An early start to get to the dock for the 7:15 ferry. After customs ? which was me telling the guy that my bag contained clothes and him nodding and waving me through! (I obviously look innocent, J.P got his searched!) We got on the almost empty ferry. I made friends with a local engineer who was working over on the island after he told me I had to have tea as a starter for my coffee? He was a nice bloke. The ferry left the port and we watched a very funny safety video before they put on the sounds of the 80's and 90's music videos to watch. We had a few dodgy old Jennifer rush and Mariah Carey with Boyzone I think and then just as we were watching Celine (I don't know how you spell it) Dion singing the Titanic theme the engines stop and we just start floating around in circles! (We were about 40 minutes into the two hour journey, as some of you may know I'm not the best traveller on a boat! So I was not happy that the journey was going to be longer). Our engineer friend interprets the tanoy there is a problem ? no really ? so after ten minutes of floating we turn back ? The rumour is that the fuel pipe is leaking and we are only on one engine now, then they say that maybe its not that its leaking just that no one bothered to fill up!!! We arrive back at port just as the second ferry is boarding ? then suddenly they have fixed the problem (didn't see any fuel go in though!) and it seems that maybe they will just load all the other ferry passengers onto our ferry so as not to waste a journey of two ferries! (Your guess is as good as mine!) So we start again with a now full ferry (with passengers at least!) I made it in one piece with all my breakfast ? after immigration (even though it's the same country we had to get our passports stamped!) we headed into stone town. Every thirty seconds we were asked if we wanted a taxi ?J.P just loves being hassled and the thing is its not like if you say no to one then the other five standing next to him will take that as read; ? no .. Every one of them will ask ? ANYWAY!
The spice isle ? Did you know Freddie Mercury was born here? And David Livingstone stayed here before his last expedition. The stone town has a weird mix of architecture. Really narrow streets similar to Bellagio without the steps (for those who went) or the lanes in Brighton with tall ornate buildings with huge wooden carved doors, some with huge metal spikes (Indian influence to keep the elephants out, only there have never been elephants on the island!) Apparently there is a drive at the moment to restore all the buildings as they have been crumbling and collapsing on people quite regularly, so there is a massive re-build going on to save the architecture (no mention of saving the people!) I had a quick look at the house of wonders (a museum now) whose claim to fame is that it was the first place to get electricity on the island! The culture is also a mix of Indian and African, we had a great Indian lunch curry with yoghurt shakes and the coffee shops all serve spice coffee and tea, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger were ones we tried; very nice. We ate dinner in a restaurant that used to be the first British consulate; the food was lovely three courses with wine as the sun set on the beach! After a very hot night in a hotel (not exactly 5*) we had more spiced coffee and headed for the ferry (I was really looking forward to it). But thankfully the journey was uneventful.