To die for a religion is easier than to live it absolutely.

Jorge Louis Borges

After a delightfully relaxing 3 days at the beach, we headed to town. In this case the island is Zanzibar and stone town, established in the 1500’s, taken over by Arabs. Most famous as the official eastern port for the slave trade, finally abolished in 1876 it served Europe and Asia. Ghana on the west coast served north and South America.

Hotel Tembo
From our balcony

The first night out we went out to eat at the night market. As Cindy describes it , 4 parts entertainment and 1 part food. And I might add delicious food. Reminded me of pikes market in Seattle, but not so sedate, very active. Pikes market on steroids. I got so many hugs from the cooks and hand shakes, and was well taken care of. I finally settled on lobster and prawns with garlic chipati, all barbecued exquisite. The cook made sure I had a seat to eat at. Great fun, but one must have energy for such activity and it is hot. (Upper 30’s(low 90’s) with humidity)

Jeanne breaking sweat
Food market chefs
Evening food market

Next day began with walking tour of stone town. With markets, vendors, narrow streets, intricate doors ( each tells a story of inhabitants and history)

We walked through the meat markets fish, beef chicken. A bit smelly but delightful,with fresh fruits and spices. I did learn there are 19 essential spices of which 18 are grown on Zanzibar. (The exception is saffron).

Fish market
Stone town streets

Then the slave market, oh my humanity near its worst. We went into the room where they weeded out the weak. A closed room maybe 4 meters by 4 (13 feet). No light and no ventilation of which 50 men in chains were placed. No food or water and at the end of 3 days those left alive were sent to the whipping post. The amount you cried out determined somewhat where you went.

Slave market memorial
Great museum (this was last display describing slavery yet going on in the world )
Street side shade
Stone town doors

That afternoon we drove to a spice farm. 10 hectares and they grow numerous spices there. Afraid I was very hot and my brain absorbed minimal, but fascinating. Ginger, cloves, pepper, numerous fruits, turmeric, coriander, etc. at the end of walkabout stall set up for buying. And a demo of coconut harvest. Amazing way to climb a tree. Wraps a cord between ankles and I suppose that makes the feet hold the tree, although our demo person was a total showman removing the strap and cavorting free. When finished they treat us to fresh coconut(milk and meat), watermelon (oh so good), papaya, and of course bananas. (Not cavendish). We received crowns, and ties from banana leaves. The kids came around and are kids. We had a good time.

Coconut harvester. (They can only work between age 14 and 24 then age out. Bones do not heal as well after that)
Coconut harvest
Capturing the show
Spice market/farm
Spice market kids
Departing stone town

Flew to Dar es Salaam, the biggest city of 4 million where 5 people departed for home. There are now 8 of us including Daude going to Gombe to look at chimpanzees, in Gombe stream national park. Daude has never been there so Cindy is treating him to a new experience.

Another African sunset
Daude and J. R. (One good looking one ??)

3 thoughts on “Zanzibar

  1. What an incredible trip! It would be hard to not cry looking at the history of the slave trade. Love the photos and Ms Jeanne looks so happy.


  2. Horrifying details of how slaves were chosen. No wonder I like animals more than people. Well, I do like you and Jeanne, though, and I loved your photo with the darling kids. I envy your meal at the night market, but not the temperatures. And, ahem, it is The Pike Place Market. xo

    Liked by 1 person

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