We woke up at 06h15 to watch the sunrise, it was so beautiful and just like the Zanzibar culture, it takes a while to unfold. There were also some children playing in the sea as the sun rose. The sun rose slowly and was in no hurry, it knew it would shine the whole day and that the tourists and locals would be happy. Said a prayer on the beach for all the beauty we have seen, took photos and walked again for the last time, just letting our feet sink into the castor sugar sand, slowly and smoothly. We are sad to leave this warm carefree spot where our lovely friend stays at. It is peaceful and our lives are not run by time but by our bodies. We ate when we were hungry, slept when tired and did walks when we wanted to explore.
With bags packed, we drove and checked into Azanzi Hotel for 2 nights, before we fly back home. We had a full day of sightseeing ahead, our friend has 2 days off work and we had lots planned to do. We enjoyed a cup of coffee as we waited for the dive Centre to open. We were booked to do diving and snorkeling. This was my first time I would be snorkeling and was quite excited and nervous at the same time. After we got our masks, flippers and half wet suits on, we were ready to board the boat with our underwater cameras ready. The water was so warm you didn’t need a wet suit, but it helped as it was my first time.
The divers were on the same boat as us, and we all left to explore the ocean. Everyone was very excited, it was a small group which was good, as I knew I would need some attention. After quite a while of enjoying the beautiful blue ocean we arrived at a spot where we had to jump in the water. I held onto the lifeboat as the water was quite choppy and I was a little afraid. The rest of the guests jumped in with no problem and started snorkeling to discover what was under the sea. Got water in my mouth 3x and surprisingly remained calm, told myself I would be okay. Then I finally relaxed and started to enjoy finding the fish and exploring under the sea. The crew were very patient with me and kept a watchful eye over me as I swam. We saw eels, butterfly fish that was so beautiful with all the colours. We also saw some huge black and white fish, zebra fish and some colourful striped fish. There was a school of zebra fish that swam with us all the time, it was so cute. We got to feed the fish as well, as they came to our hands and took the food out with small little nibbles that we could not even feel. We were in the water for about 45 minutes and it seemed like 10 minutes the most. It was so much fun and I could not believe how quickly time had flown.
We got back into the little boat and sailed to the big boat. The divers came back and we had some Chai tea. We also enjoyed some fresh cut up fruit and snacks.
After our mini break we went back into the little boat in another direction to do some more snorkeling. I had now become comfortable but still glad I had a life jacket on. My eyes were everywhere trying to see all the fish and underwater activities; I never managed to take any photos after all that. We kept our eyes under the water all the time. When our time was up we were all quite exhausted but totally refreshed and thankful that we could spend some time with our new underwater friends. We had gone into their world and experienced calmness and peace, while the sun shone on our backs and shoulders. Back at shore we showed and got ready for the next half of the day.
We left Nungwe to go and see the turtles, Hawksbill and Green Turtles at the Mnarani Marine Turtles Conservation Pond sanctuary. We got to feed them seaweed from our hands. They are really big. It was an interesting tour and we also saw baby turtles, which we could not touch as they were sick and needed to get better. We also saw an empty shell of the biggest turtle ever, it was half a meter long.
We stopped en route to buy a typical Zanzibar colander which I bartered for, it was quite fun and you see them everywhere hanging on the outside of the little shops. I also made an impulsive decision to buy a white and black shawl type of top for summer that was very expensive. I am sure this item I will regret buying and probably never use, but those are the moments that make us remember our day.
We went all the way to the North of Zanzibar to watch the sunset and have dinner right on the beach. You can take your shoes off and feel the sand with your feet as you sit at your table. It is very rustic and lots of the locals with tourists enjoy this place. I was a bit scared to eat meat, as I didn’t want to get a runny tummy so I ordered vegetable Chiabata – it was delicious. It came with fried potatoes which is my favourite. While we waited for our meal, I did some more last minute shopping and got a kikoy and some bracelets; there are stalls on the beach to entice the traveller to buy. The sunset was bright orange and slowly closed its eyes as it went over the ocean. The night air was warm and still. We walked a bit on the beach. Lots of boats were coming in from their sunset cruise. And lots of locals try to sell you something as you walk along, while others were playing soccer.
We chatted some more about the day as we drove back to Azanzi hotel. The water on this side of Zanzibar is so salty that even if you boil it, you still can’t drink it. We tried to make a coffee in our room, but even the boiled water was salty, it tasted terrible. I just could not get myself to drink the coffee. The hotel staff had forgotten to leave us bottled water in the room which was really sad. They apparently only use bottled water to put in the kettles to make coffee.
We had a good full fun day and stunning evening making so many memories. It was my first day of snorkeling and I definitely want to do it again. Tomorrow we going to Chumbe Island, we can’t wait.
For more info on the turtles you can look at http://www.mnaraniaquarium.org