Paje - East Coast Beach Experience

Trip Start Nov 03, 2011
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Trip End Dec 10, 2011


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Flag of Tanzania  , Zanzibar Archipelago,
Wednesday, November 30, 2011



Got up this am and tried to get packed some before breakfast.  Saw Kellie & Matt and said goodbye again.  Juliet had gone out and met me at the restaurant and we went for a brief walk to see the sunlight on the boats up the beach.  There were clouds coming over the water.  After I packed & went to reception to wait for the shuttle, the dark clouds moved in over the hotel and made a stunning landscape through the arches.  I tried to capture the hotel woman staff in their colorful sarongs and head scarves but didn't really succeed.

We finally got going on the right shuttle when the travel agent guy came, then we picked up more people, including Herbert.  Herbert still hadn't gotten his airplane ticket so he was stressed when we stopped in Stone Town to get our tickets to Dar es Salaam...for cash to get the discount.  Then we were off to the east without Herbert.  Juliet started talking to the young German student in the front seat...it turned out that he was an exchange student in Dar es Salaam just finishing his mid-terms and had plans to work in an NGO in water resource management so he could travel.  Patrick was staying at Teddy's, a budget place in Paje so we checked it out after the shuttle people showed us another hotel with more upscale rooms.  Juliet & I haven't yet worked out how long we will stay here because she wants 2 nights here and I want 2 nights in Stone Town.  We settled in our room, went out for lunch (I had prawns in sweet chili sauce and she had prawns in a curry).  No photos taken unless Juliet did.

We took a walk on the beach as the tide came in....on this side the tides are rather extreme and the sand stretched almost as far as the horizon when we first got here.  It has come in a lot since then and you can't see the perpendicular sand strips that were visible earlier.  I wished I had had my camera then.  Never did get a photo of this phenomenon.  Paje is on the East Coast, which has a reputation for being beautiful and more low-key than the other beach areas on Zanzibar.

Oh, I forgot...there was a big rainstorm when we were driving from the North to Stone Town and then to the east.  The streets were flooded.  I hope that the rainwater isn't so dirty that the abrasion on my big toe gets infected by it.  By the time we got to Paje, the sun came out and it was almost dry.

We have an interesting room here....we face the ocean, with the thatched umbrellas and beach beds in front of us.  There is no veranda and only one chair but you can open the screened windows to feel as if you are outside.  That is what I am doing now while I type up my notes for today.  We have a big bed with mosquito net and a mosquito coil and a spiffy new bathroom with glass bowl sink on the vanity and a walled-in shower area in the doorless bath alcove next to our door to go outside.  The floor and walls are wood and the roof is thatch.  It would be nice to have another chair....since I appropriated this one, Juliet is outside on the rope beds without the 500 shilling mattress.  We'll go for an evening swim soon.  Not sure about dinner.  We are beginning to feel the money flying through our fingers but I hate to miss this opportunity for fresh shellfish and seafood.

We walked along the beach and were approached by several Maasai men selling jewelry and carvings.  One man's sister did massage and we met her too.  These guys are quite persistent.  They said they were here for 3 months but were from Kilimanjaro.  They invited us to their village to see what it is like to be a Maasai woman.  The women supposedly don't have to work as hard as they did 20 years ago.  I found out that they make cheese from the milk of their herd animals.  I don't remember seeing any of it, but maybe that is what we had in some of our camp meals - like a cross between string cheese and mozzarella.

I can't remember if we went for a swim or not, but we did got to the African BBQ restaurant up the road for dinner.  We had Bob Marley music and got grilled calamari with chips, i.e., french fries,  for dinner with a Safari beer...the beer was cold for a change.  The calamari was in longish strips that looked like plantains to me at first - very good.  The owner came over to talk to us about the Rastafarians and Obama and said how happy he was when Obama was elected....we have heard that before.  Then he asked whether Obama would be reelected so we talked politics for awhile. 

After dinner, we walked back after trying to learn the Swahili for good night from some young man on the road.  I tried it on the gateman and he laughed.

I think I must have left my cameras behind because I have so few photos.  I thought I took at least one photo of the flooded streets but maybe I will find it somewhere else.  Apparently the only photos I took dated today were really tomorrow morning, but I will leave them - they are sunrise, but could be sunset, and I'll add some of Juliet's photos so that it evens out the days a bit.

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