Hi everybody. We're still alive. Sorry it's taken a while to write another journal - it's been a pretty hectic last couple of weeks (good and bad!)
We left off in Pangani and since then we've been all over Zanzibar, to Dar es Salaam, and now we're back in Arusha - we will explain why later!!
Firstly, a warning message to anyone thinking of going to Zanzibar: DO NOT GET A BOAT FROM PANGANI. Even if you think it makes sense and means you don't have to go all the way to Dar first. We made this mistake, and we paid for it HEAVILY. So to explain.... We decided that instead of doing the normal thing of going to the capital Dar es Salaam and then getting the ferry from there to Stone Town on Zanzibar, we would get a boat from Pangani (which is further up the coast - maybe a map would be handy at this point) to the north of Zanzibar, Nungwi. Then we would spend time in the north, then travel down to Stone Town, and on to Dar. That way, we thought, we would save a lot of time and money.
NOT worth it.
Basically the only boat that goes from Pangani to Zanzibar is one that costs $150. This was way too expensive for us, so we decided instead to get a ride on a sailing boat on its way back to Zanzibar. We got this for $30 each, which we thought was a bargain. However, when we got to the boat at 5 30 in the morning, we realized it really was a tiny little fruit boat. We had to sit on the ground with coconuts digging into us from all angles. As soon as the journey began, the other family we were sharing the boat with started throwing up (the smallest girl threw up all over Ryan's foot - probably the best part of the journey!) Then we started throwing up. And then again. And again. Into a communal bucket. What made it worse was that it was raining outside, so firstly the journey took longer than it should have (about 6 hours altogether), and it made the sea even more rough. Anyway, we eventually got to Nungwi, waded through the sea up to the beach, and swore never ever to do something just because it was the cheapest option!
Luckily our stay in Zanzibar made the journey worth it, almost. The sand is whiter than any either of us had ever seen, and the sea is completely turquoise, and we met some really cool people. We stayed in Nungwi longer than we planned (4 nights in Nungwi Guesthouse - the cheapest accommodation in Nungwi but still lovely), and then we spent two days in Stone Town which is completely different to Nungwi, but equally beautiful. Stone Town is made up of towering stone buildings and tiny alleyways where you find loads of little shops selling shoes, bags, clothes etc. Definitely venture into the heart of the town, as the shops sell pretty much the same stuff but for less as you get further away from the main touristy roads. Its also difficult to get lost, and Stone Town isn't big.
We went on a Spice Tour. It wasn't great really, in fact it was pretty boring. The only good part about it was that we met some cool people, so perhaps it's worth going on one just for that. But whatever the guide books say, unless you care loads and loads about looking at leaves, don't bother.
So that pretty much sums up our stay in Zanzibar - just relaxing and meeting really nice people. If you're staying in Nungwi we forgot to say, go to Cholos ( A bar run by friendly Rastafarians), because it's wicked and they do amazing cocktails for Tsh 5000, which is pretty good for Zanzibar. Another place to go to, this one in Stone Town, is this restaurant called Amore Mio, where they do proper amazing Italian ice cream in a beautiful setting. And lastly, the food gardens every evening in Stone Town are a must as they sell cheap and mostly good fresh barbecued food (make sure you are given change before you actually hand over your money though!)
That's it for now. Lots and lots of love to everyone,
Ryan and Emily x