the airport. The traffic in Arusha is miserable – much like Silicon Valley, but with poorer roads – and it takes a long time to get anywhere. Even so, we made it to the airport with time to spare. That was good, because we had to sort out the confusion with our flight. Once again, we were booked on a small propeller plane between Arusha and Dar Es Salaam. BUT, much to our surprise, we had been split up between two planes run by two different companies. One made a short stop in Zanzibar enroute to Dar, while the other flew directly to Dar. Ashley needed to catch an international flight to Addis Abbaba, a stopover on her way to Lebanon to be with relatives, and had only a 2-hour window to do it, so she, Jumana and I flew on the non-stop flight and the others flew on the plane with the brief stop in Zanzibar.