Zanibar and the island of Pemba

Posted on July 11, 2015

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It took roughly four days for me and BQ to recover from our Mount Kilimanjaro hike. I’m not talking about sore muscles or knees….I’m talking about the hidden pitfalls of climbing at altitude: water retention; bloatedness, irregular digestion, constipation, body clock off, wind (yes flatulence and burping) – everything the guide books leave out. The whole experience has taken our friendship to a whole other level!
   
 Despite these minor irritations we jumped right back into activity. Our first stop was Zanzibar, scouring the depths of the turquoise Indian Ocean scuba diving. Two days were spend unwinding, scoffing great seafood, getting a massage and kicking back with Margaritas. We then headed to the ridiculously beautiful and unspoilt island of Pemba. Tourism here is raw which means the island is still as nature intended it. 

 
  

       Our dive package has brought us to the exquisite boutique resort of Fundu Lagoon – 18 exclusive bungalows set into the forest, with bushbabies, vervet monkeys, snakes, birds and all manner of life surrounding us. The journey here was so jet-set, this must be how the super rich feel. 

   
     A tiny 9-seater plane flew us to the island. Half an hour later we were picked up and driven to the port where our own private speed boat was waiting. A short fifteen minutes later were treading along the beautifully designed boardwalk of Fundu Lagoon soaking up the late afternoon sun and cool breeze.

   
 I’ve been gagging to come here for years but never dreamt I’d be able to afford it. At almost 40 I’m thrilled to have four nights in totally unspoilt luxury. The other people here are honeymooners and then us. The staff are wonderful, all of them locals from the island. They have been trying to help me improve my Swahili. The property has been running for 16 years giving them a steady source of employment. The brains behind this venture is a British designer.  

   
 Everyday after breakfast we have suited up, jumped on board our speed boat with our dive Master and headed out to Mesali Island splashing into the cool deep blue. We have seen some incredible marine life diving: turtles, sting rays, a school of barracudas, phenomenal coral, like nothing I’ve ever seen – so beautiful, and a variety of sea slugs and far too many species of fish, shoals of them. 

BQ waved a teary goodbye to me this morning. We squeezed each other tightly before watching her delicately board her speed boat to take her to the mainland. She flies home to Dublin later today. We’ve had quite an adventure, more to come I am sure of it.

   
   

I have a few more lazy hours before I board a tiny plane to Dar es Salaam. Then I’m off to see a Danish gem hunter…..

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