but after a few days on safari, and one night back in Arusha, I headed to Zanzibar. It was great because Zanzibar is about the most exotic sounding place you can go to (except for maybe Timbuktu?) and because I got to fly on what may be the largest plane in Africa.
I still couldn’t comfortably stand up on it, but they gave us soda and cake and perhaps more importantly they got us to Zanzibar safely!
Once in Zanzibar we took a cab the hour plus drive north to Kendwa Rocks, for only $35-$40. Apparently, this isn’t that great, but taking a cab from the Orlando airport to my house 20ish minutes away cost $60 so I was excited.
We arrived at Kendwa Rocks and checked into our room, which was of course amazing.
Yes, we got the whole bungalow, with the best shower I’d used since arriving in Africa and a view like this.
I could live here.
We arrived rather late in the day and didn’t have a lot of sun left. We really just had time to take a quick dip in the ocean while a stray dog, that I had complimented moments before, peed on the beach bag full of our clothes, phones, etc.. Rude.
Needless to say, that warranted a quick trip back to the bungalow to wash dog urine off of our clothes.
Well, mostly this guys clothes.
I wisely layered my things at the bottom of the bag so that I could laugh about this situation.
Naturally, we needed a night of beach bar drinking after that, and there was no better place for it.
I’d imagine it’s one of the more picturesque beach bars around, but also one of the more confusing. They had a happy hour which featured many beachy cocktails, including the first of a few “long island iced teas” I would have in Africa. Let’s just say it’s a long way from Long Island. When asked how they were made the bartender held up a jug of liquor with a hand written label that read “long island iced tea” and said “We mix this with Coke.” It’s not quite the same.
This is also where I first encountered the African service industry (or lack there of). Waitstaff and bartenders are largely inconvenienced by your presence and you have to do most of the leg work yourself. If you are lucky enough to have a menu dropped off at the table you will usually have to either do that thing that makes everyone who’s ever worked in the service industry cringe where you wave down a server or physically stand up and find someone to tell your order to. This was no reflection on Kendwa Rocks, the restaurant there was actually great, it’s just the way it seemed to work everywhere in Tanzania.
A few drinks in and sick of waiting for drinks, we moved to the bar, where I realized just how out of place I was and had the weirdest gimlet of my life (after failed attempts at dirty martinis, and old fashioneds). I really wanted to be someone that could order fancy drinks at a bar, but ended up with what was essentially a gin sour, and coffee flavored tequila shots. It’s okay though, all is well that ends well and it certainly got the job done.
The next morning was the first I’d experienced of the “rainy season” I’d been warned about. Much like the rainy season I’m used to in Florida, the storm blew over quickly and it was nice again in time for lunch, though many expressed their regrets at the appearance of the beach since it was cloudy. Apparently it’s more attractive when it’s not rainy season, but I would certainly go during rainy season again. It’s the reason I got to see every wildebeest and I didn’t know any better so I thought the beach was gorgeous.
No one seemed to mind the clouds and the beach festivities continued.
I also learned my lesson the night before and stuck with beer.
And perhaps the most exciting part of the day, besides learning that no one will yell at you if you take your drink into the ocean, was finding this scary sea monster.
Nature is terrifying, especially the sea creatures. Anyone out there know what this is? He seems dangerous.
We were not there for Kendwa Rocks’ famous Full Moon Party, but we were invited that night to an oddly themed James Bond 007 beach party. I don’t think anyone at the resort packed a tuxedo, and as classy as Mr. Bond is, he’s British so I can’t imagine his beachwear is great. Though, now that I think about it, I’ve lived in Florida long enough to know what the English look like at a water park in February and that’s not a bad theme party. I guess most of the problem is that no one at the resort was prepared for fancy theme party, and beach party seems like theme enough. Anyway, we got dressed as best we could for the party that started at 10pm, then proceeded to drink too much at 8 and go to sleep at 10:30. I’d like to blame the time difference, jet lag, drinking, and sun rather than the edging towards 30. It was a good sleep though, no regrets.
The next morning the sun came out and I got to witness why everyone was so upset about it being slightly cloudy the day before. The beach was absolutely stunning just in time for us to leave for Stone Town. We did get a nice morning on the beach drinking water, which I suddenly realized I hadn’t had since my arrival when I woke up feeling like this,
After a giant bottle of Kilimanjaro water (yay themeing!) I felt better and spent the morning getting photos of the beautiful blue water before having to leave.
I even got to play with the panorama setting on my iphone!
Serious, how does water look like this?
Then it was time to say farewell to the Kendwa Rocks resort,
and the bar,
and this hammock that I will think about every time I’m tired of being at work.