Friday, August 2, 2013

Chillin' like a villain in East Africa's version of paradise

Zanzibar, the perfect place to escape from it all!

Spending 3 months in land-locked countries (Nepal, Ethiopia) made us realize we really missed the ocean. Feeling worn down and exhausted, we booked a last-minute flight from Ethiopia to Zanzibar. We splurged and went against our quasi-scientific budget. Oh well, sometimes we just have to treat ourselves to a little something.
It was hard to contain our excitement
Zanzibar is a wonderful little island off the coast of Tanzania and with a rich spice trade heritage. It's a semi-independent part of Tanzania (you have to show your passport upon entering and leaving) and the economy mostly relies on tourism. The capital, Stone Town, is a bustling little place, full of tiny little streets that often turn into mazes where you can happily get lost.

Hard to take life too seriously in Zanzibar!
You can walk the entire 'city' in about a half hour if you know your way around and don't get accosted by too many touts (taxis, hashish, spices, they have it all). The harbor is nice to walk around and they have a really scenic waterfront public park where you can get amazing passion fruit juice and even free public outdoor wi-fi!

Stone Town has delicious fresh seafood and tropical fruits to offer and we enjoyed amazing dishes such as lemon fish soup for breakfast, coconut ginger lime smoothies, freshly pressed lime sugar cane juice and beautifully spiced seafood dishes with cinnamon straight from the tree and fresh, whole vanilla.
We ate from sea to table, every day

Our brief stay in Stone Town -- just a day -- was enhanced enormously because of our wonderful Couchsurfing hostess  This amazing Brit showed us the entire town and gave us an amazing hookup at Evergreen Bungalows for the remainder of our stay in Zanzibar.

We left Stone Town and headed east to one of the least touristy beaches on the island on an overcrowded local bus. Because of low season and our hookup, we got to stay in an amazing eco-lodge right in front of the beach in Bwejuu. Our huge bungalow was so close to the water, we usually fell asleep to the sound of small waves crashing on Zanzibar snow, aka fine, powder white sand.

For 10 days, we did absolutely nothing with the exception of one awesome snorkeling trip. Oh and a few en-suite full body massages.

Beautiful snorkeling site
Doing nothing felt great. It re-energized us. We felt amazing! We'd take turns going from the hammocks hung between palm trees to a quick dip in the perfectly calm azure ocean. We even dared to go on a tremendously difficult 15 minute walk on the flat, white sand beaches to the main part of town just to switch up lunch. In between our incredibly relaxed activities, we'd either take advantage of the free wi-fi, drink and eat meaty, sweet fresh coconuts or eat freshly caught seafood.

If this isn't paradise then we're all screwed.

When life gives you lemons, make a mint lemonade with a tad of sugar and an optional shot of rum and bring it over to Zanzibar. We guarantee you'll relax in ways you never even thought possible...

Perfect chill out spot -- our awesome hotel

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