Paradise @ Nungwi Beach
25.06.2012 - 29.06.2012 32 °C
The continuation of this post starts up north in an area called Nungwi, but first let me update you with a map of where we travelled through Tanzania and Kenya:
We arrived in Nungwi tired and in search of some much needed R&R (normally I wouldn't be complaining about our life but under the recent circumstances i.e. "hospital", beach and sunshine was just what we required), and to be honest we didn't have to look far.
We found ourselves a nice little beachfront hotel for $40 a night. More then what we normally pay I know but we were not about to cheap out in a place like this. Besides everything else was relatively cheap such as food and drink anyways.
The sunsets each and every night were beautiful and most restaurants moved tables out on the beach in the evening. It reminded us a lot of our time on Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam.
Lol... yep we found shisha too! Every night the locals would get a big soccer game going and we'd just sit back with a beer and shisha and enjoy our surroundings. After a few beers we very poorly attempted the jumping photo shot....
Nice jump there Stacey! Good thing I'm the only one who looks completely queer. And why is my shirt see-thru?? At the time in Thailand when it was like 40C in Bangkok it was a good idea.
On the weekend they even had free entertainment.
During one day of beachin' it we decided we had had enough lazying around so we packed a small bag and went for a walk around the northern tip of Zanzibar. Just on the other side of the island (north-east) is supposed to be where all the great snorkelling and diving is, so that's where we headed. Lots of interesting things to see along the way like Masai on the beach...
To get north we passed all the resorts on the west coast and also walked past a small fishing village and aquarium.
A quick stop in the shade to cool down...
As soon as you peak around that northern tip it's as if the water gets another shade bluer. It looked so perfect but it wasn't the best for swimming since the tide at the time was super low. Heard some buzz about this restaurant... pretty cool location...
We both couldn't believe how many perfect seashells there were on the beaches. Free souvenirs?? Of course we took a bunch and hopefully there on their way home right now sneaky past customs lol. There were also loads of little hermit crabs so you had to be careful as to which shells you grabbed.
I got creative and made a sand turtle... look at what I made Mom!
Off in the distance, around the northern most tip and further south on the east side of the island, we could see what looked like these sand bars off out in the water. So we decided to investigate...
That's exactly what they were. About 100-200 ft into the ocean were these perfectly bleached white sand bars. The water all around them was pretty shallow and not great for swimming but it presented an excellent photo-op.
It was a pretty spectacular spot. Just surpasses this small island in Thailand (can't remember the name but it was on our boat trip with Jana and Mike) as the nicest beach I've ever seen. Zanzibar had lived up to the hype!
That night we found ourselves a small internet cafe and got caught up on some correspondence. We also took this time to sample the infamous Tanzanian gin bags that we see everywhere.
(I didn't actually chug it... I was merely posing and pretending to be awesome)
The next day we left the northern beaches and made our way back to Stone Town where we would have to spend a night before catching the early morning ferry back to Dar. We tried to get in a little bit of shopping but prices in Stone Town are just so high and as it turned out the post office was closed for the weekend (so we couldn't even mail stuff home if we had wanted to).
I still can't get over what a maze those streets were. Picture no street signs or signs of any kind, streets that never follow one proper direction, no horizon to follow and landmark after landmark that looks the same.
That evening we ventured back to Africa House and as promised I got some better pics of the sunset and view. Its a huge difference in quality from my iPhone to our Nikon.
The following morning we took off to catch our ferry. What a nightmare it was getting tickets! Picture me waiting in a queue with two packs on in the +30 heat, and a hundred different people are trying to cut in line or push around me. Well I ended up losing it a little bit especially because since we're foreigners we pay substantially more for the ferry. So I used my huge backpack to my advantage and ploughed my way up to the front, batted away all the idiots trying to cut in line and swatted away hands that were trying to shove money in the cashiers face to cut the queue. By the time I got our tickets I was exhausted and stressed but kept reminding myself that within hours I would be on a plane and off to a more civilized country by nightfall. As it turned out the ferry ride was no picnic either. The seas were incredibly rough that day, which meant that our jammed packed ferry now became the HMS PUKE BUCKET EXPRESS. I'm not exaggerating this at all... there must have been 100+ people puking on our deck alone... that's karma for cutting in line suckers lol... I'm evil.
We had timed it just right so the ferry would arrive in Dar at around noon, giving us enough time to have a good lunch before cabbing it to the airport to catch our 4:30pm flight to Jo'Burg. SO... we make it to the airport, early. We go to a Precision Air check in counter, get our boarding passes, go through security and wait in line for almost a hour to check our bags. When we do finally reach the counter the lady looks at us like were retarded and says 'your flight was changed and left at 10am this morning. All other flights are booked for the next few days' YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!! We spoke with a manager right away and explained the absurdity of the situation (why did they even issue us boarding passes saying the flight was at 4:30pm??) and that we received no notification and even their website was not updated. So long story short, they put us up in a hotel all expenses paid and arranged a flight out the next morning at 5am via Nairobi (NOT BACK TO KENYA!!). At the time though we were pretty unhappy being stuck in the worst airport ever!
The flight from Nairobi to Jo'Burg was really cool though cause you got to see Kilimanjaro from the plane....
That's all I got on Tanzania. Overall we had a pretty good time there considering having to halt the trip halfway for my medical drama. Looking back now we were pretty lucky and got to see some amazing sights. It still stings me a little bit that because of our week in Nairobi we were unable to go to Lake Victoria, Lake Tangayika and Jane Goodall's Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Gombe National Park. But what can you do? I'm just thankful that we're both in good health and can continue on this great adventure. I'm also thankful for purchasing fantastic medical insurance lol. On a serious note, if you are ever travelling to Africa subscribe to Flying Doctors. It's a $25 membership fee, but once your a member, if you ever find yourself in a pinch like I was, all you have to do is call them and they'll pick you up and fly you to the nearest international hospital (I believe there are only a few in the whole continent). Your alternative is calling in insurance in the middle of the Congo or wherever and them telling you to fax or email them paperwork to verify the severity of your situation lol. Oh Africa... you beat the piss outta me for a minute there, but I still love you! Stay tuned for the final African country of our journey. Spoiler alert... we swim with sharks!!