Tuesday, 28 October 2008

17th October 08

Date: 17th October 08
Location: Peja, Zanzibar
Weather: Very hot, sunny and blue skies. The most idyllic weather of the trip. 36°c
Status: Saying farewell to Jimmy on the beach with THE Frisbee session…

Left the delights of our beachside cottage and made our way to the usual breakfast of fruit, coffee and eggs. A stunning start to the day with no wind, blue skies and a flat calm ocean in front of our Frisbee playing area. It been a big part of this trip….frisbee that is! Starting off with Luke and our Dune Frisbee, Frisbee on the Atlas mountains, Frisbee on top of Kili and now Frisbee at the edge of the whitest sandy beach we’ve been to! Awesome.

Spent the first few hours of the day snorkelling out to the reef far off in the distance as the tide was high, the first few hundred metres were pure sand and then the arrival of the sea urchins…in their hundreds with long black evil looking spikes! At this stage of the day we had around a metre of water between us and them as we floated past, passing corals and shoals of tiny fish which hid as we approached in their twisting homes on the reef.

We swam for one and a half hours slowly making our way to the outer reef, all the time the tide slowly disappearing beneath us making the going more and more dicey as we scraped past the spiky obstacles on the sea bed. The sun had been beating down on us for ages and was cooking us from the outside in so we decided to call it a day and head back to the shore, easier said than done!

The outgoing tide had reduced the water to half its original depth and now our sagging bellies and knees were scraping the corals rather than sliding past them! Bre cut her thigh, I scraped my knees and foot and Jimmy did the same!

Back at the hotel we packed up and headed over to the Paje by Night camp for lunch and used their wireless to update the website then caught the same taxi back to Stone Town and our original hotel Marinda Guest House.

We all walked down to the ferry ticket office to arrange tomorrows transport, waited for half an hour as the manager brought more tickets for us then walked into the centre to see some of the historic architecture which the town is famous for. Problem is they’re doing a load of restoration work as it’s the low season and the famous gardens are hidden behind corrugated steel sheets, we kept going and then found our choice of eatery for the night, the Monsoon but it looked straight across the road onto the hidden gardens. Balls.

Choice number two was the famous Tower Top Restaurant which we found after navigating the narrow streets, most of which resemble Marrakech and reminded me I have to go back there at some stage! The place requires booking in advance as it only seats 24 people on cushions at the top of the verenada area…which of course we hadn’t done. The receptionist was very helpful and telephoned upstairs to check if there was space and luckily they’d been a cancellation so we were in and straight away!

The location is the best in the town with views of the harbour and surrounding areas from six flights of stairs up, we got there just in time to have cocktails as the sun set into the ocean!

A four course meal which was superb even included traditional Ngoma dancing in between courses, loads of ass-wiggling and giggles!

Taxi back to the hotel then bed

End of day location: Stone Town, Zanzibar
Distance covered: 50kms

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