We spent our last three days in Africa in Zanzibar- the mysterious, romantic island of yore, where pirates and slave traders rubbed elbows with sheiks and princes. We weren’t sure what to expect. We spent our first day and night in Stone Town, the ancient city. We wandered down the narrow, winding streets lined with shop doors and eager salesmen hawking their wares. Thanks to Google maps (because there are no street signs), we found our way to the former slave market which is now a museum. We walked through the dungeons where slaves were kept before they were sold at auction. It was a chilling realization of what one human can do to another. We managed to find our way back to our hotel and spent a pleasant evening watching the activity along the beach while the sun set over the ocean.

The next day we took a tour through a spice farm. This was very interesting and informative and we had a feast of fresh fruit at the end of the tour. We then went to our final destination – Footprints – a small resort along the beach. This resort is set up to be locally sustainable and though we applaud the concept, we found that it was tired and shabby. After the magnificent facilities that we had at Dashir and even in the bush, we were disappointed to say the least.

However, there was one very bright spot – we met the most wonderful family from Muscat, Oman. The father Lionel is French and is project manager for a French company in Muscat. His wife Martina is Czech and a teacher by trade. Their lovely children, Elena and Cedrik were chatty, cute and well behaved. As our conversations progressed, they suggested that we travel to Muscat and spend some time with them. They also have a friend who has a guiding business and we can do a few days tour with him as well. So, we’re off to Muscat in December. Once again, it’s all about the people you meet!

We are currently at the airport in Dar es Salaam waiting for our flight to Bangkok, Thailand. This is another overnighter so we will arrive there tomorrow afternoon. Looking forward to the next leg of this grand adventure.

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