A few days in Nungwi

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On the 26th, again we went to the north: in Nungwi. Again we took the Dalla Dalla. The roof was overloaded. Many things had to be braught on the way to Nungwi. Inside, we could even see, on the top of the truck that some parts were slowly breaking. We were unsure whether it was safe but local people did not seem to care. It was even more laid on the roof until we arrived …
We like the beach of Nungwi. Very clean and people around do not insist much when we are not interested in any tour. They ask gently and when we thank them, they simply ask the next tourist.
We found an accommodation close to the beach for the same price as the hotel we are stying in Stown Town: 30$. The hotel is very simple but for this price we even have bath in the room and Internet that we do not have here… However we could only reserve from next day on: our hotel in Stone Town was already paid until the 27th.
When we came back we had the chance to get a very comfortable Dalla-Dalla. Not the one in form of a U but a kind of normal bus. In Europe it may not have even a star but we felt like in a 5 stars bus 🙂
The bus became overcrowded and a woman older than me was standing. I proposed her to take my sit. I noticed all people starring at me and starting to talk around. Looks like Mzungu (white people) usually do not leave their sits for older women …
As we arrived we directly bought our ticket to go back to Dar es Salaam with the Ferry. We will go on sunday.

27th of September, we just arrived in our new hotel. The way was quite fast (1 hour compared to more than 2 hours it was really good). The hotel is lovely, many colors around and people staying here seem friendly. A hospital is located close to our hotel. I asked whether I could volunteer but they were not interested. It is a pity we may have had a chance to learn from each other. We spent the rest of the day on the beach. In the evening we went for dinner in a local restaurant. Good and very cheap. We ate only cooked vegetables and rice.

Next day: 28th of September was raining. After some Internet rain stopped and we decided to visit an Aquarium. It was 15 minutes away walking from our hotel. We went through some places of Nungwi and discovered the reality of this village: most of people are living in a kind of slum. Children playing in garbage. Houses made of almost nothing. The difference between local people living here and tourists is incredibly huge. However no child seems to suffer of malnutrition. I was wondering the rest of day whether something could be done there. Maybe some kind of specialized school in fields where it is easier to find work: tourism. new technology, finance. However I do not have enough competence in this area or even enough money to do anything.
Another interesting difference are that people do not say hello as easily as they do in the touristic part of the village or the way they do in Mburahati which was a very poor area too but people seemed to always be happy to see us. Maybe these poor people in Nungwi are somehow pissed off of tourists.

Tomorrow we are leaving back to Stone town. Spend another night there and then take the Ferry to Dar es Salaam where we will spend 2  nights and fly to Calcutta where we will spend again a night and flight to Bangkok. We will stay there for 3 weeks.

Discovering the beaches of Zanzibar

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We spent the two days (the 23rd and 24th of September) in Zanzibar visiting beaches. We are staying in a hotel in Stone Town. The first day we took the local bus (Dalla Dalla) to go to the north of the island. The way was quite hard. Dalla-Dalla is a cheap way to travel over the roads but it is not as comfortable as the Dalla Dalla of Dar es Salam. Here a bus consists of a small truck. Passengers sit in the back side of the truck where a kind of big sit has a shape of a U. A guy drives and another one cares for saying who sits where and cares for getting paid (2000 Tsh from Stone Town to Nungwi). We got fully compressed between people and the things they need to carry from one place to another. The guy taking care for payment, cares as well to carry things on the roof of the bus. They use such bus to transport heavy things from Stone Town to other places. It is also amazing to see this guy going on the roof to clean up things while the bus is driving 70km per hour or more. I can understand that here James Bond has no success … they would find him very annoying 🙂
The beaches we visited needed at least a 2 hours way. The sits were extremely uncomfortable, and one feels his ass getting jam … however it is really nice to discover local people and their way of life. Like in Dar es Salaam, people here are very friendly and like to hear we know a few words of Swahili.
As the places for passengers is very small, women coming with children leave often their child to a person closer to the exit. This happened to Nino, she cared about a child for the whole travel. He even fell asleep in her arms. Such behavior are very typical. As soon as she can, any woman takes a child in her arm until the mother arrives to her destination.  This increases even more the feeling of safety and respect from people.
The beaches we visited are wonderful. Almost free of tourists. Sometimes a few people are walking around. Beaches belong to villages which are extremely typical and very nice. Here we can imagine how was south Italy 200 or 300 years ago. There some people try to propose any kind of tours for quite expensive prices promising we are their best friends and they are making us a good price. We anyway just use very cheap transports and are not interested in any tour.
On the way back we stopped at the market which is located at the end bus station and bought some vegetables. We have the chance our hotel has a small kitchen. Hence we prepare ourselves something to eat.
On the second way back as we arrived, a guy cheated us explaining the police made the transport slower because we had no permit … what kind of permit ? Hence he said we would pay 1500Tsh each and it would be OK. We proposed we go altogether to the police and then he got afraid and left us in peace …
Another interesting point to mention is that Freddy Mercury (the singer of the Queen) was born in Stone Town.

On the 25th we decided to rest a little. First try to see if a beach was accessible to Stone Town but as we did not find any, we simply stayed in the city doing some shopping and visiting some areas.
Many people are proposing tours or whatever, hence no way to stay looking at anything for too long or a guy comes trying to be out next day guide … this is a little annoying but not as bad as in Arusha. They insist very few and after one or two trials leave us in peace.
This evening we are having a pizza in a wood oven restaurant.

Arriving in Zanzibar

We left yesterday Arusha and drove in a Bus another 12 hours. The bus was however really good and we did not suffer that much as when going to Arusha … It was furthermore cheaper and the service was even nicer.

Unfortunately we sit on the wrong side in the bus and missed the opportunity to make great photos …

We arrived in Dar es Salaam very tired and by chance the hotel still had an available room. We slept one night and went to the next morning (on the 22 of september) went to the desk to buy tickets for Zanzibar. Many companies are offering different prices. We however chose the one where the greatest number of tourists were … it seemed much safer … was however almost double the price of others …

The travel was good and we reserved a hotel quickly before leaving the harbor. We spent 2 hours and arrived in Zanzibar. I had heard a lot of this island however I expected like many places that will be very sponsored not very much more than what we can find in other islands … I was wrong.

This place is really wonderful. We are staying in the middle of Stone Town the biggest village on the island. Here everything is still typical. Tourism did not succeeded yet to transform this place removing all atmosphere of the corners we may meet. Here local people are still living like many years ago (except for handys 🙂 ). They are like in Dar es Salaam very nice, and like to answer Jumbo (Hello) to tourists that are smiling. This reminds me Poggio, a small village where some of my relatives are living. I spent many holiday there and people were as well so nice … however, Zanzibar is much bigger and local people have this very cool and sweet way to talk to each other and to foreigners.

Compared to Dar es Salaam, the place is full of tourists. The hotel we are staying is very clean. The best we had so far. Only the bath is common.

Tomorrow after the breakfast, we plan to take a bus to some beach. Still no idea how to go there we will ask and see.