Saturday 26th April.
Freek very kindly drove us down to Ferry Harbour in morning.
Booked VIP seats and chilled in lounge – great just people watching. Announcement made to start boarding, dude came up to us saying we had to pay a “tourist tax”, took us over to so called office demanded passports – smelt a rat! Bull shit again – got passports back and ran to ferry entrance. We are old and white – but not stupid!!! Hope tourists to South Africa don’t get the same treatment.
Trip across great, VIP lounge cool and air conditioned but think I would have preferred being on the deck with the sea air in my face and with the people. Disembarked one and half hours later. Zanzibar! Avoided hundreds of touts, taxi and tour guides etc. Smiled and shook our heads. We knew our hotel was not far away and baggage minimal – walking is good! OMG – Stone Town – I was in heaven – old buildings etched with black mould, carved doors (of course), windows, arches, churches, mosque minarets, and the waters edge. People everywhere, boats being built on the beach, ladies covered in beautiful colourful cloths, men in fezs.
First restaurant found right at terminal – Mercury’s – sooo excited. QUEEN and Freddie Mercury – my best. Freddie was born in Zanzibar. Good food, good drinks and Queen music, sights amazing – who could ask for more. Got quite nostalgic – Queen show at Sun City – long ago, but remember soo well – Haldane and Sven rocking in the aisles.Continued walk to Hotel Abuzo Inn in Stone Town – about one street away from beach.
A real old building, friendly welcoming staff and magic room with view of the sea!!!.
Huge double bed, mossie net, air con and fan – happy happy. Also great shower! Wandered out for bite to eat and inevitable drink on waters edge.
Great places with tables and chairs under palms on the sand. People doing acrobatics (young beautifully bodied men) on the beach, children laughing and playing, ladies huddled together chatting (gossiping?!). Ice cream sellers on bicycles, motor bikes, bicycles – all on the waters edge. PARADISE????!!!!! Oh yes. Double bed also divine!!!!
Breakfast included at hotel. Memories of India – upstairs on covered balcony.
Juice, fruit, omelette, toast, jam and coffee. Out immediately and wandered around in awe of surroundings. Coffee at Serena Hotel – very classy. So glad not staying there (very nice with pool etc but touristy) ladies lying around in bikinis on loungers reading. Maybe they’ve got lots of time and not really interested in the amazing surroundings outside hotel. OK each to his own!!
Then hit the little alleyways and shops. Shops, of course touristy and believe it or not – I am not interested in buying anything. Just loved wandering, ogling, photographing.
Architecture, living conditions, beautiful doors, windows, dirt, people, colours. Chatting to shopkeepers, one innovative dude recycling – bags and sandals made from tyres with beading.
Beautiful sunset evening meal on beach again and royally entertained.
Aw geee we gotta leave – ferry again at 12.30pm. Wandered around still in awe of all the sights, photographing permanently.
Had to have another drink at Mercury’s before leaving. Back to Dar and mayhem!! Caught taxi, lunch at Rhapsody, night with Clifton and Freek – thank you again!!!!
Packed the car and now off to find Shoprite. What a disappointment – not the Shoprite we’ve experienced in Africa – empty shelves. Couldn’t get half the things we needed. Not even large bottled water! Oh dear, don’t think Shoprite doing too well in this part of Africa. Found Game in same complex – so much better, got water and other necessities – chocs etc!!
On Road again and goodbye Dar. 360kms to Peponi Lodge, 20kms north of Pangani and 30kms south of Tanga on the coast near Kenyan border…….
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