Monday, 6 January 2020

January 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 2020 Seychelles to East African Coast

January 6, 2020

Azamara Quest left Mahé Island with a bang last night; they did it with a huge party that began with a fabulous Buffet dinner on the Pool Deck complete with local musicians and dancers that performed well into the night. Everyone seemed to be dancing except Terryl and me: we were bushed from the tour we had throughout Mahé and hit the sack by 22:00.
Today, once again the sun rose in a majestic sky with billowing clouds overlaying the island of Praslin, and we were on the tender by 10:00 sharp. After a fifteen minute 100 passenger tender ride and an Azamara arranged air conditioned bus (the temperature had to be 88 degrees F) for another 15 minutes we were on the pristine beach that put our Maché Beach into second place. At this time I cannot include photographs of sights we have seen, sensational water colours from beach sand, turquoise water, slowly developing light to darker blues that melt against the tropical skies of this Paradise. But in time both of my Apple devices will simultaneously have my photos magically jump via the cloud from camera to Mac (where I am right now). Suffice it to say that Praslin Island deserves the excellent beach resort reputation it has, and by us, one that it truly deserves. This beach had it all including shade, and no one pushing drinks down your throats either.


We will begin sailing towards the second stop on the African Continent at 15:00 today. The weather promises to co-operate with no Cyclones or Tectonic Shifts in the forecast.

January 7, 2020

‘Big Red’ Meghan Murphy was on our tender yesterday afternoon - and on stage last night in a heavily sequin red dress belting out show tunes made famous by Ethel Merman and Barbara Streisand. When we spoke with her on the tender I asked, ‘are you the advertised entertainer tonight?’ She is a Chicago native traveling the Cruise circuit and loving it; however, getting to Seychelles by air had her missing connections here and there, and this time one of them lost her luggage. Her show stuff is never checked in, just like our medicine, and she was able to perform last night, and did it beautifully.
This morning we are on course 240 SW ploughing through smooth seas for the entire day with a few appointments, one being at 14:00 for Chuck Richardson’s Lecture Destination, Dar es Salaam which is our first stop in Tanzania, and another in the Cabaret Lounge at 20:15 with Stephen Millett and his song stylings. The rest of the day will be spent r.w.e.d. Reading Writing Eating Drinking and a little gym work for me.
Dar es Salaam is a translation of Cosmopolitan House of Peace where 4.4 million people live. For interests sake Lagos has 21 million and Cairo has 20.1 million as the largest cities in Africa. The Germans invested in this land through a company called German East African Company only to lose it to the British after WW1. The British used Indian labour at low low labour costs and over time the Indians have become affluent in this city of Dar es Salaam. The politics at one time leaned toward socialism but since the 1980’s Capitalism has directed their lives. 61% are Christians and 41% are Muslims. The language is Swahili spoken by 350 million with dozens of dialects trailing behind. John Magufuli is their President and is up for reelection in 2020 with a platform on anti-corruption and anti-family planning.
China has been their largest trading partner for the last three years because they want their rare minerals to make computers. Pretty smart those Chinese eh?
All the above is courtesy of Thomas Jefferson who said, “He who receives and idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening mine.” And of course, Mr. Chuck Richardson who is paid by Azamara to travel the world talking about what he has learned just for people like you and me.


January 8, 2020

We met Ron and Bonnie from Vancouver Island last night, actually we had met on December 28, 2019 at the Spa’s draw for free services during this voyage. Bonnie’s name had been drawn one minute after she left for the rest room. ‘You must be here to win’ was their reply, so I said she was just here a minute ago and I think she should have it, don’t you? They gave it to Ron and he remembered me which led to a lively conversation about our lives and country.
A fascinating rainbow circled the sun yesterday afternoon for an hour or more, and Captain Filip, during his daily ship’s status report, spoke of the process of water forming into crystals circling the sun to create such a magnificent image a few degrees south of the Equator.
Today, we continue sailing to Dar es Salaam under cloudy skies and continuing warm air over smooth seas.
At 14:00 Chuck Richardson lectured on Zanzibar a semi autonomous part of Tanzania with Stone Town forming the other part. And yes the tectonic plates were at work 14 million years ago to split it off the mainland and form the islands. Stone Town attracts the tourists, possibly because it was a big part of the Slave Trade operation where these poor native souls where made to march carrying Ivory Tusks and other items from their homelands where all would be sold including themselves in the city of Stone Town. Oddly enough the greatest slave trader was an Indigenous native named Tippu Tip (1832 to 1905) who owned the most slaves. Today an Anglican Church is also built on the sight of The Slave Memorial in Stone Town.
Freddie Mercury of Queen was born in Zanzibar in 1946 and the city has appropriate places acknowledging his life, where Swahili is spoken, child mortality rate is 21% and life expectancy is 57 years. Take note of the spikes on some of the ancient large doors; they’re there to stop the Elephants from crashing into and knocking the doors down.

