Zanzibar

22 06 2009

Now to the last leg of the journey, and heading to Zanzibar, the Indian Ocean Island, home of Spices and the birth place of Freddie Mercury. 

Docking at Stone TownAn early dash to the ferry had us awake at 5, and the 25 mile crossing was a lot calmer than I thought it would be.  This was going to be the relaxing part of the trip and also the part where I would say goodbye to everybody.  We landed in sunny Stone town and had our passports stamped, before getting into 3 cramped mini-busses to take us to the Coco De Mer hotel. 

Once settled in our room we had a spice tour booked which started in the old Portugese fort which gave Stone Town its name, as it was the first Stone Stone Town FortBuilding.  It was also a key part in one of the worst parts of African History, as it was a prison for Slaves.  They were shipped here before being taken to a slave market in the town.  This was our next stop, and was not an overly pleasant one, looking at the cramped conditions they were held in.

After this we headed to the Sultan of Omans former palace, and lunch before going to the Spice Plantation.  Here we got the chance to try all of the spices that Zanzibar is famous for, followed by coconut from the tree and an amazing fruit salad of freshly picked Pineapple, Passion Fruit and Mango among others.

In the evening we headed to the bar of the Africa house hotel.  On the 3rd floor this has amazing views over the ocean, and we were hoping for a decent sunset, but this didn’t happen.  After a few cocktails we headed to the night food market, which has to be experienced. The choice of food on offer was spectacular, the sea food was superb.  You picked what you wanted and had it cooked for you there.  I ate shark, calamari, lobster and drank garapa (sugar cane juice) before finishing it off with a chocolate pancake.

SunsetThe next day was the first of our 2 beach days and we headed north to  Kendwa and one of the whitest, cleanest, emptiest beaches I have seen.  The water was blue and warm and ideal for swimming.  With one of the most incredible sunsets that I have ever seen. 

In the evening there was a big party in the bar. 

Our 2nd day at the beach was a dissapointment, there was a proper monsoon style downpour, meaning that we couldn’t really get outside, but in the afternoon, the sun came out and a group of us headed up the beach in search of Ice cream.

The next day we headed back into Stone town.  Once there, sadly, the  tour left, and after a lot of swapping of email addresses they were gone.  I had another day to kill, so I spent some time wandering the shops, trying not to spend anymore on trinkets.  This didn’t work.  In the evening I went back to the food market, before hitting the sack.  The next morning I spent a long time sitting with a glass of Mango juice reading a book and watching about 100 traders carrying sacks off a boat that had landed on the beach.

Later I had to get the ferry back.  I wasn’t too worried as the journey over was nice and flat.  How wrong could I possibly be.  I was fairly ill.  After I got to Dar I got a taxi to my hotel and promptly fell asleep.  I was woken up by a wedding party outside of my room playing drums quite fantastically, and a fitting way to end my journey as I was leaving at 5am the next day.

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Brief Interlude

22 06 2009

Sorry to disrupt the Safari blogging, but one of the reasons it has been taking so long is that I have been watching the ICC Twenty-20 World Cup.  This has been taking place in England, and despite another poor showing fromm the England Mens team, this has been a fantastic tournament.

There have been simultaneous tournaments for men and women, and Englands Womenas team have won their second tournament this year, after the 50 Over world Cup, so incredibly well done to them.  They have played brilliantly well all tournament and are deserved winners on home soil.

The Mens Tournament was won by Pakistan, a country where cricket is almost a religion, and a country that has been starved of success and international cricket due to terrorism.  When it first started, T-20 was seen to favour the batsmen, with long slogs over the boundry being the key to success.  This final showed how untru this is, the 2 best bowling teams were in the final, with Sri Lanka’s line up of Mulithiran, Mallinga and Mendis enough to scare any batsman in the world.  Equally though Pakistans, especially Umer Gul, Abdul Razzaq and the 17 year old Aamir.  The final was a great affair, with Pakistan running out deserved winners.

Now to get cricket back into their country.