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Published: April 20th 2016
Day 14 (Nov 13) Zanzibar l - We woke up for early breakfast. Turns out 3 girls from another group hiking the same route as us were also at the hotel. One girl apparently was having hallucinations up high and another had oxygen levels well below normal even at base camp. So I guess we fared pretty well.
We reluctantly caught our 30 minute transfer very early around 8am for our 11:30 flight. And a good thing we did, as our flight got pushed up 1.5hrs w/o us being notified. We made it just in time to check in and board. We showed up early to Zanzibar, but thankfully a worker showed up within 20 minutes to order us a new driver so we didn't have to wait over an hour. Although I find out later that they stole my multi tool from my backpack, bummer.
The weather held out yet again for us as we drove the hour up north to Ngunwi, flying by numerous cyclists and young kids, just praying they don't take a false step into the road. We got to our hotel (Langi Langi) and checked in to our ocean front room right next to
the restaurant. Great room with a great view with working AC.
We had a very relaxing day enjoying lunch at the hotel then walking down the beach checking out the fishing village and their very old school sailboats. Grabbed a couple beers on the way back, cleaned up, and enjoyed a nice dinner at the hotel next door. Apparently it was some lady's bday and they hired 8 young men dressed in leopard outfits to perform flipping and balancing acrobatics on the sand for over 30 minutes straight, so we got a sweet free show.
Day 15 (Nov 14) Zanzibar ll - After a decent night's sleep we grabbed free breakfast at the restaurant. It was quite rainy over night and in the morning so we just relaxed and read a bit. When the storms cleared I went for a 3 mile run along the beach in the other direction. Of course the rain wasn't completely done, so I got a bit of a shower along the way back.
After we shared lunch we walked around the very poor town that sits directly behind the expensive resorts, shopping for trinkets and bought ourselves a nice painting, which
there were many. Relaxed some more back in the room and then went to a rooftop bar nearby for sunset happy hour drinks. Brilliant way to send us off on our way. Came back to eat at the same place we did the prior night because the lobster kabobs were so good, although no show tonight. And we called it an early evening.
Day 16 (Nov 15) Final Day - Unfortunately we had to checkout at 10, but our ferry transfer didn't leave until 1pm. So after breakfast we left our bags at the front desk and walked down the beach the same way I ran, collecting shells. We had a few beers towards the end and walked back to share lunch before catching our transfer.
The rain picked up just as we climbed into our full 20 person shuttle bus (just for the two of us.) We reached a few bad drainage points where traffic was stopped dead in about two feet of water. Good thing we left early again as we eventually made it to the ferry to check in and board the ship for the 1.5hr ferry in the comfy VIP section upstairs. Most of
which Angie and I both spent with our heads down trying to sleep through the choppy seas (which weren't that choppy), but still too much for us even with Dramamine.
We made it to shore in DAR, grabbed our checked luggage one final time, busted through the dozens of cabbies trying to solicit their services, and walked the 3 blocks to our very nice hotel (New Africa Hotel). After quickly unpacking we headed up one level to the 9th floor Thai restaurant to catch the sunset, which was unfortunately blocked by another building but the views were still pretty. Nobody was in the restaurant yet again but we enjoyed a bottle of wine and the dinner was quite good. We grabbed one more drink at the first floor bar, walked around the sketchy casino, and then went to bed early.
After a quick 4 hour nap, we woke up at 1:30am, got cleaned up and finished packing, and caught a 20 minute cab to the airport to catch our 4am flight for our long journey home. A pretty uneventful 7 hr flight to Istanbul (highlighted by what I believe to be the Tanzania futbol team sharing the flight).
A couple beers during layover in Istanbul, including checkpoint delays due to the G8 Summit being held in Istanbul, another 14hr flight back to LA, about 6-7 movies between the two flights, and we made it back home safe and sound.
Bottom line, the trip was phenomenal and exceeded every expectation. I'm glad we did the "medium" budget lodging but can't even imagine what the "high end" budget lodging would look like. It just feels shameful staying in the places we already were, knowing how poorly the vast majority of the Tanzanians live. Overall, trip of a lifetime, and if you haven't been yet, put it on your list.
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