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Paradise Lost

Kendwa Beach, Zanzibar, Tanzania


View Tanzania 2005 on GregW's travel map.

Have you ever had a day where everything just goes wrong?

I had planned to write a great missive about how paradise is a white sand beach with no-one else on it and the waves of the Indian Ocean lapping the shore. But then everything started to go wrong.

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Instead of the day and a half I had been planning for, I would have to leave on a 9am flight, cutting my beach time down to a day.

On the way up to the beach, we stopped to do a spice tour. Zanzibar is famous for growing spices, especially cloves, and taking a tour of a spice farm. The farmer takes you around and shows you various plants and their fruits. We then play a game where we try and guess what spice is made from the plant. Everyone else in the group would be sitting their saying stuff like, “is it turmeric?” The farmer would say, “Yes! It is turmeric!” And I would be thinking, “What the heck is turmeric?” A spice tour is a very, very boring concept if you know nothing about spices or cooking. All it was to me was an hour of beach time lost.

Back on our way, the van suddenly started making weird noises. So we stop to get it checked out. The van cannot continue, but a new van is called to pick us up. It arrives pole pole, and it’s not until 2 hours later that we are back on the road.

We arrive at the hotel. It’s more than I really want to spend, but after checking a couple other places, I find it is one of the few places that isn’t full. $US 30 they want. I pull out 30,000 shillings, as most places give you a 1000 shilling to $1 conversion rate. But not here, they ask for 33,300 shillings, and won’t budge. So I end up spending 3,300 shillings more than I wanted.

Finally I am going to get to the beach. I get into my room, change into my swim trunks, and as I am pulling the draw string taut, it breaks. My swim trunks stay up until I get into the Indian Ocean. Once heavy with water, they start to slip off my hips. I have to give up on the swim quickly.

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I retreat into the beach bar and sulk. My last day is a total bust. Paradise lost.

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After an hour I decide that I can’t let a few bad incidents get me down. I sit quietly for a minute, thinking. Suddenly it hits me – SAFETY PINS! Ever since an incident I had in Denver where the button fell off my pants, I have carried safety pins for quick repair emergencies. So with a few safety pins I fix my swim trunks and go back into the ocean.

After a swim down the beach, I sit on the beach and watch the sun set into the Indian Ocean. Paradise, I suppose, has it’s problems, but a white sand beach with blue water and few other tourists is still paradise.

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Paradise found.

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Posted by GregW 20:28 Archived in Tanzania

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