To Paradise And Back - Holiday With The Mother - Part 2
on Sarah's Blog (Rwanda), 04/May/2010 06:29, 34 days ago
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Monday 29th March 2010This morning got off to a slightly rocky start....mostly, I believe, due to the appalling weather outside...but the atmosphere inside the arse-end of abdalla was not to be reckoned with...we needed to get out...and fast...the plan was to go on a‘spice tour’ but we were too late...this did nothing for my bad temper...I do get ever so cross when the little things go wrong!!! Anyway...we went for a walk along the waterfront...BOOKED a spice tour for the following day...lost ourselves in the winding alleys of the old town...went to the market and looked at all the spices...indulged in a fresh coconut each...this was something which the mother had never tried before...but enjoyed very much...for a start a fresh ripe coconut is green and smooth on the outside, rather than brown and top is cut off...making a small which a straw is placed...and you drink the milk...which is in fact a clear liquid...when all the juice has gone...the hole is made bigger...and part of the shell is used to scrape the fruit from inside...the fruit is soft and a little like jelly...and nothing like coconut as we know it! I dobelieve that the mother thoroughly enjoyed it! This was the sustenance we needed for the shopping that followed...we bought scarves, and necklaces, and bracelets...all sorts...but not before the mother was completely ripped off by a young man selling what can be bought in the shops for a lot less...but a tale of woe about being a twenty something year old orphan...and a handkerchief of the mothers tears later, she bought a bracelet for a lot more than she should have paid for it...I only hope she likes i...this was followed by lunch looking out at the ocean...and a trip to the museum, which was actually far more interesting than I had thought it would be...we watched another mediocre sunset...ruined by the everlasting cloud...and then headed to ‘Mercury’s’...after Freddy, who was born on Zanzibar....for a very nice meal and a long stroll home...without getting lost!!!Tuesday 30th March 2010Bright, early and bushy tailed...we were collected from the worst guest house in the world by one of the guides for the spice tour...9 or ten of us were piled into the back of a minibus...with the mother riding in the front...the tour itself was very interesting...walking around a spice farm learning about all the different spices and fruits and what they was in fact very interesting but the mother particularly enjoyed herself...there were a couple of boys who must have worked on the farm there to help...making palm leaf baskets, frogs, watches and rings...and a sample of the all fresh spices were given to each person in a cone made from the end of the tour we walked back to the main road to meet the bus and try a variety of different fruits...including sweet limes and cocoa...we were taken to the old baths of a sultan of Zanzibar...and then for lunch where we all sat on the floor on a mat for simple and presumably traditional food from Zanzibar...after that we went into a cave where slaves were kept...the steps were sleep and it was wet and damp...apparently there are many bodies still down in the tunnels of the cave where the slaves had not had enough oxygen and had suffocated and the bodies had never been retrieved...we were offered the choice of walking down the tunnels of the cave or going to the beach...thankfully everyone wanted to go to the it was back in the bus...the beach was beautiful...and deserted...clean white sand...clear turquoise water...but unfortunately no one had thought to were swimwear under their clothes and there was nowhere to it was the swimming costume salsa under a towel for everyone...but it was more than worth it...the water was warm like a bath...and made me even more determined to get the mother to the beach!!! After an hour on the beach and another rendition of the swimming costume salsa (but this time with water added into the mix!) we headed back to the guesthouse...making sure we were packed ready for departure for the beach in the morning, we headed out in search of live Tarab music...more for the mother than me to be honest...but there are things you just have to do. The performances are usually in the castle in the centre of town...but as it was the low season it was not on...but be did manage to book onto the beach bus for the following morning...the bus collects you from your guest house, along with all your bags, then takes you to the beach area and drives from resort to resort until you find somewhere you like...anyway, we booked and then went off to watch a far better sunset over the waterfront...the clouds had cleared a little...making for some very nice pictures...and then it was off to The Serena Hotel in search of live music...and there we found it...lots of men playing instruments...all sat in a line all wearing white...the mother loved it...especially as there was a man with a wasn’t long before she was up there chatting with him...I was just relieved she didn’t ask to play with them!!! Anyway, they swapped numbers and he had invited her to his house to meet his it happens...he is very well know on Zanzibar and he runs a music school for women...anyway...we hada beer and then headed back to the waterfront for dinner...before getting a taxi back to the guesthouse.Wednesday 1st April 2010Our bags were packed and we were ready to leave‘The Arse End Of Abdalla’ behind forever and head north to one of