As I had a lot of problems with the taxi getting to Kendwa Rocks, I was given a $20 taxi back to Stone Town. I had a few more problems checking out, which added to my frustration with Kendwa Rocks, it didn’t deliver on my expectations or for the price I paid. After the hour long drive, I was dropped off at Africa House; A very up market hotel with a bar that overlooked the sea. I was meeting Kristine here. Luckily nobody asked me to buy a drink so I managed to sit there until she came and then we left quickly.
We walked around for a few hours. Exploring the tiny streets and old buildings in Stone Town. There are heavy Arabian influences, mixed in with European and African culture to create some fantastic old buildings, especially the beautifully crafted wooden doors. We met Jamie for lunch, as she had also arrived in Zanzibar the previous day.
Kristine and I were heading to Kiwengwa, a small beach on the East coast. Instead of paying $40 for a taxi we were grabbing a Dala Dala for $1. They were different from the Dala Dala’s on the main land. A small flatbed Toyota had some railings (which looked like a garden fence), a roof and some wooden benches put in. There were 16 people in when we set off, and it was busy. We had 26 in the back, including 2 children on knees, 2 sitting on the floor and 2 extra people hanging off the back. After 21/22 people there was no more room on the benches. People would just push up and make room for a tiny child, then large ladies would ‘sit down’ and wiggle their way into the space. It was a no experience and was uncomfortable but good fun and worth the discomfort for the price!
Arriving in early afternoon we dropped our stuff and headed down for a quick swim and walk along the lovely quiet beach. We walked though the village, to many stares and shouts, to buy some water and mandazi. The hostel was on some rocks above the beach. They had a tiny pool and lots of large mattresses spread out with views over the beach. It was a fantastic place to just do nothing. We had no choice but to eat at the over priced hostel, but the food was quite good.
We only had one full day at Kiwengwa, and spent it doing nothing. We lay about on the sofa area while the sun was beaming down on the hostel, I had found a really good self learning Swahili book. Once the sun had left the sofa’s, we headed down to the beach. After a Mandazi lunch we went to a small shop which also offered massages. She spoke very English and tried to charge $35 for an hour, rather than the price of 20,000 ts. She kept speaking Swahili at me and luckily I got the price down to 20,000. We both felt really relaxed afterwards and lay on the beach for a while long, but had to go back a bit earlier than we would have liked due to a strong wind and lots of cloud.
It was great to go to a different beach and nice to meet up with Kristine to go there. They were worlds apart, Kengwa was a highly developed tourist hot spot. Kiwengwa was a quite beach hotels and a fishing village merging into one.