Spicing it up...
Trip Start Dec 22, 2011
129Trip End Apr 18, 2012
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Where I stayed
We knew that we would have to move rooms... and after breakfast, Rebecca the dimpled receptionist appeared and said we would have to move to Amber Room. Well, we had done some pre-research and eventually found the Amber chamber... up several flights , round the corner and down and up and down ... No. I was not excited about moving to Amber at all. I am sure the room itself is splendid, but the trek there and back made me feel limp.
So our bags were moved to North Room.
North room is on the 3rd floor, (puff, puff) up 68 steep stairs, but is a lovely room with a small balcony and a BATH OPEN TO THE STARS!!! Result.
We moved in before meeting John, our driver to take us on the Spice Tour.
John was a jolly guy who spoke excellent English, referring to us as being from Blighty.
After several no shows we did eventually find a petrol station which had some. They all seem to be operated by Muslim women, which looks to my Surrey eye a little weird.
Turning off the main drag into the spice hill area, John handed us over to Mohammed who was to be our Spice Tour Guide. Mohammed came with Ali, his side kick, brought along to do the climbing trees act.
Mohammed stopped by a bush or plant and asked "ok, so what is this?" We guessed wildly. "Wrong!" Mohammed grinned broadly. Another couple of ignorant tourists
Sesame, peppermint, cardamon, vanilla, kapok, pepper, turmeric, ginger, chillis... our score was pretty pathetic. Ali was sent up trees to collect bits for us, as we were draped with bracelets, a necklace, ring, tie and eventually hats all woven out of leaves as we were dressed as Spice King & Queen like prize lemons. Classic.
The tour ended with a tropical fruit feast as we tasted a range of some of the fruits they grow there, chewing and sucking and discarding the skins onto a woven plate on the mud floor.
I had been given a "woven basket" which we filled at the spice "supermarket".. all cheap cheap prices, double what they were sold for in the standard market in town.
North Room was a real treat which had to be thoroughly tested, before Tusking it right up on the roof whilst waiting for yet another no show sunset. Yesterday we had strolled down to the sea wall where Stone Town congregates at night to eat and parade. We had been hauled in by George the Fisherman and duly chosen fish kebabs, breads, and falafel of which in uncomfortably short order I had a second viewing as I added the Zanzibari gallops to my repertoire. However, Immodium is mighty stuff, so this sport had not caused us to alter our plans at all and we headed off to test one of the other of the many stalls heaving with exotic looking food.
Once more, a delicious selection... calamari, tuna, barracuda, octopus, beef, chips, coconut bread, samosa...
Full as full we wound our back to the hotel to enjoy a bath under the stars.
[Pics to follow]