The name, Zanzibar, reeks of mystique and magic. It is one of those African names like Tashkent or Morocco that have a similar sound to their name. We are now here in a waterfront motel in Stone Town
We returned to Nairobi from our last lodge at Kichwa Tembo, arriving for a late lunch. A few of us decided to walk up the road to a shopping centre that was about 500 metres away. One of our group wanted to. Buy a new external hard drive o which to store his many thousands of photos and I was looking for a new paIr of pants to replace the ones in which the zipper has broken. I had tried to sew them up, but unfortunately my sewing skills are not up to the task!
The mall was a multi-story shopping centre with a car park that was overflowing. I did find a pair of trousers in a clothing store that sold what appeared to be Marks and Spencer’s products (probably end of range or outdated products). They are probably a bit more formal than I need, but for about $30, I can’t complain. It’s a little hard to work out exact prices when the Kenyan Shilling is about 106 to the $AUD. (Now we In Tanzania it’s even mire difficult as we get approximately 1600 of their shillings to the $AUD.
We left Kenya this morning through Nairobi airport and was a real ‘bun fight’ we were stuck in check in queue that was long and moving so slowly that we would never have reached the counter before our plane was due to depart. In the end, we took the initiative of jumping the line and moving to an end counter where we were checked in pour bags and picked up our boarding passes.
Then we had to face the queue through the immigration (embarkation) area which was linger and slower. Eventually an airport manager took us to the front of the queue. Thus caused a severe amount of displeasure to a Dutch group who had been waiting for a long time and abused us vociferously for queue jumping. They called us a group of obnoxious Americans, so we decided not to disillusion them about our identity. Apparently, the airport is always very busy in the mornings and most flights are delayed with people taking excessive time to clear the official processes.
Our flight to Zanzibar took almost 2 hours in an ATR72. This is a French-Italian aircraft and a twin turbo prop at carries about 80 passengers. Our flight took almost an hour and a half and we flew right over Mt Kilamanjoro. I passed my iPhone over to John on the other side if the plane and, without wanting to embarrass him, he did manage to take a great photo of his right thumb.
We have now settled into our rather quaint hotel with a sort of quasi colonial and moorish style of architecture. Because this place has a large Muslim population, the hotel doesn’t sell alcohol, so we are restricted to coke and series of ‘Mocktails’. We plan to walk around the town later this afternoon to take a few photos.