Zanzibar lived up to it's reputation for me. I did get pristine beaches, I did meet other travellers and I did find myself enjoying the bliss of doing nothing here. Arriving here was still chaotic, the customs searched us, but luckily chose not to open and root through my jam packed backpack. They let us through and everybody went their separate ways. I asked about a taxi which I was told would cost $50 for the hour drive to Paje. There was no way I would pay this so I asked if there was local buses which I imagined would be a nightmare to take but still cheaper. After some haggling the guy agreed to take me for $20 which at this point I was willing to pay because if was so hot and I couldn't bring myself to spend time trying to find buses.
The drive to Paje was through the beautiful forests and my driver drove so fast that I thought we were gonna take off. We stopped along the way and he bought me a coconut which was very nice of him and tasted incredible. When we got to Paje I had a sense of déjà vu when the driver nor the locals could find this 'beach bungalow'. After driving around it turned out that this place was unknown to the locals and so I decided to look at a different place that the taxi driver knew. Luckily I did because I got my own room steps from the white sandy beach including breakfast (delicious) and free wifi (even if it was stolen from next door) for $75 for the whole week! I was delighted.
Everything seemed much calmer here and I loved Island life so far. My plan was to chill out, eat good food, swim, do yoga and get a tan. No water sports or tours for me, this was a week of pure relaxation. On my first day I met Bruce the owner of the kite centre nearby who later on introduced me to Dave another business owner nearby and some girls who were staying with him. I ended up having such a great time with them going to 'The Rock' restaurant one day, doing sunrise yoga sessions another day and meeting in stone town on their last day. Mel and Sandra where so helpful with advice and tips on travelling Africa and I finally felt a sense of relief that I'm not the only one doing this. I met other travellers through them, who were all lovely and we had such a great time hanging out! I spent my days lying on the beach, walking the stretches of coastline, eating fresh seafood, doing yoga, chilling out, reading and chatting to locals- exactly what I came here for. I spent one full day in stonetown- the main town of Zanzibar and hour away, where I spent the whole day in different peoples company being shown around and not asking anything in return. It was refreshing but I knew to still keep my guard up, it is Africa after all and notorious for things happening.
From meeting other travellers, I finally had a vague travel plan and I decided that I would head up north to Moshi next to see Mt Kilimanjaro (can't afford to climb it), Serengeti national park etc and travel down through the countries of Southern Africa to finally reach Capetown to fly home. Life is great right now and I'm hoping that it goes smoothly for the rest of the trip. I would totally recommend Zanzibarto anyone who likes tropical paradise relaxation.!