Caught Up In Stone Town


This blog entry about the events of Wednesday, May 19, 2004 was originally posted on May 22, 2004.

DAY 214:  The north coast of Unguja Island, Zanzibar is the kind of place you go and sort of realize, “Hey, I think I might just live here and do nothing.”  While that idea was promising, it was detrimental to my plan of writing a blog around the world.  Realizing that I couldn’t stay forever in Kendwa, I figured the dread of leaving it all was as inevitable as being Kendwa’d, and that I might as well rip off Kendwa from my soul like a band-aid on a wound.

Jess had a flight out of Stone Town that afternoon, so we packed up our bungalow to head south in our rental car — but not before spending one last morning on the beach.  Jess took a nap lying out in the sun while I took advantage of the small window of time of the low tide to go for a stroll up north with Jordan and Janice.  (When the high tide is in, there is no passageway between the ocean and rocks in some sections.)  We walked up along the beach (picture above) to Nungwi, passed guys pulling starfish out of the water and Mikhail on a bike riding on his way to visit Chris at Scuba Do, until I ran into two more familiar faces:  the Israeli couple from the Jambo Guesthouse in Stone Town that Jess and I were trying to track down the day we got to Kendwa.  They couldn’t find Sunset Bungalows that first day and just settled on somewhere else.  I chatted with the pair for a bit but not for too long; we just made plans to catch up back in Stone Town the following day so they could give me pointers on travel through Ethiopia.

I had to get back to Jess so we could drive back to Stone Town to catch her flight, so I said my temporary farewells to Jordan and Janice, making plans to see them the next day too for my last day in town, and then walked back down the beach to Kendwa.  After saying my goodbyes to Chris and Tammy at Scuba Do, Jess and I rode back the bumpy road southbound, careful to not run over anymore chickens.  I brought Jess straight to the airport and saw her off. 

“Nice meeting you!” she said.

“Good luck with everything,” I wished her.  I reminded her that in a couple of days she’d be back in the reality of Boston, USA, which was a world away from anything surrounding me.  Taking advantage of cruising alone through tropical Zanzibar with the windows open and radio blasting one last time, I drove to the hospital to see an eye specialist about my eye redness.  He said it was no biggie and prescribed me some other eye drops.

WILLIE WAS SITTING OUTSIDE the Grace Tours office as always when i pulled up in the Suzuki.  The owner of the car — I suspect the “renting” was simply borrowing Mr. Ali’s friend’s car for money — came and inspected it.  Seeing no damage (or chicken blood on the tires), he was satisfied and took off.  From there I went to the Africa House for lunch, a delicious fresh seafood calzone, where my string of meeting familiar faces continued; the only other customers at the time were Anders, the Danish guy that I met in Stone Town before I went up north, and Yvonne, the Chinese girl I had kept on bumping into since I met her in Nkhata Bay, Malawi.  We sat around a table with drinks and food and did a bit of catching up on our latest adventures.

There was one more task of catching up left for me to do that day:  catching up on The Blog, which is what I attempted to do.  I pretty much locked myself in my room (in the Manch Lodge since the Jambo Guesthouse was full) and typed away all afternoon while listening to No Doubt MP3s.  However, I didn’t get even halfway finished because I just didn’t feel like working on it too much.  Perhaps it was the lackluster vibe of Kendwa that had caught up with me in Stone Town that was to blame.

Next entry: Closure In Tanzania

Previous entry: Kendwa’d Without Ken

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Comments for “Caught Up In Stone Town”

  • Ok, these beach pics just aren’t fair.  It looks like paradise.  Mental note to self - plan on at least 2 years on beach in Zanzibar.

    Posted by Liz  on  05/22  at  04:13 PM

  • So, Erik, how was the diving there compared to elsewhere you’ve been diving? The water looked AMAZING and the vis had to be awesome too! Just curious. I’m about to plan a dive here in SoCal, and it just won’t be as awesome as 84 degree weather in Zanzibar. Makes me incredibly sad… I’m actually kinda scared of how cold it could be - I learned in Nicaragua, where the water was warm like Kendwa.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/23  at  10:26 AM

  • hmm…i just realized memorial day is this coming weekend. The fam and i may head down to the jersey shore…its almost as good as Kendwa.

    ok. i lied. the jersey shore is a sewer compared to your pics!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/23  at  05:12 PM

  • beach pics sure do look nice…i could sleep out there for days…

    ugh…the reality of boston…ERIK - If you didn’t know Massachusetts now recognizes gay marriages….

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/24  at  01:07 AM

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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

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Next entry:
Closure In Tanzania

Previous entry:
Kendwa’d Without Ken


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