ZANZIBAR

We reached Zanzibar. It's small and took us two hours to cross half of it, from airport to the shore.

March 7, 2017
The tourists are in the north and in the south. The south coast is for older people and a slower sort of lifestyle. The north, as we were told, is more of a hip young spot.

Of course we went north, expecting to see bustling crowd. But there were mostly older Europeans and families. So it wasn't exactly my idea of a fun vacation :)

Very few Russians out there. Which is understandable, since they prefer the all-inclusive Turkey. Many hikers, who, like us, come here to get warm after the Kilimanjaro climb.

Haven't really found anyone to have some romance with. So if you're looking to find someone to spend time with, better bring someone from Russia :)
There are many nice hotels along the shore. We stayed in a Aishi Machame for $60 per day.

The service is nice. The locals are really good at this and always try to do their best for the tourists.

For themselves, however, not so much. Living among the trash piling up. There are some really stinky places.

As soon as you walk out the hotel, you are met with piles and piles of garbage. The locals blame the tourists. However, it seems they can't be bothered.

Despite the great service, the cuisine is terrible. Both local and European style food is inedible.

On day 2 we managed to find a nice restaurant Baracu, which took us a long walk along the shore to finally get there.

Before that we had lunch at some fancy hotel, still the food wasn't good. It seems Baracu is a unique and the only place with good and affordable food.

Plus, it's almost the only place to take credit cards. Everything is in cash here, and the ATMs are rare, so make sure you have enough cash on you.

They take dollars and local shillings. The prices are high, like Central Europe high.
If you pay in local money, the price is lower than when you pay dollars, they just round up to the whole numbers, perhaps they don't use any coins.

For instance, a bottle of water at the hotel is $2, but if you go out of the hotel and a little but further, it is 40 cents. And it relates to everything.

Many locals are in sales. Walking back and forth, selling trips, snorkeling, housing, drugs, souvenirs and everything else. Very annoying. They can chase you through the beach and try to sell you something.

One of us went to the store outside the hotel. A local man followed him insistently. When they returned, he demanded money for the guide services :) Of course he was left with nothing, but it took us some time to reason with him.

Other locals behave pretty much the same. It's partially explained by the lack of jobs. Tourists are the only source of income. They sit and wait for someone to feed them.
In view of this, they more or less speak English. So there's no barrier.

Zanzibar is close to the Equator, so the sun is always super powerful. I got burned after an hour in the sun. No amount of SPF could help. I've never got burned so badly, it was really tough.

The general perception is controversial. On the one hand, it's a great place for a relaxed type of vacation. On the other, you can find a better place for that kind of money. Bottom line, if you want to have fun, Zanzibar is not for you.
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