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Archive for december, 1998

Bye Bye Zanzibar (and Tanzania)

december 18th, 1998 Comments off

MEMORABLOG: 18.12. 1998

So, one month has passed. And a maiden trip overseas in almost over. Bought many souvernirs. I bought a wooden elephant, Adi bought a huge lion. Last evening we tried lobster in our familiar open-market restaurant.

Coming back to Dar was a bit of shock… after peace of Zanzibar we came to hustle and bustle of Dar. Our bargaing tactics improved and were excellent and soon we got a taxi to airport. Actually, we came to the airport some 4 hours before the flight. But that didn’t puzzle us. We had some food on us, and therefore it was time for a picnic just outside the airport… not that was the best looking place to have picnic, but it was certainly the most convenient 🙂 we even bought some fresh fruit for the trip…

As I can remember from the airport, are x-ray controls and uncomfy chair in the waiting lounge 🙂 Flight back was also uneventful, though I really missed “european” food… not, that BA has such good food, just i missed some junk food… 🙂 When we arrived to London it was early morning, and our flight was in the evening. Lets go again to the city centre… This time we had a breakfast with us. And we made ourselves another picnic… in Victoria Coach station… not because it was nice, but because it was handy 🙂 We opened coconuts (usually smashing them to the curve) and cut pineapples… Later we went around the city, but december in London was cold. And coming from +35C to 10C was a shock… Lunch was in all-you-can-eat Pizza hut… not extremly tasty, but it was unlimited. I other guest around were just wondering who are these two maniacs that are stuffing themselves with pizzas… Probably Pizza Hut didn’t make too much of profit out of us…

Later in the evening we had a flight back. Problem one. We sat in the plane for 1 hour, when we were informed that we have to change planes, as this one is having technical difficulties. So, we set off London some two hours later. Originally we were due to arrive to Ljubljana around 11 pm. But of course we didn’t, and my uncle that was waiting for us went home. Problem two. We couldn’t land in Ljubljana due to fog. So we landed in Trieste, some 120km away… and we finally arrived to Ljubljana city centre, at 3:30am… Problem three. It was -15C. It was coooold. And what to do when waiting for a train back home. No problem, we went to 24hours fast food joint (burek) and stuffed our veins with more greasy food… nice… felt really being back home :)))

Until next time… :))

file0149

Back in Stonetown

december 17th, 1998 Comments off

MEMORABLOG: 16.12-17.12. 1998

In the last “Stonetown” entry I almost didn’t mention anything about the town itself. Stone town is regarded as Zanzibar’s capital. The town was named after the coral stone buildings, largely built during the 19th century. The town is known for it’s narrow alleyways, large carved wooden doors and covered balconies. The doors are part of the Swahili culture and were largely influenced by Arab and especially Indian motifs. The large brass studs on the doors became decoration after having served as spike covers to protect the inhabitants from elephant raids during the Indian wars. The town currently house over 16,000 people and is home to 51 mosques, 6 Hindu temples and 2 Christian churches. The people are extremely diverse and fascinating.

What is annoying in Stonetown, are the touts… they see you from a far, almost smell you. You really cannot avoid them, but when you are a few days on Zanzibar its easy not to get hassled (especially if you did most of tours, have a hotel and already have a ticket back to Dar). And some are quite friendly…

In any aspect, Stonetown is a “souvenir” shopping paradise… You can get everything you can get on the mailand, and more… and for lower prices 🙂 But, our time on the island ticking away, and soon we’ll have to depart back to the mailand. Actually, we decided to stay an extra day, and go the airport directly from the island and not to see more in deep Dar itself… so, i leave myself Dar es Salaam for the next time..

I was struck by one thing in Zanzibar. If Thailand is a paradise for men, Zanzibar is for women. Its really not uncommon to see a woman with a young black guy. When we were staying in Paje, a woman came with “a driver”. Well… he looked like 18 or younger, she was 50+. They shared the room, while… well… he didn’t eat with her. When she went back to the room, he also went. Ok, don’t know who was using who, but i guess those boys like the mzungu attention for a few days. She gave him money, food and more…

Paje

december 15th, 1998 Comments off

MEMORABLOG: 9.12. – 15.12. 1998

After a few days of doing nothing every paradise gets boring… so, we decided to head for a few days to a east cost beaches… but there was one problem… at that time it was impossible to do that trip in one day… so, we had to stay another night in Stonetown… again… 🙂

We hit the market… again 🙂 (i already bought extremly useful sandals there). We wanted some fruit, and bananas were the name of the game… different sizes, colours… so, let’s get the biggest one… a red one… well… seller was noding a bit, but she clearly didn’t speak english, neither did we speak swahili… so… only when we tried banana was clear what she wanted to say. That was clearly not a banana to eat raw, but to cook… it tasted, well, like a paper… strange, anyway, impossible to eat…

Next day we caught one of the first transfers to east cost… Jambiani was our first destination, but, we didn’t like two things… prices of accommodation and the fact that there are huge amounts of seaweed on the beach. After seeing plenty of guest houses we settled down in Paje, in so called Paje Ndame Village. Well, if Nungwi was bustling with activity, Paje was almost deserted, without tourists… There was nobody in our guest house, and a few japanese in neighbour guest house. And actually, we were alone for next two days 🙂

But, that didn’t stop us. Yes, stay here was quiet, but nevertheless enjoying. We rented the biggest room they had (actually, it was with double bed, but it was soooo big, that it almost seemed like a separate bed). Every morning we had great breakfast in adjacent restaurant, for lunch we just picked up coconuts from the ground and bought some pineapples from local market. We were also regular visitors to a local shop; drinks and cookies… It was also one of the rare places that had TV and basically a spot where people were coming to. So, it was a great place for observing life in a village.

