Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Zanzibar

We flew to Zanzibar the day after finishing our safari. The flight was a quick 1 hour flight into Zanzibar Town or more popularly known as Stone Town. From the airport, we found the local dala-dala to take us to the city market. Unfortunately, on the dala-dala, we picked up our first papasi. Papasi is swahili for 'tick' and are people who get money for getting tourists to book rooms in hotels or go to stores. They really suck and follow you everywhere you go. Many of them speak horrible english, other than the names of the hotels. We tried to get rid of our guy but upon arrival to Stone Town, he followed us through all of the tiny streets. Despite having a map, it was impossible to find our way in the stone town maze.



We finally found a decent english speaker who directed us how to get to the Clove Hotel and of course, the Clove was fully booked for the day. Luckily, they showed us to the Hotel International and we got the best room in the house. We were on the top floor and had an incredible view of stone town.


We dropped our bags and entered the streets of stone town again. This time, we were attempting to find our way to the ocean (which we could see from our window). It was an amazing walk through the maze. Beautiful hand-carved wooden doors adorned many of the buildings. Because Zanzibar is predominantly muslim, there were many women completely covered in black. Most men had the typical arab hat. At prayer times, you could hear many mosques spitting out prayer. The island was a mix of mzungu tourists, arab-persian locals, and black locals. An incredible mix of cultures.

The island is famous for its beaches, spices, and the boats build there. The boats made here are primarily for fishing and are called dhous. There are a lot of different kinds but the ancient ones were made without metal (no nails or screws). Everything was held together by coconut rope. Here's a photo of one floating by.

We found the beach and hung around for the evening. In the evening at the forodhani gardens, all the fishermen come out to sell there catches of the day. They make fish kabobs and barbeque whatever you decide to order. They've got a lot, calamari, marlin, king fish, and many more. Each kabob is barely over 1 dollar so you can really enjoy a lot of fish. They've got french fries and lots of other tasty treats to go along with it. They also make a Zanzibari pizza which is a tortilla with meat, vegetables, egg, and cheese fried on a fresh fire. It ended up being our favorite thing to get at the gardens. Both nights we were in stone town we ate here for about 4 dollars a meal and trust me, it was plenty of food. On the right of the following photo, one of the guys has a sugar cane juice machine. They mixed lime, ginger, and sugar cane and made a sweet half liter drink for 25 cents. It was great! The gardens was a highlight of stone town, maybe because it had been too much rice and beans during our volunteer work.

Our first full day in stone town, we took the well-advertised spice tour. It was really fun to walk through all of the spice plantations. We saw cloves, vanilla, cacao, pepper, and a lot more. Lots of the spices are combined to make pilau rice which we had for lunch along the tour. Really great rice. At the end of the tour, Laura went spice crazy and collected some to take home.

Our final night in Zanzibar, we decided to go to the eastern beaches for a relaxing day and a half on the beach before travelling to Nairobi and then on to Barcelona. We went to a town called Bweju and decided to go rasta and stay at Mustafa's Nest.

The beaches were beautiful white sand beaches. The sand was a fine as flour. The tide went in and out during the day probably as far as a mile. Waves were cresting at least a mile out from the beach. The beach was beautiful and there were no large developments along the entire beach. Mostly locals frequented the beach and many of them were collecting special types of seaweed or fishing when the tide went out. It was an amazing beach and incredible that it wasn't more developed than it ended up being.

Now, Laura and I have made it safely to Barcelona and our time in Africa is over. It was an incredible experience, one I'll never forget. It's something I'd suggest that everybody do at some time in their life. We'll be in Barcelona for at least 2 weeks and in Italy for another week to visit family. During our stay in Italy, we'll be visiting Austria and Germany with family.

Our plans are open at this point. We're considering spending some time working on the island of Ibiza which has a lot of tourist action right now. We're considering spending more money and travelling to Thailand. If we stick with our original plan, we'll return to Vermont, USA and start job search. That doesn't sound so appealing after this trip though. Thanks to all who followed this blog. If we continue our travels, we'll probably start another one and post the blog URL here. Don't forget to read the safari post I put up yesterday!

14 comments:

Sasha said...

If you end up on Ibiza, just beware all of the drunken lager louts from the UK - it will be packed with them! They can be pretty obnoxious, not at all like the charming English people you may already know!

Sasha said...

Oh, and I would vote for more traveling. Your time in Africa seemed to pass by so quickly. I think you need to just keep going!

Greg said...

Who is the spice lady with the beautiful hair? Just kidding .... Africa has agreed with you Laura.

Ok Jeremy so you still have a right leg ...... where is the face shot of you there in Africa? Were you really there or is this some Concervative plot?

Have fun with your parents.

Thanks for the blog ...... greastest of fu: text, photos, links and knowing you are alive.

From stinking hot Vermont -- 82 in Newport, 77 here on the hill.
Greg

Greg said...

P.S.
Just got the last two photos [Mustafa's Nest and the beach]
to open in enlarged format ...... but now of the others.

I'm a thinkin perhaps you did not entry larger format.

What say yee .. EE? Ok so I saw Harry Potter free at the old folks wingdig this morning.

Caio
PSU EE '69
7-25-07 1604 hrs

Greg said...

Oooooops replace "now" with "not".

J.Pallotta said...

Trying to figure out the deal with the pictures. I did upload all of them the same so not sure what happened there.

J.Pallotta said...

Figured out the picture deal but had to edit the low level HTML. Not fun... brought me back to my working days!

Greg said...

J&L,

Thanks for the picture enlargement improvement. works super. sorry for creating the flashback to work.
looking forward to the CD of the largest versions, after you return.

lady with the spices in the basket is beautiful in large format. Take care of her will ya.

Missy said...

Laura and Jeremy,
So sorry i haven't followed as you went along. I just read the whole thing this morning. Couldn't stop! What an amazing adventure. You two are so brave and have been rewarded by an experience of a lifetime. Don't stop! Keep traveling. You'll get more out of it than making $1 million a year at a regular job. Your adventure is quite a contrast to our daily life here in Boulder and makes me yearn for new scenery. Please keep me on your mailing list for future blogs and updates. Missy

Gary said...

Laura and Jeremy,

What a wonderful adventure! The stories and pictures were truly amazing. Glad to hear you made it out of Africa safe and sound. If you’re blogging about your European adventures, please send me the url.

Best of luck in the future!

Gary

Tootie said...

Jeremy and Laura - What a trip! Keep going -- the real world will be here when you're done! I've never even heard of Ibiza, but that's just me! God speed!
Aunt Tootie

Anonymous said...

DON'T KEEP TRAVELLING!!! Someone has to help me support mom and dad when they get old and feeble!!

Marco

Greg said...

Supporting Tony. No need to worry Jeremy. I recall an evening in Boston at Marco's BP when he supported me and I supported him.

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