Trip Start May 04, 2011
91Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
What I did
Beach, pillow, a novel
I arranged thru the Stone Town hotel to book a $10 transfer up north to the Hilton, my new home for a week
I was met with a cool moist face towel and a porter to take care of my stuff while I checked in. I bet the others on the van didn’t get this treatment when they arrived! The reality is that this place is not that expensive, $207 USD a night includes breakfast AND dinner, free wifi internet and sleeping in the best room they have. My week here cost less than half the 4 nights in Amboseli! The room was perfect (except the shower which was worse than my one in Ghana). The bed is the comfiest ever. And then double doors that open directly out to the elevated private beach and those jaw dropping views. This exceeded expectations and more than matched what I had dreamed of. Made me very happy indeed.
The hotel was only about 15-20% occupancy at my best guess. Dead. Good for me! My daily routine was sleeping til 10 or so, watching ‘Keeping Up Appearances’ on tv (!), getting to buffet breakfast just before it closed at 11 (yes, breakfast closes at 11am!!) and then laying under a thatched cabana all afternoon reading a book. The ocean is warm enough, but could be warmer. Then as the days went by, the tide went further and further out each morning and didn’t come back until 130 or so. Bit annoying, but the pool was always an option and walking out over the sand bars and reef was quite surreal
I enquired about doing a scuba dive and the trainer (a young Italian guy travelling out here with his gf) talked me into doing the course to earn my credentials as an entry level diver up to 12m. When planning the trip I had thought about doing this, but I understood it takes 3 days and I couldn’t bear to sacrifice 3 morning sleep-ins. But this guy trimmed the course to 1.5 days and an 815am wake-up wasn’t so tough to deal with! The course consisted of watching DVD theory, quizzes, practice in the pool, and then on day 2 my first ever dive! There was a 2nd dive in the afternoon followed by an open book exam and voila I have now done something productive on my 7 nights of relaxation! I did have a blocked nose, but the instructor said I would be fine and could always cease if I couldn’t equalise my ears. Fortunately, I woke up on the day of the 2 dives feeling much better. I had one minor moment of panic when underwater when I sensed I was losing my breath, but I just focussed and looked to my instructor for reassurance and all went well
I arranged a late check-out and organised for the hotel driver to take me to the airport for $70 at 130pm. At this point, I couldn’t be bothered arranging something cheaper or doing the shared van thing. Just get me in one piece to the airport on time. We exited the hotel gates where I’d been living in luxury for a week and then drove the poor streets of Nungwi, which makes it hard to rationalise why they should live so basically while 5 star resorts fringe their beaches and people like me come here to spend more in a week than what they might dream of earning in a month. One local guy asked why I (and other tourists) would spend money to come all the way from Australia to his shores when he’d heard that we have equally as nice beaches? I didn’t have an answer for him.
So, my 2012 beach trip was great. I didn’t get as much sleep as I wanted (I think my days of sleeping solidly for 12 hrs are over I’m afraid...I’m surprised they lasted this far into my 20’s actually) and this head cold was a real buzz kill. But, it is nice to know that these postcard perfect places exist in real life.