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Tuesday, 01 September 2009

Sunrise Beach Resort: An Urban Oasis in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania - Page 2

Written by Bryan Bourgault
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The ticket agent couldn’t help but revel in my misfortune. “The train has left,” he announced, motioning out to the lonely track and beyond to the sprawling, oily expanse of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. “And tomorrow?” I squeaked, unable to conceal my distaste for the city. “Next train,” he said, his cruel smile widening, “three days.” Reluctantly, I bought a new ticket.

I spent the next three days spoiling myself. I’d rise early and enjoy two fresh eggs and a coffee before ambling up to a morning market on the main road. There, I’d catch a ten cent daladala minibus to the waterfront where, amid a throng of commuters with bikes, cars, Sunrise Beach Resort: An Urban Oasis in Dar es Salaam, Sunrise Beach, Kigamboni Ferry, Dar es Salaam hotels, travel Tanzania, Bryan Bourgaulttrucks, and motorcycles, I’d pile onto a dilapidated ferry for a delightful five minute cruise across the harbor. I’d watch the local kids fearlessly scale the corroded hull only to leap back to their friends swimming below. Twenty minutes and less than a dollar later, I was pleasantly sauntering through downtown Dar es Salaam with the knowledge that my serene paradise awaited.

In the afternoons, I’d lazily retrace my journey and joyfully curse the snide ticket agent who had relished in my railway misfortune. After a refreshing dip and a few cocktails, I’d have a delicious dinner and recruit the local staff to explain the convoluted rules of the cricket match blaring from the bar’s prehistoric nine-inch TV. Then, I’d enjoy a final beer while I convinced the jovial night watchman I was, in fact, not interested in a prostitute before returning to my mobile home. I’d shimmy out a pleasant sand mattress through the nylon floor, roll my hoodie into a thick pillow, and fall asleep to the placid breakers of the Indian Ocean mere meters away.

Sunrise Beach Resort: An Urban Oasis in Dar es Salaam, Sunrise Beach, Kigamboni Ferry, Dar es Salaam hotels, travel Tanzania, Bryan BourgaultThree exquisite days later, as I waited at the station for my train to depart, I couldn’t help but feel an ache of dejection about leaving my idyllic corner of Dar es Salaam. There is a certain spirit to Sunrise Beach, an intangible grace and tranquility that is, despite its cringe-worthy grammatical faults, most nobly conveyed by the resort’s website:

Welcome you to hotel where the atmosphere is peaceful accommodation are confortable, horizon kisses the clear waters with confidence and things move pole pole (slowly, slowly): with ease the hospitality is magnetic and poetic, and SUNRISE BEACH RESORT is the place you want to be at.

As the conductor announced “All Aboard,” I readied my ticket and gazed across the bustling platform, past the scurrying trinket hawkers and frenzied passengers shouldering bursting sacks of produce, over to the fateful ticketing office, now nearly devoid of patrons, but the cruel agent was nowhere to be seen.

©Bryan Bourgault

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Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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