Published: May 17th 2010April 30th 2010
It's a hard life I tell you when you have to walk a whole 100m across the soft white sand from your hut to your hammock in order to continue your snooze.
Having endured a total of 31 hours of bus journeys over only 3 days while travelling around East Africa (more on the joys of African transport to come in another blog) we felt we thoroughly deserved a week of sun, sea and disgustingly self indulgent lazing around on Zanzibar to cope with the trauma and let our bums recover from the bumpy roads and craterous potholes (the African Massage local drivers take great delight in calling it). Instead I burnt my bum to a crisp through the clouds while lounging in my hammock, but hey I had to live up to the Brit stereotype and do more than just drink tea all the time!
While we did spend an unhealthy amount of time asleep or reading in our hammocks and chatting to new friends we'd made on the minibus out to the beach, we did take some time to explore the area too. We walked almost to the end of an exclusive hotel resort before we were
recognised for the unkempt, unwealthy and undesirable backpackers that we are and were kicked out by an army of security guards. Revenge was sweet when the next day we watched a tornado whipping up the sea and sand dangerously close to the same resort while we were still basked in sunshine! We also sampled all the restaurants and cocktail menus we could find within a 10 minute walk of our hammocks and soon had our regular happy hour cocktail bar, mid-morning smoothie bar, sundowner beer bar, cheapest curry restaurant, best pizza-for-starters restaurant etc. We also gave in and paid the extortionate £1.50 entrance fee to go to Kendwa Rocks' Saturday Night Party which was possibly the worst club night I have ever experienced. Not only did we see an acrobatics show that involved a man doing a couple of sumersaults we also had the 'authentic Maori' version of the Haka and their fire show which involved pretending to sit round a campfire lit on a man's headdress. All this was just before the star acts came on: R&B and Rap stars from Stone Town that the locals went crazy for while we cringed at their dreadful miming!
in Stone Town for a couple of nights and enjoyed getting totally lost amongst the narrow, twisting lanes (except the day we nearly missed our taxi and ferry because we were so lost). Feeling all touristy and cultural we did the obligatory Zanzibar Spice Tour one day and got to see, smell and sample all sorts of weird and wonderful spices and fruits. I love seeing where my food comes from and what it should look like naturally so really enjoyed this. We also got to sample it cooked up in a yummy coconut curry, another way I love seeing my food! Keeping on the food theme we went to the Foradhani Gardens one evening to sample the delights of the food stalls all set up and touting for your business in only the way the Africans can. Unfortunately the food and atmosphere was nowhere near as exciting as Djema el Fna square in Marrakech and some of the fish was suspect but I did enjoy the warm, soft coconut bread even if I was ripped off for it. I'm not sure Han enjoyed her meal so much, having argued with a vendor that her rock hard falafal was unedible
she then offered it to a mangy cat and a hungry begger, both of whom did not look impressed by the falafal at all!
After more than a week lost lazing on Zanzibar we had to hot foot it back to Nairobi, a city I dreaded before I arrived but is now a familiar and happy home to me now where we caught up with banking, sleeping and friends before the really lazy part of the trip started...being driven around in a tour group.
There are more photos below