Zanzibar was never a part of the original travel plan. It found its way onto our itinerary when what was supposed to be a volunteering opportunity in a Tanzanian hospital turned out, unfortunately, to be an observational experience and, at that, not at all what we’d bargained for. After a day and half of good faith effort at the hospital we had observed plenty, and we regrettably determined our skills and abilities could not be utilized at the facility. After giving it a great deal of thought, we decided to conclude the observation experience early. Having made that decision, we determined that a quick trip to Zanzibar was, in fact, doable. So we pulled the trigger, bought a plane ticket and landed in Zanzibar about 16 hours after clicking “Confirm Payment” on the e-ticket.
|Breakfast view off the top of our hotel|
That evening Michelle and I shared a “romantic” birthday dinner at Mercury’s, a beachfront restaurant named after “Zanzibar’s First Son.” It was lady’s night -- haha!
|The best pictures we could get someone to take of us|
|Locals playing soccer on the beach|
|The spot where we can ice cream, twice!|
|View of the Indian ocean while eating ice cream|
|Market in "New" Stone Town|
|Pilao (rice) with coconut curry|
|Ugali with fish|
|Finding our way through the alley ways|
The boat ride was that evening. We were in a dhow. What is a dhow you ask? Well, the dictionary defines it as a “…sail-rigged boat usually having a long overhang forward, a high poop and a low waist.” (Oh? Is that so?) Anyway, the ride was complete with snacks, sodas and a fair amount of wind. Many of you know that thanks to Chicago friends Ken and Tracy and their boat rover, I’m something of a sailor, try to be anyway. So I enjoyed watching the dhow’s crew maneuver the single-sailed boat. It was even more fun to watch Michelle get nervous at even the slightest heel.
|I quickly got very comfortable|
|Look at me I'm on a boat!|
Simultaneously managing the snacks, the wind and my balance was also quite interesting. There are no lifelines on these boats, just a 4-inch board to stop things from rolling off the edge. As the ride got a little rocky the snacks were sacrificed, the sodas quickly consumed and the coconut milk spilled. I really had no interest in losing my camera over the side.
|Michelle managed to perfectly capture me trying to manage everything|
|a whole lot of spice|
|The guys working on the plantation spent a lot of time decorating the tourists with plants|
|the entrance to the cave, it was too dark to take any pictures down there|
|Model of the church built over the slave chambers|
|Remaining slave chambers|
|Memorial outside the church|
|just a little creepy...|