Ocean Vibes of Zanzibar

The beach our driver took us to was pretty close by. We had the option of paying a small fee for a tour of some slave caves before relaxing on the beach, but the slave market tour on Saturday had been enough for me. The led us down a grassy path and then a staircase through a rock to the beach. A group of boys were rowing a little wooden boat near the shore and jumping off into the water. The beach was covered in semi-sharp rocks and pebbles near the water’s edge, but the ocean was so glorious that it didn’t matter. My friend and I walked down the beach to some rock pools that we had spotted. We saw plenty of small crabs and dark lizards scurrying away as we cast our shadows across the seaweed-smothered rock. After taking a few pictures we headed back to the rest of the group and took one last luxurious swim before leaving.

We drove back to Stone Town and took a quick nap at the hostel before going out again. We do some last-minute gift shopping and hit up the curio shop again. We hadn’t stopped talking about it, so we knew we had to go back. There power was out and they spent maybe 20 minute getting the backup generator to work so we could pay with card since we were all low on cash and nearly all of the ATMs we had tried to use were out of service. We did most of our store browsing in the dark with iPhone flashlights and headlamps, which made the experience even more interesting, since the store was full of weird antique-y treasures. “Cockroach!” my friend Christina announced as her headlamp caught a fat one lounging on the side of a huge copper vase. But it didn’t stop us from digging through spice boxes, figurines, and old tea sets. I picked up a ship model for my dad since he loves the ocean and fishing so much; I knew he’d appreciate it.

We went to a hotel on the beach and went upstairs to their patio restaurant so we could have drinks and watch the sunset before going to dinner. We ordered guacamole as one of the tapas and while it was delicious, it was a tease portion, nowhere near enough for five people. The restaurant where we ate dinner had a more Mediterranean vibe, but they had a shelf display with boxes of local spices and in the back of the menu, there were pages of spice descriptions along with medicinal uses, which was really cool. The food was delicious; it was nice having pasta. The mint iced tea and cinnamon ice cream were tasty too. Our diner was so good that it put us all in high spirits and we practically skipped through the darkening streets afterward to the waterfront. Like the previous two nights, we followed up dinner with another dessert trip to Forodhani Gardens. I had my last glass of sugarcane juice and another “pizza” with nutella, fresh sliced coconut, and plantain. Food was definitely one of the best aspects of our Zanzibar experience along with the beach.

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