Travelling to Tanzania: Zanzibar day 2&3

On Day 2 I planned to do the Palace Museum, the old Dispensary, get some fabric for my mother and to explore the island on my way to Kuza Cave. I unfortunately had to spend an hour at Zanzibar airport as my flight to Arusha was somehow cancelled after I booked and paid online. This was rather frustrating but guy at the airport sorted it out and gave me a pen to apologise. I did manage to see a few places around Stone Town like the Palace Museum and the Old Dispensary which were quick tours that were not that interesting to be honest. I then headed out onto the road. SIDE NOTE: There are so many interesting doors in Zanzibar and you can actually do a door tour. I took so many door pictures but yet to do anything with them :-).

Driving in Zanzibar was interesting there are so many motorbikes that you have to watch out for and they do not paint their speed bumps so always be on the lookout for speed bumps or be ready for a thump every now and then. The traffic leaving Stone Town was rather hectic and going over 50km/hr was not possible. The road conditions were OK with a few potholes here and there. Better than what I experienced in Dar. I got to Kuza Cave at around 3pm and pretty much immediately went down to the Cave to have a swim. The Cave is pretty awesome and the pool is 6m deep at the deepest point. With a diving mask you can do a swim in a short tunnel which is pretty cool. There are little white insects in the one part of the pool that do bite which gives a little sting but nothing too dramatic. At the bottom of the pool there is a fossilised human femur which is evidence of early human life. The Kuza Cave is a great place to visit and Natalie who runs the Non Profit is awesome. I highly recommend a visit if you are going to Zanzibar.

For dinner I went down the coast to Blue Moon resort for dinner with Amy and Sigmund. The resort was amazing and the staff so friendly. The resort is built right on the beach and the dinner was very good. We ate and drank and spoke and spoke and then spoke some more. I ended up only leaving at around 1am.

The next morning Natalie arranged for me to go out on a traditional dow with an old fisherman and her young son. We went out to the reef to do some snorkelling and then some fishing. The experience was awesome. Natalie’s 11 year old son had a homemade spear gun that he used to catch fish while he was snorkelling. Unfortunately the tide was quite high and so the snorkelling was not as good as it could have been and you had to dive down quite deep in order to see things close up. Once we finished snorkelling we did some fishing with hand line. I caught one fish and we caught 13 in total. We were out at sea for about 6hrs and I added to the sunburn but it was worth it. #SunscreenInnovationRequired

I got back to the Cave and pretty much immediately left for my last night in Zanzibar which I spent at La Madrugada Beach Hotel & Resort. I found a 70% off special which I booked 2 days before visiting. The resort was a little dated but was very comfortable and the pool was very inviting. I put my bags in the room and headed straight to the pool for a sunset swim. I had an early dinner, a vegetarian pizza which was great. The staff at the resort were awesome and I had many interesting conversations. I jumped into bed early as I had to leave just before 5am in order to catch the ferry to Dar. Oh just a word of warning the resort accepted a credit card but they added 5% to the amount paid and so you should factor this in. This was quite common on the trip.

The next morning I got up really early and took the drive to Stone Town. About 20min into the drive while it was still dark I saw torch lights in the distance and it turned out to be a bunch of people singing and jogging down the road. Seemed like a protest. They asked me to turn off my lights and drive with my emergency lights only as they ran past. There must have been about 100 people. #Strange

I arrived in Stone Town and dropped off my rental car and waited at the gate for the ferry to open. The ferry left on time at 7am and we were off to Dar. Check out the next instalment to hear about my interesting drive to the airport and my safari…

Striated Skies No. 51 – Namesake

51. Namesake

The St James Catholic Church building in this weeks Striated sky was opened in 1901. The church building was designed by George Ransom and built by Father John Duignam and his Filipino parishioners. The Parish of St James started in 1859 to serve the Filipino community of Kalk Bay. Given the spanish legacy of the community the name St James was chosen in honour of the apostle and fisherman, Patron saint of Spain.

The original building stood where the current station stands. When the train made its was to Kalk Bay in 1883 the church became a stopping point for the train known as St James Church Halt. By 1893 a platform was built known as St James’s. The suburb (which was part of Kalk Bay) took on the name St James. The builsing at the station building grew too small and thus was sold to Cape Government Railways for £2000 in 1900. It was with these proceeds that Fr Duignam was able to build the current building.