January 9, 2020

We are in the city of Dar es Salaam, home of 4.4 million people, docked, breakfasted, down the gangplank, and on a complimentary bus to the swanky Hyatt Regency Hotel by 10:00. This is our meeting place for Azamara’s passengers who are on their own (without an Azamara sponsored tour) in Dar es Salaam. After a little discussion with an attendant who fronted a taxi system we were on our way to Tinga Tinga Indigenous Art Centre about a thirty minute drive revealing some of city centre, the shore line with its huge sand bar, apartment buildings with laundry drying in the 85 degree Equatorial sun, and all in an air-conditioned cab for ten dollars per person including an hour’s wait and the drive back to the Hyatt.
Every Artisan we met and spoke with was courteous and politely invited us to view their art, take photos of their art, and, if were wished to include their faces in our photographs. The art was poignantly African: large and small, framed or rolled, sculpted or painted, but most of all, impressive and artistic. Facebook will see several pieces on a post later today. Unfortunately we couldn’t purchase a piece or two due to our lack of their currency, or the exact amount in USA dollars for which there was no change available from these charming, industrious and friendly people. For us we met only delightful and courteous artists who live for their work. But of course Trade and Barter are in play and important to their wellbeing. Perhaps our next stop in Tanzania will have us prepared to purchase and bring something home.

Adam and wife are happy and congenial Tanzanians 

The Ladies carry the load

He has two eyes, the artist knows best


January 10, 2020

Early in the morning several little boats manned by Zanzibar’s young people buzz by our ship waving in a welcoming way: this was a nice start to our two days in Zanzibar and Stone Town. We enjoyed a quick breakfast and off the ship we go to ride the complimentary bus into Stone Town where the usual characters are waiting to offer tours to the high points of interest for $20 dollars. Again we decide to hoof it just a hundred yards to, guess what, more locally made paintings, sculptures and the like that tourists need to see, and then bring home the stuff. We passed the Tembo Hotel and decided to enter the lobby and pass through to the beach where guests were swimming, sunning and generally enjoying the scenery and the hotel’s amenities. Along the shoreline about twenty yards in we found lounge chairs, tables and chairs, and benches under massive trees with huge leaves which, in a matter of minutes, protected us from the rain that suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Terryl was invited to join a young man who was waiting for his parents and a planned tour. He was a lawyer who studied at the University of Toronto and lives in Vancouver. A delightful person who was eager to know more about us and why we were in Zanzibar. His mother had lived here; she and her family were revisiting for the first time in over 40 years.
The temperature was in the high 80’s, and with sweat dripping off my nose Terryl suggested we return to the ship and take another run at Stone Town tomorrow. But for today, we passed and photographed Freddie Mercury’s home (of Queen fame), and visited numerous craft shops, dropped into a small  bank to break a few larger dollar amounts into smaller ones, and really enjoyed talking and joking with Stone Town’s citizens. And we’ll take a little taxi for the big tour as planned for tomorrow.
Both Stone Town and Zanzibar are semi autonomous cities in Tanzania with Stone Town being the early home of The Slave Trade out of Africa. Back then an Indigenous character named Tippu Tip (1832 - 1905) owned and sold more of these poor souls than anyone. We were also told that Swahili is spoken here, and to never eat their street food.

Here's Freddie on the front wall of his home

It must be Monday, the laundry is out and drying in Zanzibar




1 comment:

  1. I think you two need to come home for a holiday!!! sounding wonderfu... Happy New Year to you both.

    ReplyDelete

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