The east coast of Zanzibar, at least where we were, was exactly how I’d pictured it to be – white sand, blue water, and palm trees. Even though it is the rainy season here, the only rain we had was on the morning we arrived on the beach, and then again this morning right before we left. We splurged (as we tend to do), spending $60 USD a night for a beautiful beachside bungalow, with a view out over the ocean. We had a queen sized bed (although it was too hot to sleep) and a beautiful bathroom. The whole thing was quite luxurious – the hotel even had a pool!
Our four days of beach vacation passed quite quickly. We did snorkel one afternoon and saw some nice fishes, corals and star fish. But I was content just to putter for most of our time, and given that the water in ocean was bath tub warm at some points in the day, we spent at lot of time just swimming (alternating between the ocean and the pool). We walked up and down the beach in both directions, checking out the other hotels and beach front properties. It was stinking hot out on the sand, so we never made it more than an hour from our hotel before we had to turn back (and even then that was a painful experience). We drank lots of passion fruit juice, and Jon developed a taste for Amaretto Sours. We picked up and discarded hundreds of shells and coral bits when we went walking at low tide and were astounded at the number of bicycle tires in the sand that had become homes to various marine life. We spent hours sitting in the shallow waters until we were tanned (or burnt in some cases). When we got tired, we sat in the shade of a beach hut and read our books (yes, I finished Gone with the Wind, and I liked it!).
Its amazing how fast time goes when all you do is swim, walk on the beach and drink fruit juice! Before we knew it, we were checking out and heading back to Stone Town (with only a brief stop to remove some belts from the van’s engine. I guess they weren’t really needed). We’re already sad to not be at the beach – but looking forward (sort of) to returning to the rest of our travels. In only 5 short days we’ll be back on another plane and heading home so we’ve got to make the most of what we’ve got left in Africa. We’re exploring Stone Town again today – with some what more energy after our break. I only have one thing left on my Africa to-do list (for this trip): drink a Blackcurrent Fanta. I think that should be do-able in the time we have left. I was slightly disappointed in the food at the beach, but we found some great street meat outside our hotel here in Stone Town and at $0.50 CAD each, I can stuff myself. Jon loves to shop, so we’ve got some of that planned. Plus, another trip to that bus station I had such a good time at, and a few more dusty bus rides to get us back to Nairobi. We’re off to Dar tomorrow on the ferry (fingers crossed for calm seas, one of the two things we forgot on this trip was Gravol) and then onto Mombassa on Monday.