While it may have been a disappointing sunset, the dinner was anything but. There were a whole lot of food booths in the park that was on the Indian Ocean. This is a representative sample of some of the kabobs that were available for purchase at the park. There must have been 20-30 food vendors at the park. They said they had shark and barracuda and tuna and lots of other fish, but we really couldn’t be sure that what they were representing were actually those fish. It was easy to order scallops and octopus. No question about what I was getting. They also had the local version of pizza and a schwarma stand. The fact that everything was served by the light of kerosene lanterns also added a distinctive touch. They had lots of food there, what can I say?
This is a group of my fellow travelers on the truck and we’re waiting for sunset. We are on the patio of Africa House, a hotel in Stonetown where a lot of the tourists gather to see the sun set. It is, apparently, a place that is noted for its’ sunsets. It drew a big crowd. I was there as part of the group. We were all to meet there and watch the sunset and then head over to a local evening market for dinner. However, on this night the sunset did not cooperate. It wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t as good as I’m sure it could have been. That didn’t stop the tourists. The patio was full of them hoping to catch one of those spectacular sunsets.
This is Hamson, my guide in Zanzibar. He was actually quite good. His English was very good and he knew all the top tourist destinations in Stonetown. He was also quite funny. I always like to hire locals whenever I can. This local was especially good. I have his email and his local cell # if you are going to Zanzibar and need a guide for a day or two.
This is a picture of the market in Stonetown. How I arrived at the market is an interesting story in itself. I was walking around looking for a bakery. I needed to find a couple of somosas. a local pastry that is quite tasty and costs 3 for $1. Needless to say, this budget traveler was eating them every time I spied what looked like a reasonably fresh one. As I was looking for a bakery one of the locals noticed me and attached himself to me. They do this in hopes they can wrangle a dollar or two out of a person. In the end, he not only took me to the bakery, he took me to the major market where this picture was taken as well as several other places. He turned out to be an excellent guide and I turned out to be a customer.
The group is getting ready to go on a walk in Stonetown, Zanzibar. Stonetown is something of a really old place. It is a maze of twisting, turning, meandering alleys that are too small for a car, but just big enough for a person and a donkey-cart. It’s also a UNESCO Heritage Site. This picture was taken at the steps of the hotel where we stayed. We left the truck in Dar es Salaam while we were on the island of Zanzibar. There were four people in my room, including me. It cost me $18 a night. We only stayed one night. I was sad that we didn’t stay longer. I would have preferred to stay more time in a UNESCO site rather than the beach. However, I’m not on the planning committee for the trip I was on so I had to go where the group went. The reason for spending 3 days at the beach were the snorkeling and the scuba diving. While there are pros and cons to traveling with a group, I consider always having to go where the group goes to be a con. I’m a pretty independent sort.
Is that a good-looking burger or what? I’m going out to lunch with a friend and I decided to try a hamburger. I have seen burgers on the menu in Africa at most of the restaurants where we stopped. I hadn’t had one yet. They were normally a little pricy at $6, a number I thought was a little pricey for Africa, I had previously opted for street food and food from the grocery store or I simply ate off the truck. This was much, much cheaper. However, since I had never ordered a burger before, I really didn’t know what I was missing. Take a look at that burger. It was yummy. They just needed to round u some Heinz ketchup. Was it worth $6? Will I buy another one? Probably not. But who knows?
This is our hotel at the beach in Zanzibar. It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t wonderful either. It had a really good ceiling fan that made me reach for a cover at night. I roomed with Dave, one of the drivers. That was good. Dave’s a very interesting guy who has done all kinds of strange work in places outside of the continental U.S. Dave was from Ohio and close enough to my age that we shared similar life experiences growing up. That’s better than rooming with someone young enough to be my grandson.
That’s me at the ferry terminal on Zanzibar. The group is about to depart the terminal and head to the ATM’s where we can get some cash to blow on a good time. The we head to the beach for a couple of days of diving and snorkeling and general beach fun.
This is the ferry from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar. Actually, this is the fast ferry. There are others. It was comfortable except for the wiggle-worm behind me that kept poking his knee into my back. One thing I can say is that my Kindle had 5 bars of 3G reception all the way across the water during the trip. I have learned that I need to find some really good Kindle-formatted news sites for trips to places where regular internet service is sparse and 3G is available.
This is my power meter on my netbook. The reason for the picture is to remind me to include a comment about the perpetual power outages that I have experienced during my stay in Africa. Do they happen everyday? It seems so. When I think about it seems that they certainly average one every day. The one that prompted me to take this picture lasted over two hours and was the second one that day. Remember, we’ve been moving around Kenya and Tanzania during this time. These aren’t just localized to one area. I’ve seen power outages in lots of places, including my own home town, but these are quite frequent, relatively.