SATURDAY We caught the boat at 8:00 AM, which put us back in Dar-es-Salaam at midday. The six of us walked up to the Salamander Cafe for a snack, then Linda, Kathy¹ and I said goodbye to the other three and set off up to the bus station.

We had about two hours to wait before the bus left, so he sat in the cafe drinking cold drinks and talking. At 4:00 PM, the big red Scania bus pulled out of the crowded lot, and we raced out of town in convoy with three other buses. The driver pulled plenty of the usual mad stunts that African drivers pull when behind the wheel, but we made good time, and the road was in surprisingly good condition. The first stop was for a meal at a wayside station, where chicken, eggs, and chips were being roasted over coals, and salesman were selling chunks of sweet, juicy pineapple.

By now it was dark and the bus roared on into the night. At around 10:00 PM we stopped in a town to drop off some passengers, and I got off to stretch my legs. After 10 minutes, the bus began to move, and as I hopped on some thieving cunt, grabbed my watch and ripped it off my wrist.

I ran after him with a couple of other passengers, but the fucker had a head start and got away into the scrub. I was seething, and if we had caught him, I would have beaten the shit out of him. Anyway, the strap of the watch would have broken when he tore it off, so it won’t be worth much to him.

As if it wasn’t enough, I had the makings of a nice cold, and by the time we got to Mbeya at 6:00 AM, I was sneezing, sniffing and shivering.

¹Kathy was a new Zealand girl we had met at Bwejuu beach. She was travelling alone so we invited her to join us for a few weeks as we made our way south to Malawi.

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