Monday, July 23, 2012

Sugar and Spice

I thoroughly enjoy cooking so taking a spice tour on Spice Island (Zanzibar) seemed like a no brainer but, after mixed reviews, I waited until my last full day in Zanzibar to book the tour. For about $20 I hopped on a private taxi to some of the neighboring spice farms. We drove past a town called Bububu named phonetically for the sound the old passing train would make as it rumbled through the small town. We started to drive through more rural towns, the real, less touristy Zanzibar , until we arrived at a nondescript spice farm. We wandered through the forest on dirt paths as Sabri, our jolly guide, pointed out different herbs and spices. We weaved in and out of trees, bushes and brush learning loads of information as we went along. Although I have not cross checked any of his facts, I feel that overall it was a fun and informative tour. For example, did you know that cinnamon comes from the bark off a type of evergreen tree or that nutmeg clears up congestion and is used in many cough syrups?
As I was busy absorbing all these new facts the tour crescendo happened as a local shimmied up a coconut tree while singing "Jambo Bwana". Four ripe coconuts fell to the ground for us to enjoy. The perfect refresher after a great tour!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Beach Bliss in Kendwa

After a few days in Stone Town we decided to head north to check out a beach town called Nungwi. On the bus ride over we were advised by two travelers from Holland to stay in Kendwa, a more backpack friendly beach. Being the flexible traveling trio that we were, we quickly changed our plans and stayed in Kendwa at a lovely place called Kendwa Rocks. Kendwa Rocks was backpackers paradise with like minded travelers comparing notes on the softest white sand I've ever felt. I always struggle a bit with enjoying such comforts in a place where very real poverty exist but I think seeing the beauty in another's home can be beneficial to all. In Kendwa this is unavoidable. The fire pink sun setting over the cool blue waters of the Indian Ocean all contrasting against bright white sands could take anyone's breath away. The days to come would give us even more appreciation for Zanzibar