The last night after returning from summiting Mount Kilimanjaro we went a bit wild in a local taverna with way too much beer and mouthwatering local delicacies. The evening ran much too long and bidding my new found friends farewell the next morning is a teary and sad undertaking.
The majority of our joyful travel group is headed towards safari – I am off to Zanzibar!!
I am super excited to swim, dive, sun and read – and just that. I have booked myself into Matemwe Beach Village. My beachfront bungalow is cozy, clean and quiet and I am planning my three days ahead.
Thursday nothing but pool and books.
Friday two dives.
And Saturday finally a small Stonetown tour only to then already head back to Shanghai.
After a full week of having a hot cup of tea at 6.30am in my sleeping bag, I now decide to stick with the early-bird routine. It’s easy, because my guesthouse offers tea and coffee at the beach in time for sunrise every morning.
The colors and reflections of the rising sun during low tide are spectacular and also village life seems to start early. Women are out fishing, kids are riding the bikes to school and I am the only tourist on the beach in miles.
My day at the pool is perfect. Relaxing, daydreaming and the occasional swim make for the best day. The Matemwe Beach Village doesn’t have to many guests, in total there is 8 of us. I am the only solo traveler and the other guests are all ‘middle aged’ (side note: am I middle aged? When exactly does the middle age start and end?) couples in their early retirement years. I am being semi-adopted by a lovely Swedish couple whom I now have my meals with for the time being.
I’m happy I booked the diving trip for day 2, as a light sunburn has surfaced and a second day at the pool would surely turn me into a lobster-colored mess.
While the diving in Zanzibar has a great reputation and the European helpers, who spend their high school graduation summer / year here to live their adventure are stoked about what we’ll see under water… Two dives later, I am content, yet not overtly excited – living in Asia obviously has me spoiled as I am not too impressed by the three lion fish and two eels that we saw (ok, ok.. obviously we saw more than that, but no big fish, no rare fish and visibility was so so). Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia clearly win here.
Finally I head out to my Stonetown tour prior to going to the airport. The lady from our Safari & Summit Lodge in Arusha kindly organized me a ‘friend’, who is now picking me up. He is chatty, speaks great English and apparently has also driven Prince Charles around already. (drop me a message and I am happy to share his contact).
He is super resourceful and hooks me up with a guide for the afternoon, who takes me to the local markets, the slave trade memorial, the church that Livingston built, and through town, where Indian architecture meets the Arabian one.. A very interesting and lively town. Here tourists are plenty and I am glad I stayed away from the masses during the previous days.
See the full album here.