Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday, Mar 5th, Sultan Sands Resort, Zanzibar


I swear that today I swam in an ocean warmer than any I have experienced.  It was warmer than the air temperature in the mid-afternoon sun.  The heated pool I swam in afterward at the resort was colder than the ocean.  It was very eery.  There was a reef a mile out which kept any waves from reaching the shore, and the shallow water inside above the coral just cooked up.

Sultan Sands Resort, and its sister resort Blue Bay next door, will be a great end to this adventure.  It's the vacation after the "educational experience" as our guide James calls it.  Tomorrow morning, there is no wakeup call.  We're on our own, after so many days of non-stop ruin-hunting and animal/bird hunting.

Today, we stopped on the way here at the Josani Forest National Park.  It is home to 3,000 rare red colobus monkeys, a large mangrove swamp, and a mahogony forest.  There are 50 species of trees and 40 different butterflies.   We were especially privileged to have with us a guide who was not only a noted naturalist, but a local healer familiar with the medicinal capabilities of all of the plants and trees in the forest.  He dazzled all of us with his immense passion for the species under his watch in the forest, and the care which he took to help our group understand their importance.

Did you know that there are eleven different  "Mangrove" trees, and that each thrive in different salt/fresh water and mud/brakish water conditions?  Did you now they develop seeds which resemble short spears which fall from the bud and stick into the mud?  We got to drop some off a wooden bridge and plant a tree.

Tomorrow, I'm going to attempt to do some wind-surfing.  I can't promise any photos (either of me or any other general subject) as we'll probably just be lazy ll day and do what people do at resorts - vacation!

To see the few photos we took today, click on:  Monday, Mar 5th, Sultan Sands Resort, Zanzibar


ps.  The photo of the spider was taken yesterday, and it's bigger than my outstretched hand!

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