|Getting on the plane to paradise.|
|Stone Town Beach.|
|Idiocy at its best.|
|View from the bungalow.|
|Not bad for $22 per night!|
|The extreme tides of Zanzibar.|
|Oh you know, just walking out to sea.|
|Bow chicka bow wow!|
|Almost TOO pleasant.|
|Good morning sun!|
|Could be worse, I guess.|
|This beach boy had a beach monkey.|
|Zanzibar - the postcard island|
|Zanzibar is probably one of the few places in the world where no one gives a crap when your ride a dirt bike right down onto the beach and go cruising.|
|One of the wonderful places we discovered on our journey.|
For nearly eight hours we rode around the island, checking out the sites and seeing what Zanzibar had to offer. It was a perfect day, with glorious sunshine, and a cool breeze. We covered a pretty big portion of the island, traversing nearly 90 miles of road and beach over the course of the day. I gotta give respect where it is due, my wonderful lady bravely hung on to my back as I flew down the highway, explored dirt roads, and went for cruises on the white sand beaches. It was a wonderful experience that I will never forget, and the best part about it is that nobody got hurt.
We had a cheap tourist map of the island which showed the attractions that it offered. One of the sights listed was the oldest mosque in Zanzibar. We were intrigued and decided to make our way down to Kizimkazi on the southern tip of the island. Kizimkazi is where tourists frequently go to swim with the dolphins. By "swim," I mean some locals take you out on a boat, chase down a dolphin, and then dump you in the water before it swims away. The dolphins are wild and are probably sick of beach boys chasing them with boats, and it is rare that a swimmer actually gets close to the creatures. As we arrived on the beach at Kizimkazi, we were instantly assaulted by about 50 men, women, and children trying to sell us wooden trinkets and offering to take us out on their boast. We lasted about ten minutes before getting back on our bikes and leaving the area, they were entirely too aggressive for our taste and were ruining our day.
|A beautiful beach in Zanzibar. Right before we were assaulted by annoying people.|
We then made our way to the mosque, failing to find it at first. We knew that we were in the right area, but couldn't quite locate it. We rode through the same small village several times before we stopped and asked a man for directions. He told us to ride back down the road we had just been on, insisting that the mosque was there. When we returned we noticed a small sign that we had overlooked, proclaiming the site of the mosque. There was nothing left but a rough foundation, with the basis of the original walls sticking a couple feet out of the ground. Next to it was a small building that was being repainted, apparently a modern mosque. We were expecting an old building, and found nothing but a few foundation stones, no wonder we had missed it. We learned real quickly that the man-made attractions of Zanzibar definitely leave something to be desired, and the true beauty of the island lies in its natural sites.
|Right side up gecko, upside down world.|
We returned to our lodge and gave the bikes back to their rightful owners. After dinner we quickly fell asleep, waking up early to pack down our stuff. In the morning, we went to Stone Town, the capital city of Zanzibar, and the site of hundreds of years of history. The taxi ride to Stone Town took a little over an hour, with us passing bustling markets and vendors selling goods. Soon we arrived in the city, and decided to get a drink to start off our day on the right foot. Unfortunately, we chose a hotel that didn't serve any alcohol so we were forced to throw back some ice cold cokes instead. Delicious, delicious, Coca Colas.
As we sat and enjoyed our drinks, we marveled at a large boat that simply pulled up to the beach next to the fishing and diving boats, was tied to a concrete block, and began to load and unload goods. It was a strange sight to see while eating breakfast.
|The cows were confused as well.|
After breakfast, we wandered the small and winding streets of Zanzibar and bought some choice goods from small shops. There was a wonderful wealth of wooden chests, photo frames, and ornate boxes, as well as the usual tourists shops selling the same crap that can be found in any country in Africa. We picked our way through the trash, eventually deciding on some small boxes and a cool folding bookshelf made out of unfinished wood, and sold by two men sitting in a small workshop reading the daily newspaper.
|Old building in Stone Town|
After wandering the streets and purchasing our goods, we hopped in a taxi and made our way to the airport, excited to return home to Northern Tanzania. After waiting in some long lines and dealing with the usual security BS, we finally got on the plane and flew home. As is often the case, I soon felt like I needed a vacation from my vacation, arriving at my apartment more tired than when I left.
I would like to say that I had the sweetest tan in the office when I went back to work, but since I work with a bunch of Tanzanians, even that wasn't the case. I wil have to try harder next time!