Although I love to travel and see new places, I do not like flying in small planes. But their is only 2 options to get to Zanzibar, fly or take a ferry. I opted to fly since it was faster. I flew Precision Air and it was not bad at all. Until I arrived in Zanzibar. There were 3 plane loads of Italians that did not understand the concept of queuing. So I had to fight my way into something was looked like a line, only be skin to skin with people, because apparently it makes the line go faster? It was like 150 degrees and well it was a test of my travel patience. Being American, I needed to get a multiple entry Visa, which required me to have my picture taken. Well the immigration officer kept pointing to me and the camera, but some nice Italians felt they should not move, so my Visa picture is quite the beauty shot, mainly forward with a nice grimace.
I will not bore you with the details of trying to get my bag from baggage claim. Just imagine those same nice Italians not willing to move and this big American acting like a linebacker because, well, she’s just about have had enough.
I was staying at the Doubletree Ngunwi, which is about 1 hour north of the airport. I had pre-arranged a driver and a tour of Stone Town before heading up to my hotel. My driver was a no-show, so I just ended up going directly to the hotel. I wish I had done the Stone Town tour, I was just too hot to think straight.
I was oh so happy to arrive at the hotel and just relax…….
The next day was the Annual Turtle Release Day down the beach. It was interesting. There were local dancers. Funny enough I did not last until the release, because it was running on Africa time and after 3 hours I was hungry and hot.
So something I was told with the Maasi, when they are courting a women they guy jumps for her, the one that jumps the highest gets the women. I am not sure if that is true, but these guys can sure jump.
My time at the beach was too short. I had originally planned to take the ferry from Zanzibar to Dar Es Salaam, but given how easy the flight over was, I decided a 20 minute flight was better then a 2 hour ferry. Prior to going to the airport I asked the driver to give me a quick tour of Stone Town. I wish I had more time.
I visited the Anglican Christ Church Cathedral, the site of the former Slave Market Site.
To see the conditions of the Old Slave Market was interesting. To know that they survived being held in that space for 3 days before being put on ships across the ocean is just amazing. I did not spend as much time as I would have liked, but I hope to go back on day.
My flight back stateside was not until the next day, but I decided to head back to the mainland so I could just relax before heading home. I stayed at the Doubletree Dar Es Salaam. I was heading home the next day, so I figured it finally time to get some serious shopping in. I headed next door to the Slipway. When I say next door, it was literally right next door, however, it was advised that I not walk over there alone. I was not about to take a taxi 2 feet, so I took my changes. I ran like my pants were on fire, but I did it alone!
The Slipway was like a modern shopping area you would find just about anywhere in the world. I wondered around for a bit, before breaking down to have an ice cream. I then teased myself by looking at the beautiful tanzanite stones. One must dream right? I ended up buying just a few shirts and headed back to the hotel, because the heat was just too much for me.
I decided to go swimming, which was odd because I am pretty sure that water was heated. But thank goodness I did, because I otherwise would not have met my new friends, Katy and Russell! Kindred spirits! They were just finishing up a safari trip, and we started talking about all things wonderful, traveling and jewelry. They had done safari near Arusha, where tanzanite is mined, and Katy was telling me about what she had found. I mentioned that I had been shopping looking at stones, but I could never imagine buying one. (HA)
I blame the sun and lack of food on what transpired next. I decided to get be “normal” and have dinner in the restaurant. I went to the indoor one and they suggested I go out to the patio for surf and turf. Well I was still off beef after safari and well I needed to be careful with fish because I was having a situation with shellfish. (Disclaimer: after this trip I finally saw a new allergist and yes I have shellfish allergy and I really should not eat fish). So I probably should have just said no to the surf and turf. I head to the buffet and help myself to what appeared to be chicken with maybe pineapple. Really? Pineapple? I am not in Hawaii.
Well it was not chicken……. I spit out whatever it was, but it was too late.
I think the worst part of the whole experience, I still had to pay for dinner! The best part, it reminded me that life was meant to be lived and I should be thankful for every experience. Oh and that I really wanted some tanzanite!
I really enjoyed my trip to Kenya and Tanzania. I hope to get back one day.