Journey to Zanzibar
Slept like a log last night. Went to bed at 9pm and dropped off at 9:30pm-is despite really loud African trance music blaring from two nearby bars. It just went on and on and when I thought it had finally stopped, it started up again. I decided I wouldn’t get pissed off, so I didn’t. Thank you Boots ear plugs.
Breakfast at 6:15am and five little jitneys or tuktuks came at 7am to bring us to the small ferry which would bring us to the big ferry which would bring us to Zanzibar, if you can catch my drift. It was gas burbling and jittering along in these little ludicrously impossible machines.
We got the little ferry and it was packed to the rafters with vehicles and people crammed into every little nook and cranny. A disaster in the making, as someone in our group said. But, it got us there and we waited, hot and sweaty but not too bothered, for the main ferry to take us to Zanzibar. This ferry was more like a European ferry with comfy seats and air-conditioning. It whisked us across the Indian ocean from Dar es Salaam to the magic treasure Island of Zanzibar.
There was a family with 3 young kids in the seats in front of us ranging in age from scout 4 to 8 or so. I’m not very goog with kids ages. They had the curiosity and shyness. kids naturally have. They must have been intrigued by the strange pink moneys in the seat behind them and, with increasing bravery, started to make connection with us. First they peered at us, with one eye, from between the back of the seats, progressing to popping their head above the back and making eye contact. One of the older ones asked me my name and how old I was. I asked him the same and he replied and then retreated into shyness again. The youngest one took longer but he soon was making faces at us and playing with the icons on my phone. Sweet.
We arrived in Stone Town, aka Zanzibar City and met our guide Daniel, an egregious local man. He had a little bus waiting for us and took us to a spice farm, or rather a model spice farm run by a local University. Here we saw and tasted lots of spices grown in Zanzibar. We saw, amongst others, cinnamon trees, ginger, turmeric root, pepper corn trees, and many others whose name escapes me at the moment. There was one amazing spice, star fruit., I think, and when I tasted it, it was like an astonishing taste bomk going off in my mouth.
Before the spice tour, Daniel brought us for a traditional meal at the farm where the food was flavoured with some of the spices we would see.
Afterwards, we drove back to book onto our hotel, which is a very cool beach resort right on the beach. I checked in and immediately went for a subaqua refresher course. I have not dived since Thailand 2013 and needed to update my skills.
I went to the dive centre, named Spanish Danger Diving; probably sounds better in Swaheli but the combination of diving and danger possibly could be improved upon. The refresher course was easy enough. I demonstrated I knew how to use regulator etc and put on my wetsuit and air bottles and all the rest of the kit. I then waddled ungainly, like a duck with hemorrhoids, down the beach and into the water with a ton of stuff on my back. We waded out to about chest height and then dropped down to our knees, head emerged, and demonstrated safety procedures. All tickedyboo.
Went out for a meal with rest of lads and lassies. We are 12 now, I think. We walked along beach and through little village to get to restaurant. What an enchanting pkace, Zanzibar.
Then home to bed in air-conditioned bedroom. A good day.