Can it get any Lazier ?
For the majority of our trip we have kept a fairly tight schedual due to the fact that we needed to connect with our friends in Tanzania for Christmas. Now that Christmas has come and gone and our friends have returned to Canada we have had a couple weeks to explore Zanzibar at our lesuire. During our time here we have learned how to greet locals in Swahili, barter with ease, and find "local" priced meals, and transportation. The locals often ask how much we pay to ride the dalla dalla and when we tell them 1,000$ shillings, they are rather impressed. They tell us that tourists often pay over 12,00 shillings because they don't know any better. Highway robbery! - Jocelyn
This is a boab tree that we found on the side of the road. Apparently this specific tree is over 2,000 years old.
So....After a week of catching up on my sleep, laying about, reading, eating, diid I say sleeping; We took a Dala dala (a pick up truck wwwith bench seats and a hard top bus/taxi. The average number of people crammed onto one of these is upwards of 24.) Right ... we took a dala dala to the beach where we had bargined quite a steal. We got a sea front bungalow for Tsh 35,000. That comes out to about $28.00. If you take into account that everyone else in the surrounding hotles/resorts were paying upwards of $300.00 a night, well we were very excited. The bungalow itself was the biggest and nicest we have ever had - funny enough our bathroom was bigger than some of our hostel rooms in Central America. Picture this - a huge four poster African style bed with crisp white sheets , fluffy pillows and a mosquito net. We slept with the widows flung open, the only sound outside our window being the gentle lull of the waves crashing on the shoreline, and geckos barking at eachother.
To keep our costs down (even lower) we ate with the Masai up the road at a little roadside hut. I was only around .80 cents for a great very filling meal. I got around to asking the locals if it were possible to rent a spear gun to go out fishing with and they told me that it would be $10.oo. forget that...I started making one of my own out of a branch. The guy running our bungalow saw my pathetic attempt at a spear (what???It was made out of Iron Wood...You know iron wood...steel spear...close enuf....gufaw..) anyway...he took pity on me asnd realized I was no ordinary Mzungu (white guy). So he got me a proper spear with a trigger and everything for $1.50, much better. SO ya .. I went out and got all manner of creatures. If it was big as my hand and stopped long enuf for me to aim it was done. I got a lobster, some awsome red fishes, and a couple of porcupine blow fish. Blow fish taste awsome. But are soooo tricky to skin. You know that saying there is more than one way to skin a cat....Well there is only one way to skin a blowfish! - Nate
My highlight of staying on Kiwienga beach, aside from the incredible scenery, was all the Masai tribespeople. I have always been fascinated by indigenous tribes and I was so excited to see the Masai people somwehere other than in the pages of a national geographic magazine. I feared that I had lost my opportunity to spend time with them, as most of them reside in villages along the Keyan/Tanzania border. Much to my surprise, when Nathaniel and I rented a motorbike to explore Zanzibar we found a lot of masai on the beaches. After getting to know a few of the masai I found out that they leave their village and sell tribal jewlery for a couple of months of each year. They are such beautiful, fascinating people and when they return to their villages they herd cows and goats, kill lions, drink blood and jump really really high. I wish i could include a picture of the masai jumping, but all the pictures I took of them jumping where taken at night and didn't turn out so great. This is me hanging out with a masai woman and her child. It['s hard to believe this is the first child I have held in over four months. - Joce
While Nathaniel spent an abnormal amount of time snorkling and spear fishing I worked on my tan and collected shells. One day I decided to join my crazy husband outside the reef where the cool stuff is and I managed to get stung twice by a Man of war jellyfish and kick a seaurchin. Trust me, both were very unpleasant and painful. I now have a renewed appreciation for what Nathaniel endures in the name of "adventure".
For a couple day we rented a motorcyle and explored the northeast side of the island.
Oh one last thing. The other day Nathaniel and I decided to book a tour to see the dolphins that live on the Southern tip of Zanzibar. We were thrilled to discover that part of the tour including swimming with the WILD dolphins. Basically we would scann the horizen for dolphin fins, drive the boat over to where they were and then leap into the water as fast as we could. I got so close I almost touched a dolphin as its pod passed by me. I was super excited and terrified in the same momemt. It is a little unerving to be so close to such a huge animal in the water, but very cool as well. Nathaniel swam down to the ocean floor with them- a depth of around 35 feet while I was content to swim at the surface. After our excurision with the whales we checked out an old mahogany forest and saw rare columbus monkies. - Joce