Because you’re probably tired of hearing about the glorious turquoise waters and white sandy beaches of the Indian Ocean. We don’t want to rub it in too much, so I’ll just give a brief description on the beaches on the East coast of Zanzibar…
The water is glittering turquoise… it changes colors with the sun but is always stunningly clear and bright.
The sand is bright white and so soft and fine it almost feels like clay in the water.
The beach was not as busy as it was in Mozambique – there were still fishing dhows sailing in and out of the little harbor to our north, but no impromptu seafood markets that I could see. In addition to dhows – which of course I love – there were also wooden boats that looked like catamarans.
Zanzibar was a bit more touristy than Mozambique or Malawi, so children happily posed for pictures, but then demanded money. Our resort was run by Italians, so they often requests Euros. There was one little boy in particular who was quite the little business man – he lined up all of his little friends – smiled widely for the camera – and the pointed to each child “one euro, one euro, one euro…”
Other kids were really great – I had a group of little boys walking with me and after they noticed that I was collecting shells they started gathering them for me. And didn’t charge me any Euros.
Another little boy – he must have been three – stopped and hugged me as I was walking by. Just a quick, unsolicited hug and then he was back to digging in the sand. Absolutely made my day.
The resort was gorgeous. We had the place almost to ourselves and luxuriated in suites with ocean views, two-person Jacuzzis, and balconies. Again, because it was run by Italians, the food was wonderful – four-course dinners and fabulous breakfasts.
It was one of the first vacations where I actually saw Sandy relax at the beach – there was no tennis or golf – he laid in the shade, happily reading … he blames/credits me.
We loved the resort so much that we kept putting off all of the excursions we’d planned on taking – swimming with dolphins, spices tours, etc. The last day, though, we went snorkeling. We rode out in a little boat with three guides (one of whom fished for tuna with a thick plastic line wrapped around his hand and a large bait attached to a hook. He showed us scars on his hand from previous tuna encounters.)
We snorkeled around a little island owned by Bill Gates. The water was spectacularly clear and the fish were plentiful and colorful. Once we got used to the little stings from the tiny clear jelly-fish, we really loved it. With all of this practice, I have gotten much better at snorkeling – I know it seems simple – you put on a mask and breath through a tube, but it takes skill, I’m telling you. Now I can dive down and then blow the water out of the snorkel like a whale. And hopefully that’s the only comparison I draw to a whale while in a bathing suit.
Here are a few photos of the resort and the beach: