Posted by: keepfishing | June 13, 2008

The Return

 

It has been an interesting and rather exhausting few days.

The week after Kili was spent mostly banging my head against a brick wall trying to navigate the pointless beaurocracy at the IMS and gain access to some water quality data. I still haven’t got it.

At the weekend, Jon, Terese, Magdalena and myself went to Nungwi, the resort in the north to do some diving (for fun, rather than just to take pictures of coral diseases). Coming from nearly two months of living like a resident, not a tourist, visiting a town full of bungalows and ugly hotels with barely an open part of beach left was a bit of a shock. I saw more Mzungus (white people) in one day than I had in two months, including the obligatory German in speedos that comes free with ever beach visited.

However, thanks to Jon’s local knowledge (he’s been a teacher in Stone Town for 9 months), we found a hotel for a pleasant £4.10 a night, forgoing the plush luxuries of more expensive establishments (i.e. a generator), and were handed candles and buckets of water to flush and wash in.

The diving was right up there in my top 5, with fast drifts along reef walls in a (theoretically) no-fishing area. The result is lots of fish and more significantly, lots of big fish. I saw stuff I’d not been lucky enough to see before, such as potato cod and a napolean wrasse, which added to the huge numbers of tuna, surgeon fish, triggerfish, rays and even a sleeping turtle!

It was a great weekend, a fitting way to finish the trip, which was marked by some rather bizarre coincidences:

First, on the Friday, i was having a coffee before catching the daladala north, and from inside the shop ran out a Kelley, a Canadian girl I’d worked with for a week last February in Edinburgh! The next day, on the dive boat, I got chatting to a some folk who turned out to be doctors who lived about 2 minutes walk from my house in Newcastle. Not only that, one of them has lunch every week with my flatmate! Finally, whilst in Nungwi, Jon met a family who had been traveling round southern Africa after shipping their jeep from Somerset to Cape Town. An impressive family granted, and worthy of sharing their story, which is how when i got chatting to the lady next to me (and her 4 kids) on my flight from Dar es Salaam (mainland Tanzania) to Dubai, I realised that they were the very same family!

Back in Stonetown, a finale dinner was consumed atop the personal tea garden of one of the rich hotel owners (he was out of town, so we gate crashed), prepared by our favourite local chef, Issa. If you’re interested, flash fried giant spinach leaves and chilli fish atop sliced aubergine to start, with, quite frankly the best rice I’ve ever tasted and a fish curry for main. It was by far and away the best meal I had during my stay (yes, even better than Zanzibar pizza).

 

And so the time is done. I got home eventually, after losing a few things during the 30 transit, not an uncommon occurrence, but unfortunately as I lost my rail pass, this one came at a quite considerable immediate expense. And in the two days since, I’ve not stopped – a job interview yesterday morning, and then a trip up to Scotland to pick up a new car. Hopefully this one won’t catch fire. And as I write, I’m on the train down to Nottingham to catch up with Andy, before heading to Rome for the weekend to visit the pretty things there.

 

EDIT: and now i’m there. The Pantheon is pretty darn impressive. And it’s a lot of fun watching the best game of Euro 2008 so far with Italians.

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Responses

  1. i promise i read all of this, but the edit is what i’m commenting on: watching euro 2008 in america stinks! on one’s following 😦 the last time, i was in israel with my summer project team and a bunch of israeli students watching portugal lose and cristiano ronaldo cry like a baby.

    it’s just not the same here…

    have fun in roma!


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