This post was originally written on February 16, 2018
Yesterday was a travel day where Ash and I took a flight from Nairobi down to Zanzibar, Tanzania. Zanzibar is a picture perfect paradise island. I was lucky enough to come here about ten years ago when I was volunteering in Moshi, Tanzania. At that time I only had one weekend to explore the island, and in that brief time I knew it wasn’t enough. One day I’d be back and that day is TODAY!
Check out the photos of both our flight and our plane. The flight was really cool because we got to fly right over Mt. Kilimanjaro. The plane however could be left to interpretation on how safe it truly was. The ‘CUT HERE IN EMERGENCY’ on the side of the plane, as well as the flat tires…seems like we were leaving a lot to chance on this one!
We’ve booked four nights in a place called Paje, which is on the south eastern part of Zanzibar. It’s known for its kite surfing and bizarre tides. When we arrived here we wanted to go for a swim but when we got to the beach there was this eerie feeling. The tide was a couple of kilometers out so all you could see was the ocean floor. And yet within a few hours the tide came in and it looked like a normal ocean shore again…except for the temperature. I kid you not ~ the ocean was so warm that it felt like you were swimming in your own piss … or worse, someone else’s! With plus 30 temperatures and high humidity I can safely say that this was not a refreshing dip! Although it may not be refreshing it truly is absolutely stunning. A white sandy beach and turquoise waters!!!
The place we are staying in is a beach hut. It’s made of palm leaves and even though we have a door and a lock there are spaces for creepy critters to squeeze through. Nothing too freaky to write about yet – just the odd lizard! (((( I retract that sentence. Last night I had to get this flying beetle thing out of here and this morning there was a freaking praying mantis! ))))) It’s really cool though and has the luxuries of a bed, fan and a bathroom. It’s absolutely perfect!
Today was pretty exciting! We booked two scuba dives. I have done it once before in Australia, but that was so many years ago that I have built up a fear over the years. I remember that it was fantastic, but the fear of all the things that could go wrong and breathing underwater without being able to surface easily has kept me from doing it again. Until now…
First we had a quick course in the pool and in the course they basically scare the shit out of you because they give you all the scenarios of things that could go wrong. I have to admit that when I first went under and was literally just below the surface I started to get all panicky. My thoughts raced through my head and all I wanted to do was breathe…I had to talk myself down to sanity and eventually I got the hang of it again. Once that was complete and we passed all the mini tests, it was out in the great big ocean. It was pretty spectacular. It’s just unbelievable to see all the life that exists below the surface. The colours of the coral and how gracefully it sways back and forth is mesmerizing. There are so many types of pretty fish but what stands out were the sting rays, flounders shuffling at the bottom of the ocean floor, sea horses, polka dot sea snakes, massive sea cucumbers that were more the size of squashes, all the various kinds of starfish, huge lion fish…I could go on and on really!! It’s bloody amazing. The first dive I was kind of freaked out when my flipper got caught in the coral and I was so scared I was going to drift into the spiky sea urchins that were everywhere. But the second dive was so much calmer and I felt much more at ease.
Anyway it was definitely a day to remember and it just goes to show that when you face your fears it’s really not that bad. I was told once by a friend that when you push yourself out of your comfort zone that is where the magic happens – this couldn’t be more true!
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