Murray and I pile into a van with eight other tourists and head out of Stonetown to a spice farm. Mr. Mitu’s Magical Adventure has begun!
After driving into the hinterland of Zanzibar, we arrive at the spice farm where we are guided for a look at how various spices and fruit grow. It’s very hot in the vegetation and I am covered in sweat within minutes. One of the first spices we encounter is lemongrass. We sniff the leaves and know right away what it is.
We meander through the growing plants looking and tasting ginger, cinnamon, star fruit, bread fruit, cloves and other wonders. My fav, of course, is cocoa.
The yellow outer bit is cut away to reveal a cluster of pods which contain the cocoa bean.
After the tour we are taken to our lunch spot and there are spices available to purchase. Of course we buy some. Lunch is rice cooked with spices; a sauce with turmeric, potatoes, coconut milk and tomatoes; and boiled spinach. It is surprisingly tasty and it pours rains while we ware eating. We all pile back into the van and head back to Stonetown. Murray and I hop out at the central market and Mr. Mitu’s Magical Adventure is over.
We wander the streets of Stonetown searching out the old Slave Market area and the old Persian Baths. Finding ourselves near the water and in need of a break from the sun and the heat we stop in at Amore Mia and have gelato. A much needed respite as the temperature is hovering around 38 C.
We had been warned numerous times about the touts in Stonetown and we have not been bothered too much by them. A firm “Appana Assanti” (No Thank You) deters them from further following and conversing with us.
We hide out the rest of the afternoon heat in our air conditioned room. We venture out again at 6:00 for supper. We walk to Luzuli and enjoy tuna for Debbie and chicken coconut curry for Murray. The maitre’d is the owner’s brother and we have a great chat with him and the cook about snow and heat and Canada and children. This young fellow is as old as our daughter and has a 10 year old son. He was married and had a child when he was 16. His parents have the final say in choosing a bride for him but he was allowed to suggest a prospective wife and they approved.
We started the day with and adventure, but every minute of every day is an adventure here in Stonetown.