Our second day in Stone Town was fascinating in that it poured buckets of rain most of the day - the narrow little alley ways were like small rivers with only God knows what floating in them - we hiked up our trousers so not to get them wet. We decided immediately that we wanted to fly back instead of taking the ferry and having to stay a night in Dar... luckily, we were able to do it - good old Coastal Aviation had a morningflight to connect us in time, so an extra night in stone town instead of Dar - thank goodness. We shopped a bit then went to the Serena Hotel which was lovely and just down on the water for a cappucino and much to our suprise a copy of the economist!
After being excited by our tickets, we decided to try and splurge on our last night in Stone Town by going to Emerson and Green - unfortunately - or fortunately for our budget - they had nothing available on Saturday night - however we booked into their restaurant on our last night called the Top Tower.
We had dinner at a place called the Two Tables - literally, a guy's house with two tables on a covered porch where he served us about 6 courses of food - we sat at a table with 3 swedish ladies, and 3 americans who were in Tanzania "assessing" some environmental projects... as I was reading Dark Star Safari - I was quite anti- aid agency at the moment... they were very stereotypical - and I was shocked that after 3 weeks in Africa they had not even tried Ugali. It was a really enjoyable evening though.
6 - 8 November 2004
We went up in the morning to the East coast of the island to a place called Matemwe Beach Village where both Nicky and Will as well as Steve and Caroline had stayed before us. The ride was quick and dirty - as many of these things are - but we did make it there in one piece. We were welcomed with a drink and told by the very friendly staff that the slogan for our stay was "no shoes, no news" and they weren't kidding! It was totally remote and the only place there... the boma was lovely with lots of place to sit and read many coffee table books on safari chic and the like - fuelling our home redecoration. The sand was as fine and white as I have ever seen it and the sea was totally clear and so warm. We settled into our room which was lovely with a nice shower and bathroom, and we were both very contented. At this rate, we might have to come back by February!!
We spent the three days there waking around 8, having breakfast, relaxing after breakfast, sitting on the beach until lunchtime, maybe going for a swim, reading by the sea, having lunch, having another rest to look at more books, going for a walk, reading some more (or catching up on my writing!), showering around 4, dressing for dinner and playing scrabble in the boma with a gin and tonic, chatting to the other guests, having dinner and going off to bed no later than 9 to start all over again the next day!
The food was traditional and good, we ate lots of seafood, there were some lovely kitties and kittens there that made themselves at home on our laps, we met some nice american people who basically just sold their home etc in california to do a round the world trip (don and johanne) Also, Gareth and Jessie, who happened to live down the street from us in Swiss Cottage. No one bothered us and it was utterly relaxing.
9 - 12 November 2004
After 3 lovely nights at Matemwe, we were moving to the North (actually just north east of Nungwi) to Kendwa - to a place called La Rosa dei Venti - a place recommended by both Don Baxter and Allesandro Alagna. We stayed in a bungalow there - it was pretty basic but quite large.
Kendwa is much more populated than Matemwe - there were about 5 places along the stretch of beach where we were located. Our place was large but basic - and it seemed a bit out of place relative to the others. Francesco, the owner, asked us to place our dinner orders in the morning so that he can ensure he will be able to get the stuff we wanted for dinner. The sand was still white and the water still blue and warm, just not so deserted, which I didn't like as much. On our first night, we had a lovely grilled fish dinner and bruschetta - plus fried eggplant that reminded me of being a kid again.
The next morning, we walked about 3km up the beach in the morning to Nungwi - where sherry and dennis had gotten trapped by the incoming tide. We just about made it there... the walk was lovely, and the beaches between the two villages was lovely. It was VERY hot and after a relaxing lunch, we took a water taxi back as the tide was too high to walk. We went into a similar rhythm as at Matemwe - so we won't bore any more with the details!
We met a guy called either Gerard or Jihad - with his french accent we never quite got it - who invited us for dinner. He was working for a French aid organisation in Burundi and was here on holiday - he was Palestinian and we had a very interesting conversation with him... he was educated at the Sorbonne - but hadn't seen his family in more than 5 years. He earned about $10,000 / year... which is quite different than what most of the US aid agencies paid to their employees. We drank quite a bit for a change - and went to bed after 10 - very late for us!
Our last day was spent swimming on the deserted part of curved beach, topping up our tans, and watching a lovely sunset with Jonathan doing a bit of a photo shoot. I Francesco finally was able to find us some white wine to go with a whole grilled red snapper that was the most succulent (Jonathan's word!) delicious fish i think i have ever eaten. It was stuffed lightly with ginger, garlic, caraway seeds - it was lovely. Upon leaving, I told Francesco, apparently in a very slurred voice that it was not only the best fish i had ever eaten, but the best food.... anyway, it was a nice way to finish the relaxing bit of our trip.
The children walked along the beach asking if we wanted fruit, or fish... and people walked along with live lobsters asking if we wanted them for dinner.... the ladies walked about asking if i wanted my hair braided, henna tatoos or massage.
13 - 14 November 2004
We left early in the morning to go back to Stone Town up the very interesting road from Kendwa. We checked back into Baghani - into room 7 and went for a lovely coffee and pizza at Cafe Mia Amore.. .which was fantastic and run by a milanese couple. We finished our relaxing time in Zanzibar having dinner at the the Top of the Tower restaurant at Emerson & Green hotel - where we watched the sunset and had a lovely meal. There was live entertainment, and true to form, Jonathan once again proved to me that he was INDEED John Travolta and got up to dance a strange African gyrating move that I don't think he had time to perfect!
Next stop, India