We have now been on the road (literally driving all day, early morning till evening) for 6 days. A 6am wake up is now a lie in. We have slept somewhere different every night – so putting up and taking down tents everyday. We all need a bit of a holiday! Good job we’re at Zanzibar!!!
The tuk-tuks picked us up just before 8am for the short ride down to the ferry port. They all raced each other down to the port – chaotic driving! Went on a short car ferry across to the other side of town, then onto a passenger ferry for the 2 hour ride across to Zanzibar!
We landed at Stone Town – total chaos, couldn’t move for people! Bags from the luggage compartment of the boat were auctioned off to whoever shouted the loudest and had to push ourselves through the masses of local people on the landing stage.
Apparently Zanzibar would like to be an independent country – however are too reliant on mainland Tanzania for this to be possible. This doesn’t stop them having their own immigration system – another passport stamp!
After lunch in a local house, we went for a walk around a plantation – they were growing lots of spices and fruits (ginger, turmeric, peppercorn, jackfruit, lemongrass, starfruit, vanilla, curry powders etc etc etc) not all of them are indigenous local plants. Some local guys followed us round, making necklaces and bracelets out of coconut leaf. I had a frog necklace and bow shaped bracelet!
After a short rest, cooling down under a fan in my hotel room, off to Africa House for a cocktail and view of the sunset. Was pretty cool – rooftop bar and a perfect view of the setting sun behind the shimmering sea filled with local dhows (local boats with fabric sails).
The local buildings are really ornate – there is a large Arab/middle east influence around the city; the buildings are largely white(ish) with wooden shutter windows, elaborate doors and cut out shapes around the walls.
The night fish-food market is right on the sea front. Rows and rows of every kind of imaginable seafood – the usual – octopus, lobster, squid, tuna, snapper, prawns and some of the more unusual, shark 😦 the man excused himself by saying ‘but this is man eating shark, it’s reef shark’ !!!!! Uh, no, no no!
We paid tourist prices. But it was still cheap by English standards. Afterwards, we found the Zanzibar pizza. This isn’t normal cheese, tomato, dough pizza. Instead it’s more of a pancake, filled with either savoury or sweet fillings. I had chocolate and banana (obviously! – on par with gili island pancakes!). All pretty good!!!