Problem was what to do in a such of place. Fortunately i got a book in our Narrow street hotel (of course, i returned it back afterwards), so that was time spender. We we constantly playing a table game (though i really cannot remember the name right now). So, cycling was on a menu… So, cycling was on a menu… Adi got Super Olympic mountain bike (32 gears), I got Super OK mountain bike (27 gears). Both are like extremly heavy, and thats maybe even better 🙂 Cycling on a beach is something special, cause you have to find a right line, as you need to avoid soft sand… Of course, cycling during the low tide is easier… Not only that, cycling on a main road is also difficult. Sand is a main issue, but as a keen cyclist we managed it without too many falls.

One day, we cycled to the north, further of Bwejuu. Soon we hit Breezes Beach Club. It looked really nice, and beach was combed and this was one of rare places without seaweed (probably they take it away every morning). Ok, one place that we cannot afford. Next was Club Vacanze. Again, combed beach and almost deserted. Sea was great for swimming, but there was nobody on the beach. Again, it was one of the places that we couldn’t afford. And then we found people, laying around the pool.. mostly overweight Italians. But again, i wonder… why do people come across half of the world and then lay beside the pool? Couldn’t they do that somewhere closer to their home?

But again, also Paje has some problems. First of all, at low tide sea goes away for 500 meters or even more… There are plenty of sea urchins, so you have to be very careful when going to the water. There is also plenty of seaweed, as there are many seaweed fields around Paje. And every day they take away a truckload of the harvest. As i heard, they sell it expensively to Japan…

And last, but not least… Anti-malarial drugs are beginning to have an efect. Lariam is a powerful drug, that reduces my sleep. So, i saw many sun rises… and its was incredible so see sun rising over the indian ocean. Unfortunately, lack of sleep makes you tired…

Nungwi

december 8th, 1998 Comments off

MEMORABLOG: 3.12. – 8.12. 1998

Its time to hit some beaches… The fishing village of Nungwi straddles the Northern tip of Zanzibar and its shade is a welcome relief after the barren stretch of road that leads there. There are a number of local guest houses in the village and on the West side of the cape there is a number of guesthouses and a couple of loud bars. There are fine sandy beaches around the cape and excellent diving and game fishing off the coast. I would say this is one of the best beaches on Zanzibar, as there is no seaweed and the tide doesn’t go out for miles…

We stayed at Amaan Bungalows, close to the beach and nearest bars… so we were really using the next days to relax and relax… Snorkel gear was readily available (though, if i ever return to Zanzibar, i have to bring my own, as their gear was a bit worn out), and maybe next time i will also to Padi diving course there…

Eh, days soon passed, having breakfasts on the waterfront, cristal clear water, great sea food and plenty of night life. Oh, bonus was that it wasn’t overcrowded… Yep, and the sun was veeeeery strong, and good suncream was essential… I stayed more in shade, while Adi was often baking on the sun 🙂 So much, that he ran out of the sun cream 😉

Dolphins ????

december 3rd, 1998 Comments off

MEMORABLOG: 3.12. 1998

So, our third “pre-planned” trip was to see some dolphins. Dolphin tours run from Kizimkazi in the south of the island. We passed Jozani forest, but we decided not to stop to see the Columbus monkeys, as we saw them near Arusha (though, those monkeys on Zanzibar are very rare red Columbus monkeys – oh well, next time).

After a long and dusty drive we finally arrived to Kizimkazi. The village seemed to have no tourist infrastructure and wasn’t overrun by tourist. We embarked on a small boat and got our flippers, goggles and snorkels. Oh, did I mention that we were the only two people on a tour. Great… Some 30 minutes later we came to the spot where the dolphins are usually lurking around. Yep, we saw some, but it wasn’t really like “swimming” with the dolphins as it was advertised. What made a day, was snorkeling on the coral reef. Incredible fish, corals, colours… 🙂 we almost had to be dragged out of the water into the boat, as it was time to return back to the village…

Lunch was waiting for us… rice and fish curry… i guess they were suprised a bit, but we ATE a lot…

When we came back to Stonetown, usual itinerary followed… dinner at the gardens and another extra day enjoying in Stonetown… actually we met some sailors next day, and had a few beers together… funny, don’t know why, but prostitutes almost “smelled” them… after a few hours, when the things went too dodgy we rather retired back to our hotel…