As previously mentioned, there are an awful lot of Public Holidays here (mustn't call them Bank Holidays!), including New Year's Day there have been three this year already. So, in recognition of Friday being Maulid Day, went with my colleague and friend Darcey and her house guests from Korea Junsoek and Dairae to Bongoyo Island.
Bongoyo Island is about 30 minutes ferry ride from the peninsula just to the north of Dar Es Salaam. This is what it looks like as it is approached:
Pretty flat and pretty desolate really. There's a nice beach area close to the landing point:
And here's a picture of Junsoek and Dairae, sorry, Darcey, didn't get one of you, will do so on another occasion:
Walking in Bongoyo Island gives a curious sense of being in a miniature jungle. Certainly the ground is very uneven:
With caves channeling water at high tide:
The foliage again feels a bit like being in a miniature jungle:
And this is Shark Cove, where sharks can be seen at high tide:
So, overall a jolly interesting experience, felt like stepping back centuries into a bit of a wilderness. Thank you to Darcey for organising it, and Darcey, Junsoek and Dairae for your company, a very enjoyable and intriguing day out - and only a few kilometres from where we are.
Oh, one more thing on Bongoyo Island, must tell you about lunch. There's one cafe close to the dock, and when I saw crab on the menu at a very reasonable price I thought I'd like to give that a go. Not exactly sure what I was expecting, but as far as I could make out, a crab was caught for me, stuck straight into the oven (whether it was already dead at that stage is a question best not asked), brought out half an hour later and served exactly as is. Knife and fork provided but no implements for dealing with the shell. But then, what are teeth for? Only cut myself twice, I think. Very nice but, I suppose a bit like Bongoyo Island itself, very much living life in the raw.
One more thing before I close. Very disappointed to hear this week that, as from the end of March, the three times a week direct flight from Heathrow to Dar Es Salaam is being discontinued altogether, necessitating a change in Nairobi, Istanbul, or a number of others. Somehow home has just become that much further away. Only ever used the flight three times but jolly nice to know that it's there. Any advice on mounting a campaign gratefully received. Thanks for reading, I'll be back soon!