In 1924, the Golden Jubilee of Fr. Duignam, the stained-glass window behind the high altar was unveiled to celebrate his service to the parish.  In 1947, under the direction of Father Harold Doran, substantial alterations, including moving the entrance to the current configuration the main road, were completed. Below is a picture of the building before alterations were made.

St James has been a popular beach for many years and still retains its numerous colourful victorian bathing boxes. The suburb is a very trendy place to live and is well worth a visit together with its neighbours on the false bay coast. For more history check out KALK BAY, ST. JAMES – A brief history illustrated with postcards of a bygone era by Michael Walker.

Random Piece of information 

George Ransom also designed the Markham Building, which when completed in 1897 was the tallest building in Johannesburg (Cnr of Eloff and Pritchard). The large clock imported from Scotland has four faces North, South, East and West.  The building was known as Markham’s Folly as it stood out in the centre of Johannesburg with the clock visible for miles. The building housed the second store of Henry William Markham who arrived in Cape Town from England in 1873, setting up a successful outfitter’s business. Markhams was bought by the Foshini Group in 1968. In 1979 the building was saved from demolition

More Information on St James

Cape Town Tourism

Cape Point Route

TripAdvisor 

Striated Skies No. 43 – Love Camps Bay

43. Love Camps Bay

Camps Bay is an approximately 165Ha suburb of Cape Town, on the Atlantic Seaboard. Since its establishment as a settlement in 1713 Camps Bay has always been a recreational area. Lord Charles Somerset used the area for hunting, while staying at the Roundhouse.

Camps Bay can be reached from Cape Town via Victoria Road which runs along the coast from Sea Point. Victoria Road was designed by Thomas Bain and completed in 1887, the road continues through Camps bay all the way to Hout Bay. The drive is beautiful and a ‘must drive’ when in Cape Town. (NOTE: be relaxed and ready for traffic if you travel this road during the December/January Holiday rush). Victoria road was not the first road to Camps Bay, Kloof Road was, it was built in 1848 and winds down from Table Mountain, past the Roundhouse towards Clifton. While Kloof Road is a twisting and turning road, Camps Bay Drive is a more direct road and the third road from the city.

I struggled to find history of Camps Bay online. I did find a book by Gwynne Schrire Robins and Hillel Turok titled Camps Bay: an illustrated history. It would be interesting to have a look at this book, the first few page can be read here. For this blog it would take too long to get here if I had to buy it and the last time I went into a library was years ago… :-).

Gwynne Schrire Robins has written ten books, published more than three dozen academic articles and chapters in books, and has edited magazines, theses and books. She is currently the deputy director of the Cape SA Jewish Board of Deputies. Hillel Turok (1921-2002) was a Camps Bay resident, Architect and part of the founding committee for the Camps Bay Shul.

The photo that provides the canvas for this striated sky was taken whilst walking back from sundowners at one of the restaurants on Victoria road overlooking the beach and the Atlantic Ocean. This is what Camps Bay is about – fun, partying and holidays. Many of the homes and apartments in Camps Bay are holiday accommodation and as a result Camps Bay is extremely busy during the Summer months. Camps Bay is flanked by Lions head and the Twelve Apostles of Table Mountain which provide residents with amazing mountain views

The photo below was taken by myself whilst climbing Table Mountain a few months ago via India Venster. It shows Camps Bay from the Back of Table Mountain

IMG_3663

Come to Cape Town in February, soak up some sun on Camps Bay beach and have a few drinks. This is the best time in Cape Town and most visitors come during December/January therefore it is not crazy and busy.

 

 

Striated Skies so far…

Striated skies

2015 is rushing along like years seem to do these days and so far I have published 12 striated skies out of the 52 for the year. I am thoroughly enjoying this project and hope that you are too. Let me know what has been your favourite so far.

Tomorrow I will publish number 13 titled  “Creeping Condensation”.

Striated Skies No. 10 – Memory Jump

10 Memory JumpMemory jump depicts a childhood memory my mother has. On a recent trip to visit my parents in George we took a drive to Mossel Bay. We went down to the rock pools that my Mother remembers from a family holiday many moon ago. The rock pools form a channel of water that provides a natural water attraction. This location is a great place to have fun as a child and I would recommend a visit on a nice hot summers day.