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 Tropical Islands

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Hi everyone,

I want to start by apologising for the lack of blogs Alan and I have been writing recently.  I wish I could say it’s because we've had no internet access but that’s not true.  The truth is we have been side tracked by many things, mainly of the beverage type.  After leaving Jinja we cycled to Nairobi and spent 4 days waiting for a parcel to arrive, during these 4 days we had a lot of time to write a blog but we also had a bar in the backpacker’s hostel.  Finally our package arrived a we got back onto our bikes heading for Mombasa.  The ride to Mombasa was 6 days on lovely flat roads passing through our first major national park, the Tsavo National Park.  We'd heard and read great things about the Tsavo National Park and was bitterly disappointed to see nothing but Baboons, monkeys, Zebra's and a train.  Trains are very uncommon in Africa.  We actually spent our first night camping outside Nairobi next to the train track.  We stupidly assumed the track was not regularly used, like every over railway in Africa.  Half way through the night we were abruptly awoken by a bright light, rumbling of the earth and a loud continuous noise.  Neither of us could comprehend what was happening as we had just woken.  My initial instinct was an earthquake and Alan told me he thought a helicopter was landing.  It took a while to fully understand the situation but as soon as we realised it was a train we laughed at our silliness.  During the rest of the night we were woken by 4 or 5 more trains, it’s not a good idea to sleep meters away from a train track even if you think it’s not in use. 

We made it to Mombasa in the morning and had only heard bad things about the town so we decided to continue our ride to Shimoni.  A friend, Susie, whom we had met in Jinja, is volunteering in Shimoni so we decided to spend some time with her.  The first night we reached Shimoni we went out for a meal and a few beers with her and her volunteer friends.  During the night the conversation inevitably moved onto our plans of travel.  We had planned to cycle to a town in Tanzania called Tanga and get a Dhow (local boat) from there to Zanzibar for $50.  Chris the leader of the volunteers mentioned he had got a Dhow from Shimoni to Zanibar for 1000 shillings ($13), this seemed unbelievable but we thought we'd give it a go.  The next day we had a fantastically lazy day on the gorgeous white beaches of shimoni.  We soon made it back to the bar and met a fellow Brit who's been living in Shimoni on and off for several years.  We talked about our plans to get a Dhow to Zanzibar and he mentioned he could help us but it would be slightly more expensive than 1000 shillings, we weren’t surprised.  It turned out boats rarely sailed all the way to Zanzibar and we would have to get a boat to Pemba Island and from there we could get a boat to Zanzibar.  It didn’t look promising for our 1000 shilling Dhow so we agreed to get a Dhow to Pemba the next morning for 4000 shillings.  The Dhow left at 8am and took 8hrs slowly sailing towards Pemba.  The experience didn’t start off particularly well for either Alan or I as we soon became sea sick but after a long nap in the blistering sun we both recovered.  But im currently paying for that long nap as I stupidly didn’t seek shade and the top of my thigh is slightly sun burnt, ouch.  As we began to approach Pemba the crew navigated the Dhow between many spectacular looking tiny islands, all with crystal clear water, stunning white beaches and palm trees covered with monkeys.  We made it to Pemba, departed our vessel and started cycling towards a town called Mkoani on the south of the island.  It was late in the day so we camped half way in what could be described as a tropical paradise.  Today we have made it to Chake Chake, the capital of Pemba, and bought our tickets for the boat to Zanzibar tomorrow.  Later we will finish cycling to Mkoani and tomorrow we will finally make it to Zanzibar.

Sorry again for not blogging as regularly as im sure you would all like.  We will try to write more often in the future.

posted by   January 23, 2010 8:55 AM  EyeOnAfrica  comments (3)



:: Lovely hearing more - loads of love mum xx
posted by 'lindsey mowbray-williams' January 23, 2010 11:11 AM

:: Great to hear from you. We look forward to regular blogs in the future (and less time spent in bars?)
posted by 'Pat Wells' January 23, 2010 1:15 PM

:: Good to hear from you again we are realy envious of you as we sit hear in the cold and rain. Take care both of you Love Dad & Cath
posted by 'Chris Mowbray-Williams' January 25, 2010 10:03 AM

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