the many beach regions...the bus took about an hour...and thankfully the weather had improved somewhat...and along with had my mood...beach bound I was...and I was more than happy to spend a couple of days on the beach...we stopped at a couple of places along the way...which we did not like very much or were out of our price range...but finally...we found the perfect place...a quiet little huddle of cottages...just back from the beach...’White Sands Resort’ was a little more than we had hoped...but it wasworth it...the room was cool, spacious and airy...there was a giant bed...which the mother had...and then there was a bed possibly made for dwarfs which was tucked away at the other end of the problem...I am short after all!!! But first things first...don’t bother with the unpacking andmaking a place a home...not when there is white sand and the Indian Ocean waiting for was back into the swimmers...and into the was like a bath...just amazing...we had lunch at the bar on the beach...and then carried on the swimming...when there is a sea so clear you can see the bottom when it is way out of reach there is no time for sand lounging...well...maybe just a little bit then! I headed back for the snorkel...and headed off on a snorkelling expedition...who needs pricy tours when you have a snorkel of your own!!! Early evening we headed back to the room to shower andchange ready for dinner on the beach...watching the sunset with a cold beer...MAGIC!!!!Thursday 2nd April 2010Up bright and early...breakfast on the beach...then back into the sea...I think you might be able to see a pattern forming here...basically the rest of the day continued pretty much the and out of the water...usually just to reapply sun cream...however...the mother went for a walk into the village and managed to find two girls to cook lunch for us...and then two little boys to bring it down to the was simple local food...I actually spilt most of mine in the sand...but the mother was the afternoon...I managed to get the mother into the sea...and out of her depth with a snorkel on...she is *9 and had never before put her head under water...but she did...I was very proud..although she did then go on to swim into the rudder of a parked (is it ok to say‘parked’) boat freaked herself out and went back to the shore...I carried on and saw coral, starfish and lots of other brightly coloured fish...I headed back to the mother where I was greeted by a little girl...who wanted to be my friend, play with me and collect how do you tell an8 year old little girl that you are not in fact 8, looking for a friend or wanting to collect shells in the yes...I spent the rest of the afternoon essentially babysitting the mother and now a small child too...there I am on a paradise island...hanging out with the mother and a child who thinks I am about 10 years old! I managed to make a break for it and get back to the deeper water snorkelling where neither the mother nor the child would be able to get to me! I was washed and ready for the sunset on the beach with a cold beer again...we were packed ready for going in the morning...but had left our costumes out for one last dip before going...while packing we had to play a quick game of hide and seek with a cockroach...not my favourite game...but better found and disposed of than on the loose in the room...Friday 3rd April 2010We were up and ready for our last morning swim before heading back to the mainland of Tanzania...we were booked back onto the same bus which had brought us here...we had one last swim before showering the last of the saltwater off and finishing the last minute packing that still had to be done...we were ready...and waiting by reception...but it appeared that they were not ready for us and time was getting on...I had agreed with the mother that I would go back to the mainland on the 12.30 ferry...while she went to meet the professor and his wife...she would then get the boat back at 4pm...meanwhile, I would change some more money, check us into the econolodge for another night and then get our bus tickets to Arusha for the next day...I made it back to the mainland...the lady opposite gave me sweets, while the steward came around with sick bags...the crossing was a little rough but thankfully the people near me were not being sick...I had both my rucksack and the big pink suitcase so I decided to get a taxi back to the hotel, stopping for money on the way. I had not taken into account that fact that it was in fact Good Friday and therefore everything was shut...thankfully there was a Barclays with a cash machine which worked...It has been so long since I used a cash machine that I was surprised that I even remembered how to use it...after checking in, the guys at reception gave me directions to the bus offices and advised us to go with Kilimanjaro Coaches as they leave from near the hotel...I went into a few, but did in fact decide to go with Kilimanjaro...I bought the tickets and we were to leave on a 12 hour bus to Arusha at 6am the following day...I had some time to kill before meeting the mother so thought I would do a little shopping...unfortunately, it was STILL Good Friday and the shops were shut still...I walked along the harbour front...went for a coke in the Kilimanjaro Hotel and bought a Jesus key ring or 2...what a buy! The mother arrived and we walked back to the hotel...her crossing had been somewhat rougher than mine...there were too many vomit stories for me to listen too...we had dinner at a small restaurant near the hotel and managed to get some chapatti for the journey the following day...