Monday, September 18, 2017

Zanzibar, day 8: a piece of the Rock

Up again before dawn today ... damn that rooster! But, later, when I rolled over and saw the orange sky I woke Wil up to see it. Glorious.

Had breakfast next to Natalie and Richard; they were going on a spice tour today. Natalie said, "Apparently, it's something you can't miss" and we both smiled. I refrained from saying, "You will be crowned Queen of Spices" because, well, maybe, they'll go on a classy tour.

Natalie also told us the you aren't allowed to take shells out of Zanzibar/Tanzania. Oh. Um. Gosh. Guess I'll need to repatriate my shells before we go.

Today we went on a tiny excursion -- no, really. We wanted to walk to the Rock -- "6 miles up the beach," we thought, "so we'll get our steps in!", we thought. Except when we asked Lana and she informed us that one actually *can't* walk there, as there's a large bay in between so it's not possible to walk along the beach. Taxi it is!

We relaxed around the guesthouse all morning, then took a taxi to Upendo, a hotel across the water from The Rock. We had been told / believed that one needed a reservation for mealtimes at The Rock, but that we could go over "outside of meal times" for a drink. We should have just wanted out to TR when we first arrived, if only to see it. But it was just after noon, so we thought, no, the lunch crowd would be there, and flopped onto one of the very comfy daybed/couches at Upendo, OVERLOOKING The Rock.


We sat there, drinking cider (for me) and a gin and tonic (for Wil), then nibbling on appetizers, and watching the tide come in and the people stream across to The Rock. A stream that never stopped.




Since the tide was out, the early guests could wade out, but as the tide came in, a canoe appeared to shuttle them back and forth.



We, however, just relaxed and read and dozed and enjoyed the breeze, the quiet, and the view.


Later Natalie confirmed that the smart thing to do is eat/drink at Upendo with a view of The Rock, rather than pay above the odds for mediocre food across the water.


Around 3:20 we went for a short stroll on the beach, then decided to head out to look for the Jenga shop -- out to the "highway", along the wrote for a while, but found nothing. It occurred to us it might be on the same little offshoot as Upendo, so we headed back. We saw a tourist bus driver and asked him... no luck. We asked a western "fixer" as well... also no joy. One of her charges, however, said, "Oh, I did see that ... just down there." Turns out, we were about 25 feet away for it, when we were on the beach. Duh.

But we walked over, saying hello to the children in the village, and then headed in. The shop had a nice selection of different locally produced crafts -- I bought an ornament: an angel made from a Kili bottle cap and Kili can; and three little nubbins of soap for $10. I wanted to spend more money, as the causes it supports are cool, but I couldn't quite find the right washbag for me.

Then back to Upendo, where we admired their small pool -- ours is nicer, but this is in a very cool location.


I also giggled at this arrow indicating things that belonged to the toilet.


Our driver was ready and waiting at 3:55 and we came straight back... had a quick chat with Lena, then a dip in the pool where we laughed at a pair of young posturing Italians who posed by the pool, and later had dinner on the patio, and then left. Weird.

We did have another wander on the beach -- it really is heaven.



At dinner I had eggplant marsala with rice; tasty and filling.

Tomorrow morning we'll get up and shower, pack, and take some of the shells back to the ocean. Bye bye shells.

Apropos of nothing, I've noticed that the Kili pages of this journal have a dark, grubby grey edge to them.

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