Road trip in Zanzibar- Reading the clock in Swahili

Why are all the clocks in the cars wrong…

Every car we have been in, both in Kenya and Zanzibar including our rental car have a time which does not make sense to us. I (Richard) made the conclusion that during the imporation of the cars from Japan and China they do not do anything electrical to the car, even not setting the time right, as this would cost money.

Aperently we were wrong! Every time we have seen is correct. The only thing is: the time is set in Swahili! This is very simple: time starts when the sun comes up. One hour later the sun has been up for 1 hour so the time is 1 in the morning, which is 7 AM for us. When the sun is up and the European clock hits 12 AM it is 6 in Swahili time. When the sun sets and the night starts it is 12, and one hour later is 1 in the night. An easy way to calculate it is imagining an analogic clock and thinking that the time is the opposite to what the clock is marking. So when its 12, it is 6. When it’s 3, it is 9…

You learn something new every day!

Lets discover the island!

We are heading to the north of the island, starting with the eastern side. As we follow the road that Google maps shows us, we end up on an unexpected off road safari tour. Looks like google does not really know what’s going on,and we got lost in the village area of the locals, an experience!. We headed back to the main road and drove in a circle around the houses and ended up at a local boat rental area, Muyuni, where the locals rent boats to fish and offer diving tours and sailing trips to the nearby Mneba island. We went for a long walk on the beach and saw some starfish and sea urchins. We heard this area is great for snorkeling, but the wind was to hard that day, not a normal wind, because the local sailers did not even go out or offer us tours at all. The wind was blowing the sand all over the place and we got compeltely covered in sand when we returned to the car! Just before arriving at the car we saw one fisherman pushing his boat out of the water, and Richard decided to give him a helping hand and together pull the boat onto shore.

Our second destination was the North West of the island, the side where we could see the sunset. We pinned a random point on the map, Cholo’s bar, and we started driving into the off road experience.  After so many bumpy rides, we realised why all rental cars are 4×4….

We arrived at Cholo´s Beach bar. They have delicious fresh fruit juices, and for lunch we a local Pizza Fungi. After lunch we took the car to head towards the most Northern point of the island. A Beautifull beach with alot of small dry docks for new build boats.

The couple traveling by bike and the school children helping the boat builders.
During the walk around the northern beach area we came across a local hut where two western looking persons were cleaning the leaves around the hut. We were curious and decided to take a look and say hi! This is where we met Andreas and Maria, a couple from Argentina which have been traveling by bike around Africa for 1 year now. Amazing people with great vibes, and a great atmosphere around them. They were staying in a tent inside the local hut, with their bikes next to it. See their adventures at their Instagram page @mariamafer_rocha_claveria.

While walking back to the car we saw a group of school children. They had been playing in the beach before, and now they were walking with buckets full of water towards the new boats that were being built. They were filling up the inside of the boat with water, we don’t know exactly why, but it seemed fun! so we helped the kids with carring some extra buckets of water! They had the greatest fun doing it and we enjoyed it as well! An amazing experience to see these kids work with a smile on their face and laughing the whole way.
And last but not least we watched the sunset back at the Cholo´s beach bar.

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