I’m going to stop looking for heaven on earth — it’s here in Zanzibar! I’m writing this post overlooking a palm-tree lined white sand beach. The tide is going out, and at low tide the sand will extend 1.5 km from shore. When it comes back in the evening and gets heated by the sun, the water will be 27C – so warm you can run in without hesitation & float for hours. I may be the world’s biggest chicken for cold water, so that’s quite an endorsement! In the Mediterranean it took me 20-30 minutes to submerge, and that was by no means arctic!
Yesterday we drove 90 minutes north, through light forests, farmland and villages to dive off Mnemba Atoll, the island’s best dive spot. 6 young boys were eager to help load the tanks and gear into a local wooden boat. I felt like we were in another space and time – our ecological footprint almost nil, as we ate local fruit and chapati, and used an outboard motor until we floated over the reef. The dives were wonderful! We saw trumpet fish, huge groupers, a huge octopus almost camouflaged in the reef, eels, schools of emperor fish, big yellow polka-dot fish, small black polka dotted fish, just wonderful colours! And I can tell you about it while I upload the photos to the Internet on highspeed. This is truly the best of both worlds.
Our resort is rustic; we have a bungalow made of wood, ignateous rock and a thatched roof, which is perfectly comfortable in the constant breeze. The paths are sand and the food local fish and fruit. Electricity and plumbing add modern comfort, but as soon as we step outside we see Zanzibaris going fishing in dugout canoes, women fetching huge loads of cultured seaweed, entrepreneurs selling massages and carvings on the beach, and it feels timeless. I can’t think of a more perfect spot to check email and develop websites.