Thursday, 29 September 2016

Zanzibar: Part 2

Day 3, 15 Sept 2016


I really enjoyed this particular day! Learned so much, experienced so much, it resonated with me...especially quiet moments on a boat just taking everything in. Appreciating the beauty and the simpler way of making a life. Gratitude and awareness.

We started the day at Tangawizi Spice Farm where got a proper introduction and demonstrations on how several spices are planted and sourced for household or medical use. It was really interesting to see how vanilla is extracted, or the root of a particular tree (of which I can't remember the name) smells just like Vicks and clears all the airways! And chocolate (cocoa) really does grow on trees, so it qualify as a healthy fruit in my books :) After that we had some fresh fruits, coconut milk/meat which Mr "Butterfly" man got himself by climbing (and singing) up the coconut tree! It was an amazing sight. We got "crowns" and "bags" made from leaves and a crab like spider decided to run around on Chris's head as a result!

After that we headed to Stone Town, which is the old part of Zanzibar City, the main city of Zanzibar. This atmospheric and mystical town is the cultural and historical heart of the island.
I just love old buildings, history, interesting architecture and the vibrant people within the city. It is a photographer's dream if you are into historical buildings. I think I took about 50% of all the pictures during those hours! :)
One word: Organized chaos. All the buses, taxis, scooters, dala-dala's and bicycles somehow manage to go around the round about and make it to the other end. There are only 3 or 4 traffic lights in the city so you get the picture.
We first went to the Old Slave Market for some insight regarding the old slave trade back in the day. Then we set off on foot through the markets and got to see historical sites and architecture. The beautiful hand crafted doors got me carried away with the camera! As you walk through the labyrinth of streets too narrow for cars to pass, there are shops and mosques, hotels and restaurants all huddled together. Too often Chris had to pull me to the side as the scooters and bicycles have free range through the maze of streets. Off course I bought a scarf to add to my always growing collection.

I had the most fragrant tea at Zanzibar Coffee House - Lemon Grass & Ginger tea....yum!
As we made our way to the harbor you could see and feel the electric vibe and the colorfulness of the people. It was the last day of celebrating Eid so all the woman and children were dressed in their best. At the harbor we waited till 5 until we got on a traditional dhow boat complete with a musical pair playing a concertina. We set sail and cruised around, experiencing our first magical sunset in Zanzibar. Words cannot describe it, so let me not try. The pictures will speak for itself.
When we came back the festivities in Stone Town were in full swing and I'm glad we got to experience another culture's religious rituals.

Day 4, 16 Sept 2016


This were one of those days where you rather not convert from USD to ZAR and the "we are only doing this once in our lifetime" kind of moments. Magical moments worth every penny.

This experience was on my to do list for Zanzibar, and although a pricey outing it was well worth it. The Rock has a unique position, perched on a rock in the Indian Ocean not too far from the shore of the beautiful Michanwi Pingwe beach. When we got there the tide was a bit high, so we had to take a boat to the island. When the tide is low there is a pathway that leads you to the restaurant.

When we got there we first went to have a cocktail on the terrace, overlooking the breathtakingly beautiful views of the ocean. Turquoise mixing with blue waters and we could clearly see the fish in the water. What a treat. We then went to our table and I ordered the vegetable green curry and Chris ordered the beef. It's a very cosy, small restaurant, accommodating only 12 tables if I'm correct. The food really was delicious, especially my curry and mister had order envy for the first time since we started dating. A fragrant dish I could easily make myself for half the price, but it was the moment that counted and that we were blessed enough in the first place to experience it. The beef's not too bad, but if you want beef, come to South Africa.
After we finished our meal and chatted to an Australian couple we headed out and had to take the boat again as the tide was really high now.

It really was an unforgettable experience and can add the "I ate on a rock in the middle of the ocean" to my list. A must do if you visit Zanzibar!

As it was on our route back to the resort we popped into the Jozani Chwaka Bay National park for a quick tour that turned out to be very interesting. We spotted the rare Red Colobus monkey that is only found in Zanzibar and experienced the tranquility of the mangroves and groundwater forest that is found at the coast.