Lazy days

Trip Start Apr 18, 2011
Trip End Apr 08, 2012

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Flag of Tanzania  , Zanzibar Archipelago,
Friday, May 27, 2011

An interesting start to the day today as I found myself crammed somewhere between 25 people, two children and a chicken in the back of a covered truck - something similar to the working vehicles I used to see being driven by the Pakistani workers in the UAE.

I was meant to be travelling by shuttle bus to the north coast of Zanzibar, but the guide who told me about it yesterday failed to deliver and as an alternative way to get me there (and ensure he kept my payment) I was rushed across a road before being told I would be travelling on the truck. I pretended to be cross with him, but was actually secretly pleased: it seemed more fun, and certainly less touristy to jump aboard with the locals.

Two very bumpy, sweaty, and understandably uncomfortable hours later I managed to unfold limps and step out at Nungwi. Now all I had to do was find somewhere to stay. This was less easy then the ride - but after much traipsing up and down the beach front, cursing my rucksack, I found a hut, complete with hot water, air con and mosquito net for $15, which I promptly agreed to. I think my plan is to spend one night here, travel to the East coast tomorrow, and then the West coast the following day, before making my way back to Stone Town for my last couple of days in Zanzibar. this all depends on how much there is to do however: it's very quiet here, and I'm rubbish at laying still on a beach. I'll be bored within twenty minutes.

As it turns out, the African relaxed vibe is definitely here, with the main thing to do here being 'chilling'. I strolled along the beach and sheltered from a sudden heavy downpour of rain, stumbled upon a 'fish market' (neat piles of colourful fish laid out on the sand while shoppers stood in a circle listening and arguing with the salesman's shouted prices.) I couldn't work out who bought the giant manta ray that lay just ahead of me. But it was a fun thing to witness.

The rest of the day was spent attempting to wander around the village, but with little success from the tiring - and seemingly tireless - local men who shout out and follow you for as long as you stay polite, and befriending the tiniest of kittens at one of the beach cafe's who sprang onto my lap within seconds of me sitting down, and protested when I came to move her sleeping body from my lap when it was time to leave and sniff out food for the evening.

I watched the dhows sail off onto the horizon as the sun lowered, the fishermen setting off for their nightly catch, returning tomorrow morning as the sun rises, as I sat at ate today's catch - calamari - with rice and a very spicy sauce.

It was pitch black when I left the restaurant, with no more than the the spattering of stars above and the light on my phone to guide me. The guest house is only a five minute walk from the restaurants, but I still felt foolish and a little anxious for not having left when still light, or carried a torch with me.

The guest house was also in darkness - the power has gone as I write - meaning no air con tonight, and only a candle for light: looks like an early night - quite possibly with ear plugs to drown out the strange chomping noise I can here from the roof, but can't see. I'm hoping it's just a bird, and that's it's most definitely not in the room.
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