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Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar
October 26th 2019
Published: March 3rd 2020
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Lunch at the EmersonLunch at the EmersonLunch at the Emerson

...oh man what a feast, amazing food with great views...
After three weeks of constant moving, activities and being on someone else's clock we were certainly looking forward to some R&R on Zanzibar...starting with four days on the beach in Jambiani, we couldn't have picked a more perfect spot to give our poor muscles some down time after the Kili adventure we had just finished...and no more camping! Lol...while I really enjoyed the tenting experience the thought of a proper bed and ensuite for the remainder of our time in East Africa was more than appealing...

Half the climb group were heading to Zanzibar as well, so we hung out together for a bit at the airport before saying our final goodbyes...flight was interesting in the fact that the cruising altitude was actually less than the summit of Kili, that brought some serious perspective to the whole campaign! Touched down after a couple of hours, met up with our prearranged taxi and off we went, sandy beaches and pints soon to follow!

After about an hour of bopping through small towns and countryside we arrived at our stop, the Belvedere...fantastic place the Lovely K had found, and from the time we got out of the taxi until we left four days later the friendliness and service provided by the gang there was top notch...smallish place, only had six A-frame huts and a six unit apartment style complex so plenty of space to ourselves, pool was never crowded and neither was the bar/restaurant which was great...we had booked one of the A-frames, and again after all that camping tears came to my eyes when I first saw it...lol...and just like Bali the bathroom was outside the back of the unit, I love showering in the fresh air!

Race was on to get into shorts/swimsuits and sandals, followed by cold Kilimanjaro beers...we were still pretty tired from the climb, think the Lovely K went for a "nap" late afternoon and that was it for her until morning...rest of the time was really just spent lazing about, a couple of walks up and down the beach (you could walk for miles!), although the island was much hotter than the mainland so wouldn't go too far before turning around and spending time dozing or cooling off in the pool...the beach was pretty shallow, so when the tide went out it really went out (500 meters? More?), and during low tide the local
A-frame at BelvedereA-frame at BelvedereA-frame at Belvedere

...a much welcome sight after the Kili climb!
women would come out to harvest the seaweed left behind, quite the industry apparently...met a great German couple that gave us a good restaurant tip, and had the pleasure of hanging out with them on our final night...

So as you can now gather there was not much to see or do here which was really the attraction of the place for us, apparently there are more lively spots in the North with big resorts and tons of nightlife but we much preferred the quiet hang...and that was the routine for four days, could not have been better...

Sadly our time had come to move on, so with big hugs to Mary and the rest of the gals we said our goodbyes and hopped a taxi for our final stop: Stone Town...

Really the cultural center of Zanzibar, it has a very notorious past as being the trading hub for merchants, pirates and unfortunately slave traders...the old town was really cool, with narrow, winding streets reminiscent of the souks in Morocco...stayed above a lovely cafe in the heart of the action, and arranged a walking tour as soon as we arrived so were able to learn some
Collecting seaweed...Collecting seaweed...Collecting seaweed...

...at low tide...you can see how far the water goes out...
of the history of the place (while dodging monsoon rains!). One of the big landmarks is the birthplace of Freddie Mercury, basically a signed entryway just down the street from where we were staying; with pictures of the late singer as well...I think it may be a museum but not being a Queen fan I didn't really investigate beyond the door...

We only had a day and a half here really so spent most of it wandering the maze of streets and popping into the odd shop...the waterfront is pretty cool, but all in all there isn't much to do...there are day trips to spice plantations, a prison on one of the islands off the coast and some remote beaches but we were done with tours at this point...did manage to find an amazing lunch in the hotel that has the best views of Stone Town (the Emerson on Harumzi), oh man the best meal of the trip...decided to go for lunch as it was quieter (very popular for dinner/sunset, reservations mandatory), it was more of a set menu where you would choose fish, vegetarian etc. and multiple plates would come...we weren't really sure what/how to order, but fortunately
Lovely K...Lovely K...Lovely K...

...wandering the back streets of Stone Town...
our waiter made some suggestions and before long a huge platter of dishes arrived at the table, the smells were heavenly! A variety of curries, we had opted for one fish and one vegetarian order so a really cool variety of flavours, and each one was out of this world...probably the best curries I have ever encountered while traveling: full bodied, some had more kick than others but smooth and silky at the same time, my mouth is watering as I write this...haha...

After meandering through the streets for the balance of the afternoon we settled back into a cool Tapas bar we had discovered the day before (Taperia) for some wine and charcuterie, it was a great perch overlooking the street...a local trio struck up some tunes at one point and we were content for the evening...

Morning was lazy, finished up some last minute shopping and had lunch at a cool seaside hole-in-the-wall before heading back to our hotel and then on to the airport...loved Zanzibar, the perfect spot to unwind after safaris/climbing...the people are fantastic, beaches beautiful, Stone Town was fun, if the island was a bit closer to home I could see visiting often...hope to be back again...

It has now been about four months since we have been back (a little lazy getting these blogs done!) and to be honest I am still digesting the whole experience...looking at some of the pics of animals and vistas from the safaris brings back fantastic memories, and certainly a new perspective watching the wildlife shows of East Africa (hey I think I remember that tree/rock/river etc....lol...). The climb still seems a bit surreal, a great personal accomplishment that I am proud of, although still some remnants of "I can't believe I did that" lingering, even with the photo evidence...haha...and then finally Zanzibar, again one of those exotic sounding dots on a map I have always wanted to see, truly fortunate...

Thanks for reading along!


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Collecting CoconutsCollecting Coconuts
Collecting Coconuts

...actually learned how to distinguish ripe vs. unripe...
Stone TownStone Town
Stone Town

...there's a phone nailed to the post about ten feet off the ground with "Free International Calls" sign above it, made me giggle...
And the rains came...And the rains came...
And the rains came...

...waiting out a big burst of rain on our walking tour...was really happy it happened at the local fish market, smells were great! lol...
Stone TownStone Town
Stone Town

...the cafe we stayed above at the end where the palms are, great spot...
Relaxing at the Emerson...Relaxing at the Emerson...
Relaxing at the Emerson...

...with a cold pint...


12th March 2020

A beautiful location
A location that has interest for us. Thanks for taking us along. Sounds like you had a great time.
6th April 2020

Truly is...
...been on the travel list for a long time now, beautiful place and great folks...

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