Day 14, 15: Surviving 'Bongo' or just getting around Dar

We wake up to an unpleasant surprise: Our new, used spare tyre is flat -- it burst while parking outside the Safari Inn we stayed for the night. Seems the tyre decide to take us to Dar and give up life straight after that. At least we made it here and can look for a spare... another one. The search begins, through Dar's many shops, mechanics and even the labyrinth of the notorious Kariakoo market. After being sent from a shop to another for hours, we find a local brand that has our size -- not tubeless, but at least it fits. Another ordeal with a roadside mechanic and a day later we're back on the crazy one-lane highway heading out of Dar. We don't make it far, however. The tyre bursts AGAIN... this time some 40 km outside of town. It's obvious the weight of the two of us, plus our luggage and fuel are too much for the piece of rubber... especially in the suffocating heat of the Tanzanian coastline. We find a motorcyclist with an engine smaller than ours with a trailer big enough to fit our two wheeler and us. It feels like a scene from a sad movie: leaving Dar in all excitement, to return on the back of a motorcycle trailer just a few hours later. How's that for a deja vu? Our patience is slowly but surely running out. Will we ever manage to leave Dar? The next day the search for a tubeless tyre resumes. And we might get lucky today. One of the Indian shops seem to carry them -- unfortunately slightly wider than the one we need, but it fits nevertheless. Off we go, AGAIN. There is little of Dar we get to really enjoy. Its vibrant nightlife, the many cultures that compete for prominence, the tasty samosas we smell while roaming around the streets and the coconuts we only get to see from a distance become just a hazy memory of a place we vow to come back to. Maybe on foot next time. The rugged inner-city hub dominates with its freighters and tankers in the harbour, upscale suburban neighbourhoods in the north, filled with air-conditioners and electric fences, colonial gems next to glassy high-rises of banks, and the masses of people, on foot, tricycles and behind tainted windows of cooled four-by-fours. Dar is nicknamed Bongo -- meaning 'Brain' -- and it took some wits to get around this urban melting pot. We even unexpectedly meet friends of friends in this East African metropolis! It's hot and humid, and the parties along Coco Beach look way too inviting... We get stopped by the police three times -- each time when I was behind the wheel. "Can we see your driver's license, ma'am," they ask each time. They even ask Alberto if he trusts being ferried around by a woman!

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