Zanzibar: Day 1

Today, I was up by 6:30 am, to make my 7:00 am shuttle to the airport. Only having one small backpack made the entire airport process a breeze.

Having missed breakfast, I decided to grab something at the airport. Being a Peace Corps volunteer and paying ETB 450 for breakfast was a little difficult, but airport prices are airport prices. Then, once on the place, for the two hour flight, they feed us. You had a choice between chicken or beef and I could have saved the $15.00 that I blew on breakfast. Live and learn, right?

Getting the Visa and making my way through the airport, in Zanzibar, was a very fast process. I walked off the plane, on the tarmac, went down the stairs, and into the terminal. They took my temperature at the door. I already had my pen ready to fill out the two forms. Then, I went to the “green” payment line and handed over $100.00, in USA dollars. I received a receipt and took it to the Visa line. My passport was stamped and I was on my way.

I did confuse the guy at baggage, by only having the small backpack. They told me to put it through the scanner. That was it! In well under ten minutes, I was walking out of the airport.

Getting a taxi to the hotel was easy. There was a taxi information area, as soon as I walked out with my backpack. The cost to Stone Town is $15.00. Having no money, (the downside of going so fast) the dispatcher told the driver to take me to the ATM. Turns out, the ATM is in front of where the drivers park. I took out money and we were on our way.

After many turns, and passing an Ethiopian restaurant, I was dropped off in an alleyway. The cab driver called to a young man, carrying a Coke. The boy turned and offered to carry my bag. I nodded no and just followed him. He walked up the stairs, at the end of the alley, and through a gelato shop. The hotel was directly on the other side and they person I was following worked at my hotel.

At check in, I was given a warm chocolate chip cookie and a map. I’m going to head out now and locate the restaurant my cab driver told me about, on the way to the hotel. It’s been a year, since my Kilimanjaro trip and I can wait to eat!

Ugali, Miss Molly! –GGT