Marcin’s winter adventure

Despite the unexpected attack of winter in Europe it’s impossible to hide the fact that the spring is approaching with big steps. I will end the winter period with blog entry. During the first weekend of March Sweden hosted an annual 90-kilometre Vase Race (Swedish: Vasaloppet) in Sweden. This race takes place in the Dalarna county which symbol is the so-called Dalarna Horse (Swedish: Dalahäst) and is part of the so-called Winter Week, when different length races take place. Two years ago in February I spent a few days there, let me then describe my experiences.


Dalarna Horse

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First Polish explorer

I mentioned on my Polish Trace Around the World Facebook page Benedict the Pole, who explored East before Marco Polo. This is his story. Continue reading

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Poles in East Africa

I have already described my adventures in Africa so now it’s time for some “Polish traces”. As for Polish explorers and travellers in Africa they most often went to North Africa. In East Africa there were only a few of them but their exploits are worth the description. Continue reading

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Warning, mines!

A few days ago, when I posted about Jozef Kosacki on my blog’s FB page I wanted to add a link to the actual entry on my blog and I realized that I haven’t translated it to English 😦 Here it goes then.

The fact that the Poles “broke” the Enigma code is probably widely known but we have one more invention that saved lives of thousands but let me build up the excitement first.

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So we got to Nairobi. The city has more than three million inhabitants and its name comes from a water hole called in Maasai Enkare Nairobi – a place of cool water. The city was founded relatively recently in 1899 and it was a rail station between Mombasa and Kampala. As early as 1905 it became the capital of the British protectorate and a tourist destination as people used it as a starting point for safari and hunting. After gaining independence Nairobi began to grow rapidly and is now a city of contrasts, besides the enclosed neighbourhoods like Karen we also find the second largest city slum in Africa – Kibera. But we didn’t have time to get to know the city well. We were picked up from the airport by a driver named Kwach who took us to my friend Gosia who worked in Nairobi for InterHealth, an international charity. We were taken to the charity event that was ending soon but they still served food and I never say no to free food 😉

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Marcin in Mombasa

So we landed at the hotel on Diani Beach. The hotel was actually a few large cottages where the ground floor and the first floor were separate rooms with kitchenettes, the lower one being like a small apartment. The whole estate is surrounded by a wall and between the houses there’s a lot of greenery – bushes with flowers and palm trees. We were warned to close all windows because monkeys like to go into the cottages. We also had a baboon that ate our chocolate and shamelessly used our floor as a toilet.


Almost like a paradise

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Spices of the East

You will think I’m crazy – two entries in a week?!? But this one will be short and not on the subject (and what is the subject somebody might ask). I do not know if the inspiration came from the Heart of Darkness which I’m reading now again or from Shantaram which I want to read again as the second part is on the shelf getting dusty. Or perhaps I have always had a weakness for anything “exotic”. Continue reading

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Marcin conquers the East African coast

Not every conquest is successful – read about my attempt! Continue reading

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Time to say goodbye to Maasai

The final point of the program before returning to Arusha was the closing ceremony of the project. Unfortunately on the same day a funeral happened with a large number of people attending but a lot of people came to our “party” anyway, including the Elders and the local politician. The ceremony was held near a tree thought by the Maasai as sacred. This is a fig variety (ficus natalensis), called locally mutuba (interesting fact for those who read Tomek’s books – from this tree bark is obtained, from which fabric (bark cloth) is made, traditionally worn by members of the Baganda tribe and often featuring King of Buganda – kabaka. Tomek Wilmowski with friends visited kabaka Dausi Chwa II. I couldn’t help myself 😉)


And that’s how kabaka looked like, roughly at the time when Tomek visited Buganda

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Visiting the Masai

I already described a visit to Tengeru and our safari. A lot had happened during those two days in Africa… After returning from safari we had a dinner with ladies from Sweden, with whom we were going to spend the next five days and we had to plan the next day. We started the next day with a quick breakfast and then our two Land Rovers arrived. We loaded our luggage and went shopping. We had to buy stuff for the whole week. When shopping, first in the supermarket and later at the local market, I felt a bit like an explorer preparing for the expedition in the nineteenth century. I know I exaggerate a little, but if we ran out of water, someone would have to run to the well in the morning and then boil the water. Being the only man in the group it’s easy to guess who would be responsible for this task 😉 Thats’s why it was important to buy everything from the list.

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