Feb 172015
 

After my evening wandering the streets of Stone Town trying to find my way to and from dinner, I had a nice relaxing morning. Breakfast was included in the hotel restaurant, which was on the top floor and had a nice view out over the roofs of Stone Town. As an added bonus, the breakfast buffet spread was pretty good and service was quite good as well. Nice relaxing start to the morning.

Checked out, and had the hotel call a taxi for me, which took about 10 minutes to arrive. While waiting, I saw this table in the hotel lobby. I loved it…nine little compartments on top, each filled with a different spice. Something like this would be a great souvenir from the spice island!

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Taxi came in about 10 minutes, and the fantastic hotel staff insisted on carrying my bags to the tax, which was maybe a 100 meter walk from the hotel. Many of the streets in Stone Town (including the one the hotel is one) are so small and narrow that no vehicle traffic is possible, so cars just come as close as they can.

Got to Zanzibar Airport, and found out that domestic flights depart from a different terminal, which is just one room with one x-ray machine. There were maybe 50 people waiting when I got there, for an assortment of flights in tiny planes to Dar, Arusha, and possibly some other destinations. There was one check-in counter, with no real signs/indication of where to go for which airline…of which there were at least five different airlines. I just went up every 10 minutes to ask, and eventually, yes, they were checking in my flight lol.

Boarding was five minutes before scheduled departure time, and we started walking to the plane. There were a couple of dozen small plans scattered around the tarmac, so I was curious to see which one we would get. View of the airport:

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This little guy turned out to be our plane. Pilot plus room for five passengers, one of which sat in the copilot seat. Smallest plane I’ve ever been on.

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ZanAir flight 105
Zanzibar, Tanzania (ZNZ) to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (DAR)
Depart 11:00, Arrive 11:20, Flight Time 20 minutes
Cessna 207A Stationair, Registration 5H-ARD, Manufactured 1980

It was getting hot out. Very hot. So what do you do if you’re the pilot? Hold the window open to get a good breeze going during taxi…of course!

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View of the apron at ZNZ just after takeoff:

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Flight was a total of about 40 miles, and lasted just over 20 minutes. Soon, we were in Dar es Salaam at the domestic airport:

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The domestic and international terminals at Dar are quite a way apart, and all of the other passengers on my plane were connecting to international flights so ZanAir gave them a ride in a company car over to the other terminal…how nice! There were plenty of taxis for me, and prices were posted, so there was no question what a fair price to the hotel would be. ¬†Traffic was horrendous, and it took well over an hour to get to the DoubleTree hotel located in the neighbourhood of Oyster Bay.

Was given a very nice upgrade to a suite upon check-in:

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I was exhausted from several days of go-go-go traveling, and it was mid afternoon by this point, so I decided to relax for a bit and just enjoy the afternoon by the pool…where I was the only person for most of the afternoon:

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Sunset near the hotel:

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A friend had recommended I get dinner at the Cape Town Fish Market restaurant, which was located near the hotel. I asked for directions from the bellman, who seemed terrified that I was considering walking there. After convincing him I was serious, he gave me directions, and it was an easy 10 minute or so walk. The neighbourhood didn’t feel the least bit dangerous, even after dark, so I’m not quite sure what the big deal was.

The restaurant itself was fascinating people watching. It was packed with various expat types as well as what appeared to be lots of middle and upper class locals. There were clearly lots of regulars, because the staff were greeting everyone by name. It was a nice warm evening, although there was a breeze, so sitting by the ocean and having dinner was perfect. They tried to sell me on a salmon entree (seriously? salmon? in Africa?) but I passed and asked for something local. Ended up with a red snapper which was quite tasty. Wanted to get dessert as there were several tasty looking options on the menu, but wasn’t all that hungry. I’d later find out the next day that I was getting sick and that’s what had killed my appetite.

Not feeling great headed back to the hotel and early to bed to hopefully sleep it off before heading to Uganda in the morning.


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