A Travellerspoint blog

The Difference a Day Makes

semi-overcast 7 °C

Here's a phrase you probably thought you would never hear us utter. “While we were quad biking along the beach and through the sugar cane fields of Zanzibar...”
”Yes – dear blog reader, here we are on a quad bike preparing for a thrilling 3 hour drive through the plantations and villages of northern Zanzibar. But this wasn't our idea. We were goaded into it by this group of retired nurses from British Columbia's Sunshine Coast who were staying at the Villa Kiva in Matemwe...
Mary, Deidre, Dee and friends have quad-biked all over the place and convinced us that age was no barrier when it came to racing through the countryside on a quad - and we had a great time. Here's Sheila taking a break under a mango tree...
Our East African experience has ended and we are briefly back in England having time-travelled from rural Zanzibar to London via Dubai. Overnight, the skies darkened; the temperature dropped nearly 30 degrees and we jumped forward a century or more.. While we enjoyed a luxurious, even decadent, lifestyle in Tanzania, we were always conscious of the extreme poverty and Dickensian lifestyle of many of the locals. Despite the enormous amount of income from tourism and the spice trade, most Zanzibarians live in tin-roofed shacks, many without electricity or plumbing, and they shop at roadside stalls like this...
Ox-carts and old bicycles are still major means of transport for goods...
...while most locals travel in incredibly overloaded mini-buses called dala-dala. These ancient buses, packed to the gunwales, can be seen broken down by the roadsides all over Zanzibar.

Zanzibar is as exotic as its name suggests but its crumbling roads and decayed infrastructure mean that, while it is a fascinating place to visit, life is not necessarily comfortable or convenient for the inhabitants. The contrast between Zanzibar's decrepit airport and Dubai's palatial terminals could not be more extreme. However, we will miss the genuine warmth of the Tanzanians and the many incredible sights we witnessed in their country. We are now headed to the Canary islands, but first a quick stop in the English Midlands to visit Waddesdon Manor...
This flambouyant mansion was built by Baron Rothschild in the 1880s and was just one of many country houses owned by the wealthy aristocrat. However, we were not on the guest list for dinner at the manor – we only came for the popular Christmas Fair.
Now we fly south again – this time to the islands off the west coast of Africa.

Posted by Hawkson 10:40 Archived in England

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Such contrasts. Looking forward to your visit the the islands off the west coast of Africa. Tsk tsk about being excluded from the guest list. Hope you managed to find special fare elsewhere.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Thanks Jim and Sheila - an amazing journey.

by Diane Cornish

brave senior citizens riding on quad bikes

by Janet Vickers

I saw a real motorcycle in one of those photos. Got me thinking. Perhaps a new mode of transport in some of your next travels? His and hers motorcycles?

by R and B

An amazing trip you have taken. By the way, thanks for finding a fair to get our Christmas presents---we can hardly wait.

by keith and helen

Looks like a ton of fun, but can it keep itself in its own lane?

by Tom

That is an ATV in .Canada, for the snow, they have chains and thus a skidoo : you're Zanzibar was interesting as my parents and soon to be 90 uncle in S-pore were there 60 years back driving a 1955 ford sedan ;-)

by kenhuocj

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