Sunset Cruise – One life jacket…plenty of Rum and Coke

I spent two nights at the Amaan Bungalows in Nungwi, Zanzibar and an optional activity through my G Adventures 35 day Overland Truck adventure was a two-hour Sunset Cruise with all you can drink beer and Rum & Coke, followed by a fish dinner on the beach with a bonfire, for $35.  Although I didn’t have any preconceived ideas of what it would be like, when I approached the boat, I have to admit I thought it seemed a bit rickety or primitive…

There was one life jacket, but plenty of drinks!!

Unfortunately, when the two young Danish girls were getting onto the boat, the wood was wet and one of them…Kikki…slipped and hurt her foot.  Here she is with her foot propped up…

Here’s our driver…James and another G Adventures Tour Director in training.

I spent the two hours on the second level with these fellow travelers…

and here is my roommate…Suzanne…

Cheers!!

That night after the cruise, we had a great time on the beach…eating, drinking and dancing!  It was so much fun…I don’t have any photos!!

Spice Plantation Tour in Zanzibar

An activity that was included in my 35 day G Adventures Overland Truck adventure was a two hour Spice Plantation Tour on the island of Zanzibar—off the coast of Tanzania.  Spices are one of the top forms of revenue for Tanzania; although they’ve been surpassed years ago by Indonesia.  We got to try different types of fruit, like Mango, Oranges, Grapefruit, Pomegranate, Papaya, Passion Fruit, Banana, Soursop, Pineapple and Coconut!  They made hats for us and we drank coconut juice!

The chickens were fighting over the coconut droppings.  This chicken was strange looking!

These little girls were off in the woods….so I zoomed in to get their photo…

This guy wrapped some type of strong leaf in a figure 8 around his feet, jumped up on the tree and began leaping like a frog up the tree!  He was singing the entire time and made it to the top!

Another guy in our group wanted to try it…he got up about 8 feet and stopped.  It’s harder than it looks!!

During the tour we stopped at all types of spice plants/trees.  This is nutmeg.  The guide would give all of us some of the plant, have us smell it and see if we could guess what it was.

I don’t remember what this red one is…

This is vanilla!

The Spice Plantation tour was quite educational!

Hapana Sante–Stone Town, Zanzibar

If you read my last post (see here), you know that my G Adventures 35 day Overland Truck tour had a 13 hour day yesterday, driving through Tanzania, to Dar Es Salaam, where we spent the night camping.  The next morning we were packed up and left by 7:30am via Tuk Tuks, with Stone Town, Zanzibar as our destination!  Stone Town (a World Heritage site) is 95% Islam with an average life expectancy of 48 years and the main sources of income are tourism and the sale of spices.

Our Tuk Tuk drivers transported us onto a ferry for a short ride to the main ferry that goes to the island of Zanzibar, located approximately 20 miles off-shore and takes about two hours to reach.  We arrived at 11am and this was my first view of the island…

We made our way to Mazson’s Hotel, where we would stay for one evening, before heading North to a beach resort in Nungwi, which is located about an hour away.  This was my room and my roommate’s name was Suzanne.  She is from Belgium!

This was the view across from the Hotel…

Because this was an ending and/or beginning point for G Adventure trips, new people joined our group.  I met Samantha and Kathleen, Scientists from America, and they said they had gone out walking around Stone Town and didn’t like the assertive touts trying to sell things to them.  We had learned how to say “No Thank You” in Swahili, “Hapana Sante”, so the three of us set off to get lost in the winding, narrow streets of Stone Town.  It was an odd feeling to not consult a map…to just walk and not care if you didn’t know where you were.

This is Samantha…

And here’s Kathleen…

I had a good time saying “Hapana Sante” with a smile on my face and the touts seemed to like it!  It became a game!  It reminded me a bit of Egypt, but they weren’t as aggressive… or I was just more prepared.

The architecture, people and culture of Stone Town, Zanzibar were very intriguing to me!

Corruption in Tanzania

My 35 day African Overland Truck Adventure was nearing the end.  Day 29 was an 11 hour driving day (not including an hour time change and an hour crossing the border from Malawi into Tanzania).  We left our campsite at Lake Malawi by 6am and arrived to the border of Tanzania at 8am.  One hour later and we were on the road again (that was a big theme of the trip…on the road again…ha ha!  A few of the other travelers weren’t prepared for the challenges of all the driving and camping.  I added up how many hours of driving there were before I booked the trip and knew what I was getting myself into.)

We arrived at the Kisolanza Restcamp, nicknamed the “Old Farmhouse” at 5:30pm.    Because we were leaving in the morning by 5am, I decided to upgrade one last time to a room.  It was in an old horse stall (that had been renovated) and cost $30.  That’s one of the downsides of traveling solo – you don’t have someone to split the cost with (but there are plenty of upsides).  There was a down comforter on the bed..oouu…ahh!  And fresh flowers!  Here’s the room…

The next morning we didn’t even eat breakfast until we had been traveling for three hours.  We stopped at 8am – had our quick breakfast and made a sandwich to eat on the truck.  I rode up front with the driver, James, for a while and played music from my I-Pod.  He would take the intercom walkie-talkie and have it next to the speaker so the passengers in the back could hear the music.  I played everything from 50’s to current music.   I’m sure some of the 20 somethings loved my older music!

We were stopped twice within one hour by the police for allegedly speeding and James had to give them money…that they just pocketed.  Another time he was stopped and the officer said he was hungry!  James told him, “Sorry man, I don’t have anything”!

We passed a pineapple field…

As we entered the outskirts of Dar Es Salaam, there were lots of people, shacks, and markets for miles and miles…

Thirteen hours later, we arrived at Makadi Beach Resort (campground) at 6pm.   After setting up my tent, having a drink, dinner and a quick swim in the pool…it was time to prepare for bed.  We were told not to swim in the ocean there because it was polluted from sewage, etc.  Even though you don’t do much while you’re in the Overland Truck, you still seem to be tired.

Before coming to Africa, I didn’t know what to expect.  I was in the middle of reading some books about Africa while driving through it, so I was learning more.  I wasn’t aware that there was so much corruption within the government and military in Tanzania and some of the other countries!