Monday, March 30, 2009

Zanzibar

Zanzi

After a sleepless night in Dar, caused mainly due to ridiculous humidity a pack of hungry mosquitoes that had made a home in Dave and I’s tent, making it feel like you were tying to sleep in soup we made our way to Zanzibar.

On board our luxury liner (which proved anything but) we begun to sweet it out. With out AC the air was thick heavy and airless (is that possible?).

With Dave beside me carefully fanning me with the newspaper I feel asleep in his arms and thankfully missed most of the journey. At port I was surprised to have to hand over my passport…. We were still in Tanzania…. Weren’t we? Zanzibar signed a declaration of unity wit Tanganyika in 1964 creating the united republic of Tanzania.

The port art Stone Town was busy, women in colourful hijabs roamed, men with skull caps and heads with big mosque bruises dominated. The light was hot an harsh and the sky perfectly blue.

On return of our passports we set off on foot to the Safari lodge located down one of Zanzibar’s labyrinth like lanes. As we wandered you could be forgiven for thinking that you had stepped back in time. Stone Town famous for being the commercial centre of the Spice Islands was once home to one of Africa’s largest slave markets which saw 17 million people sent off to the Middle East in the 400 years proceeding Livingstone’s courageous petition to the motherland which outlawed the practice in the 1960;s.

Stone Town has oodles of charm, decorative doorways and a feeling tat not much has hanged lately. Distinctly middle eastern in architecture d├ęcor or dress it feels very exotic and a million miles from my imagining of what Africa was like before the trip.

After checking into the Safari we went for a walk to a local restaurant where I ordered some Pilau rice (a delicious cardamom flavoured dish). Afterwards despite the tempeture pushing 40 degrees and an inhumane humidity level we set of on a tour of the Slave market, cathedral and spice plantation.

Dave decided to stay behind with his brother and sample some local brew at Mercury’s bar on the dock- FYI Freddie Mercury of Queen fame was born on the island and is the local legend.

Our tour of the island was very good- who knew that doctor Livingstone was so busy… not only was he responsible for discovering the source of the Nile, tramping into deepest darkest Congo he found time to utilise his influence to end the abhorrent practice of slavery too…. Definitely the next biography I read.

I was really impressed with the Spice tour- I had never seen what spics look like before they are put into those cute little jars at the supermarket.

That night we watched Dave’s beloved Liverpool take on my favourite team Villa at Mercury’s and saw Liverpool assert their dominance winning 5:0. Afterwards Dave and I had our first argument and it was horrible…. I was in a mood and he took the full force of my anger…. Luckily his forgiveness was close at hand and aside from feeling rather embarrassed and annoyed at myself for the way I unfairly acted in what I label ‘my rebel hour’.

The next morning we drove deep into the island’s interior and stopped at Kendwa beach, a small sea front which is paradise.

With beautiful endless white sandy beaches, clear aquamarine waters that you can se forever through….. I was in bliss with my lovely handsome liverpudlian beside me.

If I have ever been to a postcard perfect panorama this was it.

With 3 days up our sleeves I encouraged Dave to arrange a boys day out as a chance for him to do some bonding (aka drinking) with his brother as some how I felt like I may have hijacked Rob’s holiday and stolen his brother….

I took the opportunity to snorkelling with the girls and whilst I was having perfectly lovely time exploring a nearby atoll, watching dolphins swim and catching some rays Dave and his lads were getting hammered. I returned to one very drunk scouser passed out at the beach bar. Seems that the boys did more drinking than fishing and caught only one measly fish between 9 of them… but they had an amazing time.

Later that afternoon after Dave had sobered up we went sunset swimming. It was nicer than words watching the sun set over the sea and hard not to wish time would stop and we could be together like that forever. As we watched the sun show us her magic turning the sky all the colours of the rainbow before departing I decided that our sunset swim was my favourite moment of the trip ….

Our final day at Zanzibar was marred by two things….

1. I thought I could have Malaria- somewhere between dinner and sleep the night before I had developed a fever and a general malaise overwhelmed me. I awoke the next morning feeling pretty rubbish but thankfully with out a fever, instead I had all the signs of a cold (which coincidently are the same symptoms of Malaria). I took the opportunity to chat to my group leader who said he doubted I had it but he did request I monitor myself and at the onset of any fever go to the hospital (so you don’t worry it had been 5 days since this and I have felt progressively better every day so no need to worry!!!).
2. Dave was leaving in less than 36 hours and that thought is just plain cruel. How would I survive with out his energy, enthusiasm and likability until he came to Sydney??? NOTE- I am no closer to working this out 3 days since our last hug.


After a lazy morning spent dosing up on panadol and tissues for my runny nose Dave and I had a quiet afternoon getting henna tattoos, swimming, sun baking and playing a dice game called Zilch. Dave and caught the last of the sunset together and I tried to keep a brave face.

Later that night at dinner, Dave got really sad to be leaving and I did my best to cheer him up with bad jokes which did the trick.

Later still, Dave and I went for a moonlight swim and it as MAGIC, so still was the water and so active the plankton I thought I was swimming in a pool full of diamonds and a sexy liverpudlian.

No comments: