Not all those who wander are lost - but I'll be disappointed if I don't get lost frequently!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Stung, Nauseated, Banged-up and Bruised

Breakfast overlooking the blue water, a dhow ride under the sun, snorkelling the Mneba attoll reef and chasing fish through the water, dinner on the sand and sipping cocktails while watching the sun go down. All of this sounds like a lovely island escape. But what makes this 'lovely' but rather sterile-sounding day into an unforgettable one?

That would be jumping off the top of the dhow into the sea lice infested waters. Sitting in the warm sun, feeling my body and the Stemetil do battle over whether I would be sea sick or not. Watching my mates do sixty push-ups in The Game of Life when they yelled 'Mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine' like the seagulls on 'Finding Nemo'. Lying on the roof of the dhow, singing the complete soundtrack of Disney's 'The Lion King' just 'cause we could. Taking forever to get back to Paradise as the tide had gone way, way out, and the dhow was just scraping over the top of the reefs with the propeller half in the water. Bartering with a stall-holder to buy two sarongs at half the price quoted, realising we didn't have enough money for half price anyway, but walking away with empty wallets and bargain-priced sarongs. Making Jodie a wedding dress out of toilet paper for our Hens Night celebrations. The guys drinking one bar out of beer, then joining us at the only bar that was both still open and full of booze. Running round like mad men and women, trying to get off the floor when the Shark Master called 'shark', so that you wouldn't be the unlucky soul that is eaten.

Jumping off the dhow into the sea lice infested waters. Thanks John for the pic.
It was these little oddities, imperfections and not-in-the-brochure details that absolutely made my day and made it all the more memorable. Don't get me wrong, the colours of the fish on the reef were vibrant, and I loved diving down to get close to a sleeping turtle, following a scary trigger fish among the rocks, and spotting the many coloured starfish. But the other things made it a much more personal experience, and made the fairytale real. Even if in the process I was stung, nauseated, banged-up, bruised and made a fool of myself!

The dhow floats in the beautiful blue waters off Zanzibar's northern beaches. 

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