Indian Ocean Paradise
Trip Start Sep 08, 2007
68Trip End Apr 30, 2008
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After Basel I went back to Geneva and hung out with Nat some more. We went to the always exciting Red Cross Museum (it was actually somewhat interesting, but I definitely beg to differ with those who would like to rank it in some kind of European Top 10!). After taking some pictures and making plenty of inappropriate comments ("Wow, a lot of places really suck" after looking at the wall listing all the disasters and wars around the world - Canada just had one, the Winnipege munitions explosion a la Heritage Minuite commercial)
Anyway, made the flight in Zurich to Nairobi, with a connection on to Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania where I booked myself into a nice business hotel to sort things out. They were super helpful and got me set up with a ferry ticket over to Zanzibar and even helped me get a new SIM card for my phone. I also followed their advice (as well as that of several others who had been to the archipelago) and booked a place on the east coast of the main island (I forget the name of it, but NOT Pemba) in a beach area near the village of Paje. The woman who owned the place even had a driver meet me in Stone Town to drive me the 1.5 hour ride (for which I'm pretty sure they forgot to charge me!).
The island is exactly what this entry's title suggests: whitest sand beaches I've ever seen, turquoise waters, and super friendly staff everywhere
As some of you might have seen from my Facebook, I did in fact take the plunge and do my PADI SCUBA diving certification off the coast - in the Indian Ocean!!! my Divemaster took me to a couple of different place along the east coast and it was just INCREDIBLE! I was soooo happy I was able to do it, and because it certifies you for life, I can take the opportunity to do some more diving in South Africa and Thailand when I get there!
Other than the diving, I pretty much just relaxed on the beach. There were lots of tours and stuff, but I just really felt like enjoying the beach sands and reading a few books I'd picked up in Geneva. I did meet a few people here and there, including a very friendly couple (not THAT friendly, come on people) who took me out to dinner (pity for someone travelling on their own which I was only too happy to exploit). He was from Zambia and moving to Poland to be with his Polish girlfriend (or wife, wasn't sure). We ended up sitting at a resto at another hotel and the owner joined us (actually the owner's mother who was watching the place while her daughter was in Europe on vacation) who sat and was quite amusingly politcally incorrect about almost everything you could think of (with a rather dismissive Parisien accent which made it all the better) - thus making for an enjoyable evening!
Well, all good things must end, and so I had my last breakfast, caught a few more pics of the beach, and headed to Zanzibar airport.