Today I have decided to take action and get myself to Paje Beach in Zanzibar, it will be one day ahead of schedule as I’m not actually booked into a place until tomorrow, but I figure that as pleasant as the famous “Stone Town” is, I’m really here to experience the beautiful white sandy beaches and enjoy a good bit of relaxation before I resume riding (although I’m beginning to miss my bike already) so transport to the East coast is of top priority this morning.
I was originally going to get a “Dala dala” (local bus) to Paje Beach as its a fraction of the cost of a taxi or shuttle but when I went down to the hostel reception there were two Danish guys who were also headed that way and told me that it was only $10 for a shared shuttle so I decided to join them and eradicate the need to lump my awkward pannier the 1.5 km to the bus terminal, I had also calculated that once my labour time was taken into consideration as well as the 2000 shillings for the dala dala the price of the shuttle was more than reasonable so I decided to go for it.
Play the game
When we arrived in Paje we headed straight for the beach where the majority of the accommodation is located and as we walked down the narrow sand covered alley towards the sea all of our eyes lit up with excitement, it was yet another postcard worthy turquoise ocean ahead of us and I silently thought to myself that no matter how many times I was subject to this colour of sea I would never grow tired of seeing it. A few more steps and the whole expanse of the beach was revealed and it really was paradise.
The main beach of Paje was fairly windy, as I had heard prior to my arrival, and the water was home to a number of kite surfers but although this would make swimming slightly more challenging with chances of decapitation from high to moderate there were enough clear spots to avoid the whistling nylon lines of the kites and take a dip.
I found a hostel almost immediately called the “kite lodge” situated right on the beach front and I booked a dorm bed for the night for only $20 including breakfast which is as cheap as any accommodations available in Paje Beach.
The remainder of the day was spent walking the beautiful sandy beach, swimming, and relaxing in cafes eating nice food and drinking fresh coffee, just what the doctor ordered.
Don’t stop me now
In the evening all of the people in my hostel were planning to go to a party in an open air bar called the Red Monkey Lodge located slightly further south on the Jambiani beach where there would be live bands and was supposedly the place to be tonight. I jumped in a taxi with 10 other people from various parts of the world and we sang, drunk, and danced the night away which was a really good laugh and my new friends turned out to be great company. It wasn’t too crazy so we returned home by around 2am and I stumbled towards my dormitory without too much trouble ready to take my first nights sleep in the beautiful Paje.