Catching Zzzz's in Zanzibar

Trip Start Jul 26, 2012
Trip End Aug 22, 2012

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Flag of Tanzania  , Zanzibar Archipelago,
Sunday, August 19, 2012

After a long 15 hour day travelling from Amboseli to Nairobi, waiting umpteen hours at Nairobi airport for our flight to Zanzibar (which was then delayed over an hour) and then driving almost an hour from Zanzibar airport to our lodge, we were completely EXHAUSTED!  All we wanted to do was get to our room and collapse on our bed.  Anything else can wait until tomorrow!

The purpose of Zanzibar was rest and recuperation after a fantastic but tiring safari.  We had full intentions of doing absolutely nothing, except a tour to Stonetown to see the sights.  It was so nice knowing that we didn't have to be up at the crack of dawn for a game drive and we were on our own time schedule.  Our itinerary here consisted of wake up, eat breakfast, sleep, wake up, eat lunch, sleep, wake up, eat tea. 

Our first full day here was Reg's birthday!  While we were at the reception desk, the owner and boss of the lodge (Ellie) was there.  Being the end of Ramadan and celebrations in full swing, he was in quite a 'merry' mood!  I told him it was Reg's birthday today and without hesitation he told a staff member to go and get a bottle of champagne - not the cheap stuff, the $90 french champagne!  How could we say no to that??  We had a glass with him at reception and he sent the remainder of it to the bar to be chilled so we can enjoy it later.  Wow, that was some birthday present!  Even I didn't get that for my 40th!!!  So as not to offend anyone's feelings we thought it best to drink the rest of the bottle which we did when the staff offered it to us shortly after.  It was nice!  Didn't mind it at all.

We'd lay on the sun beds on our back patio doing Sudoku's or reading books... or sleeping.  One of the resident cats decided he wanted to adopt us and made himself very comfy on Reg's bed and on his lap.  Ooh, nothing like the royal treatment!

Lying on the day bed reading my book, I was suddenly aware of something moving across the sand toward me.  I turned my head and there was a green snake quickly moving towards me, only one metre away.  I called out to Reg and fortunately the snake turned and headed for the grass when he heard my voice.  Mind you, being green we had no idea just where the snake was in the grass!  I was freaked.  I HATE snakes - passionately.  I had had no sandals on (that quickly changed) and our back door was wide open - that quickly changed too.  I felt sick to the stomach.  It looked identical to the green mamba we had seen in Amboseli - you know, completely poisonous.  Just what I didn't need on my last days in Zanzibar.  Uuuggggh, yukkk!!
Speaking with a staff member later, yes they do have green mambas here.  Cold shivers went hurtling down my spine...
Day two we were doing a tour of Stonetown.  It was the only thing we wanted to do while in Zanzibar.  We saw the old original slave chambers at the Anglican church (that was quite disturbing but it was good to see and hear some of the stories of what life was like back then), House of Wonders (I think the wonder being that it is still standing), Freddie Mercury's house, Tipu Tip's house, David Livingstone's house, local fruit market, botanical gardens, the Old Fort.  Walking through the narrow, dark alleys of Stonetown was an experience!  With the buildings so close and so tall (3-4 storeys), little light could get in and there was no way to find a land mark to guide you through.  Glad we had our guide!  Lots of little shops and curio shops everywhere.  Pity we didn't have more time to explore through here longer - I would have liked that!

We went to the Africa House to have a drink and watch the sun set, except the sky was overcast and you couldn't see the sun.  It was a fizzer, but at least the drink was nice and I did appreciate the opportunity to sit down and rest my weary feet.  We were glad to get back to the lodge at the end of it as the tiredness had caught up with us once again, but the tour and experience of Stonetown was good.  I'm really glad we did it.

The only tour we wanted to do in Zanzibar now being done, that only left a mandatory walk along those beautiful turquoise beaches.  This we did on our third and final day.  The beaches were gorgeous!  The water was such a stunning colour and the sand so white and squeaky.   We just meandered up the beach, looking at the little market stalls on the way, watching the women collect seaweed out of the ocean, enjoying the warm breeze blowing on our faces and through our hair.  It was so nice!  Especially not being able to do this in Karratha!  This was a real treat, one I thoroughly enjoyed.  

We walked quite a way up the beach and came across a flash looking hotel.  So we wandered in, found the bar and had a drink.  Oh, and I popped into the gift shop as well - being a big hotel, it had a nice gift shop (one I took full advantage of) - our lodge only had a couple of items which looked like they were 30 years old already!!  We then took a slow walk back down the beach towards our lodge, soaking up the whole relaxing atmosphere.  It was just what we both needed. 
For our final night in Zanzibar, we decided we would book a private barbeque on the beach for dinner.  Our own private waiter, chef and two Masai guards, a single candlelit table on the beach and a campfire nearby.  It was surreal.  All this was just for us!  And the amount of food they had was insane!  A family of six couldn't have eaten it all, I'm sure!  We ate all we could and gave the rest to the staff who prepared and waited on us for the night.  They refused at first, but after our insistence they succumbed and before we knew it, our leftovers had all been demolished as well!!!  Sitting around the campfire afterwards on the beach, just the two of us and not another soul in sight was just magical.  It was an experience I will never forget.



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