I went running with Tanya in the morning then made pancakes for breakfast. Over breakfast, Tanya asked if she could join me for the weekend and I agreed. We get along well and I knew she’d be fun. We had Massoud pick us up at 9 am and headed up to the far northern coast.
I hadn’t booked a hotel in advance so we spent a bit of time looking for accommodation. We went to one cheap place and it looked okay, but then we went to Langi Langi Resort and found out they had a room with two twin beds for $85 a night. After looking at the room and the pool, we realized we would be crazy to stay anywhere else. The room was clean and the shower looked good, there was a private porch with several chairs, and the beds were Zanzibari style, which had tall posts to drape the mosquito net over so that you don’t get tangled in it while sleeping.
It was still early and the room was being cleaned, so we hung out on the patio and enjoyed a complementary juice while watching the ocean and people walking by. We settled into our room and were getting ready to take a walk on the beach when it started raining.
It poured!! Mvua kubwa (large rain). But we were not going to let that spoil our holiday, so we walked along the beach anyway and even went swimming. The ocean water felt very warm compared to the rain and we didn’t want to get out. We walked south along the ocean, passing many fancy resorts and a lot of people taking shelter from the rain. We were the only ones out. The tide was coming in so we eventually reached a point where the beach disappeared and we couldn’t walk anymore. We tried to cut through one of the resorts and continue, but we were shooed away by a guard.
We returned to the hotel and ordered lunch. While it was being prepared the rain stopped and the sky cleared up. By 3:30 you couldn’t tell that it had rained at all. For lunch I had calamari in a spicy sweet chili sauce. It was delicious but very hot.
After lunch we talked to the owner of the place and he said we took take two of their kayaks out for free so we changed back into our bathing suits and got two staff members to help us launch. We paddled south for about 4 kilometers until we came to the northern end of Kendwa, the beach we went to last Sunday. We beached our kayaks and swam for a while to refresh ourselves. We didn’t want to stay too long because we knew it would take 45 minutes to paddle back and the sun was setting quickly. We made it back with plenty of time to spare and handed our kayaks over to some other clients who wanted to use them.
We took a dip in the pool which was a nice change from salt water, then we rushed to shower and change in order to watch the sunset from the restaurant, which looks out west over the ocean. The horizon was cloudy so we couldn’t actually see the sun set, but I enjoyed a nice pot of spiced tea and we chatted about a number of things. The restaurant only serves a limited selection of beer and wine, but they allow you to bring in any alcoholic drinks you want. We wanted to get some Savannas (a hard cider from South Africa) and tried to go to the grocery store but it was really dark because the power was out so we didn’t feel safe walking around by ourselves. We talked to the owner about having someone go out and buy them for us, but he couldn’t find anyone. Instead, he gave us both a free glass of wine because he couldn’t solve our problem. It was really nice.
We spent a long time at dinner watching the tide slowly recede. At high tide, the beach at Nungwi completely disappears and you can only enter the ocean via stairs leading down from the cliff on which everything is built. It was a lot of fun to listen to the water crash on the rocks then slowly drift out until it was just a murmur on the beach. There aren’t any waves here so when the tide is out the ocean is very quiet.
After dinner we weren’t ready to retire so we walked down the street a bit to a local bar on the beach. It was called Mangi’s and they serve some really strong drinks. The owner of our hotel warned us that they would be strong and he wasn’t kidding! After one drink we called it quits and returned to the hotel. The power had gone off and on all day (it’s more common in the north because of all of the resorts which suck a lot of power) but luckily we had power all night so the fan remained on. It was actually quite cool at night and I was nearly cold in my skirt and t-shirt. I even used the light blanket for part of the night.