Zanzibar!

Trip Start Jul 14, 2002
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77
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Trip End Dec 17, 2007


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Flag of Tanzania  ,
Tuesday, February 20, 2007

From Dar Es Salaam Rachel and I got the ferry over to Zanzibar Island. It is like a paradise island, something that I have never seen before. The sea was turquoise and the sand white. It was beautiful. We went for a wander around Stone Town, where the ferry dropped us. There is a real middle eastern influence here so the shops sell painted cloths and paintings and I bought a skirt. I don't think I have ever been anywhere so hot before and I spent the entire 4 days here sweating! After wandering around Stone Town we watched the sun set over the ocean. The following day Rachel headed to the north of the island to hit the beach but I went south to go dolphin spotting. We went out in a little boat until we saw the fins moving in and out of the water. Then we put on our masks and fins and jumped in. It was amazing. The dolphins were jumping all around me, swimming underneath me and I could hear their clicks and whistles. At one point one surfaced so close to me that I could have reached out and touched it. The sea was beautifully clear and turquoise and the sun was shining. It was beautiful. I even saw some red monkeys on the way back.

Back in Stone Town I went on a tour and saw the slave markets (no longer used) and the prison. Then I headed up to the north to join Rachel. Our hotel was right next to the beach and once again the sea was warm and blue. It was perfect, very romantic. I felt like I should be on my honeymoon. I lounged on the beach with Rachel and swam in the sea. In the evening we went to a seafood restaurant which was delicious.

The following day I went for a wander along the beach at low tide to look at the starfish, and I saw lots of women collecting shells. Then Rachel and I went scuba diving. Our dive gear was carried on a cart pulled by a cow which I found quite amusing. The sea was pretty rough so it was difficult to walk into without falling over. I got swept away and accidentally stung by a sea urchin which was ridiculously painful and I couldn't stop crying. Then I got stung by a jellyfish, but that was not quite as painful as the sea urchin. The journey to our dive location was bumpy so a few people got seasick. But we soon arrived at a calm shallow area with the most vivid blue sea I have ever seen. There was a tiny island with a palm tree in the background and it looked like paradise. I did two dives and saw loads of turtles and multicoloured fish which was pretty cool. I got really close to the turtles, which were about half the size of me. We had fruit for lunch and then headed back to the hotel.

The next day I lounged on the beach, topping up my tan and wandered round the shops selling paintings. My foot still hurt from the sting so I had to lie down (shame!) on the sand for most of the day. In the evening we went on a cruise around the area which was nice, and we saw the sun set. Unfortunately the boat owner totally ripped us off and did not supply enough drink, and he promptly did a runner when we returned to shore. Oh well. We returned to Dar Es Salaam the following morning.
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