After three days at sea, we arrived in Tanzania...or more appropriately the islands known as Zanzibar, on the east coast of Africa.
The depth of the water changes dramatically, making for some spectacular sea shots.
Yep--this REALLY is the color of the water.
Our excursion took us to a spice plantation. Along the way, we past Dr. Livingston's house.
Our guide explained to us that the islands of Zanzibar had been without electricity for two months, as the main undersea cable from the mainland had been damaged in December. Residents were hoping to have electricity restored within the month.
Our first stop was the ruin of a harem bath. We were greeted by some darling local children who sang for us and wove us bracelets and rings made out of palm fronds.
The back of the baths shows how very little of harem life was visible to the outside.
The entrance is equally stark,
but softened by a large fruit tree- durian, I believe.
The spice plantation was as tropical as one would imagine.
This pavilion is for drying cloves.
I had no idea this is what tumeric looks ABOVE the ground.
Very similar to ginger.
When this is dried, it is more familiar. It's cinnamon.
A long row of lemongrass...
We're hitting all my favorite flavors!
I had NO idea why he was climbing the tree....
Until we learned the important thing here is the vine, not the tree it is climbing up.
It's the way pepper is grown. One vine has all the different colors of peppercorns.
He also climbed up another type of tree and brought down a branch of cloves...in their pre-dried state, they look different, but taste similiar...but much milder.
Under the shade of a GINORMOUS tree, we sampled spices and the most delicious fruit I have ever had.
Check the size of these pineapples.
They were so amazingly sweet. Not a bit of tartness anywhere.
We drove past this most unusual palm tree.
It spirals because it was hit by lightning!
Back in town, we passed the lines forming for the ferry to the mainland.
What remains most vivid in my memory are the smells of the spice plantation..the spices, the fruit, the earth. It was a wonderful experience, and one I hope to repeat again someday.