We awake to warm, humid weather with very low cloud ceiling and threatening rain which begins just after breakfast and delays our trip to the spice farm for which Zanzibar is very well known. On our way to our next adventure, we stop at the Vodacom store in the market area of Stone Town. As our hosts rearrange some technology, we sit and watch the diverse and interesting life at the marketplace across the street.
We drive to The Residence Zanzibar, a beautiful relatively new open air resort on the Indian Ocean for lunch. As our travel takes us farther outside Stone Town’s medina, the depth of jungle flora increases significantly and so does the poverty. We pass numerous subsistence-living families selling wood, home made charcoal, maybe a few eggs from free range chickens we see On the roadsides. We pass many woodworking ventures, tire dealers, small restaurants with coke signs. We see cows grazing anywhere, running free on the roadsides or on the lawns of houses, and very young children playing close to the roads, men chatting on porches, women doing laundry, carrying water or wood French on their heads. We know there is a wide gap between rich and poor in the western world but it seems to be much greater in the developing African world where the middle class is growing albeit slowly.
After a beautiful lunch we arrive at our charming resort The Palms Zanzibar where we will relax and enjoy the Indian Ocean at our doorstep, and the warm pool for 3 days. Heaven. While on this continent we are very much aware that our presence and tourist dollars are a great source of jobs and wages for local people. Everywhere we have travelled in Africa the staff have been charming, polite, well-groomed and very welcoming. Dinner is beautifully prepared and served. The hotel employs an excellent chef, trained in Kenya. He is teaching local kitchen staff how to prepare delicious dishes, often made with local seafood and Zanzibar-grown spices.