“HOT ROCK” Well it seems to suggest that we climb solidly on sun baked rock. This is correct up until the point when adverse weather gets the better of us (“Not so hot rock”) As it was in Turkey when we found ourselves having a bit of “fun” in some flash floods!! The other deviation comes when we simply decide to take that well needed active rest. ( ie resting this much has to be good for climbing, gives your body a chance for things to, simply, just slot back into place. Therefore “Hot not so rock”). I believe we are in the perfect place to do just that…. Zanzibar off the coast of Tanzania. An island smothered in coconut palms and banana trees. It only has one beach, this only happens to go around the entire perimeter of this idillic haven. Driving on hired scooters from one end to the other takes about three hours. The northern end coast is walled by a 15 foot overhanging massivly featured cliff above a soft white sand landing. Perfect for bouldering when the sun is cooler. That is of course if you really cant get enough of tearing skin of your fingertips. I decided to take the other option… The boat looked old, the captain appeared to not have a clue and there was not one dolphin in sight. We continued to chug out off the southern tip of the island. In case it really was to be a fleeting glimpse I doned my fins mask and snorkle to be ready to get my look at one. Still no dolphin felt a bit daft so took the mask and snorkle off. Suddenly the captain pointed. “There, see the grey fin” I strained my eyes and scoured the sea, not a dolphin to be seen. “BOLLOCKS they´re behind us” exclaimed one of the others. Grabed my mask shoved it over my face and lept in. The mask fell off and I swallowed a good portion of the sea. Recomposed I dived down………Wow. There were about 10 dolphins swimming around curious to see what ungamely fools have jumped in this time for them to laugh at. The visibility was crystal and experiance of swiming with the dolphins was incredible. After a couple of hours the dolphins had had all the laughs they wanted and had swam off out of sight. We retuned to the beach for lunch. Some grilled fish and coconut sauce provided by the captain started off my hunger. I went in search for more. I managed to buy two octopus from a fisherman that we baked on a fire, collecting a few coconuts for a drink of the milk finished the meal well. This truely is paradise.The main town of Zanzibar, Stown Town, is a maze of winding streets and paths. All the locals seem to be far from sane. The food market is bliss, You can buy a lobster for about 80p and all the seafood you can dream of. It is a struggle to eat more than $3worth of food. This is my idea of heaven and it does seem silly that we are leaving such a perfect spot behind. Tommorow we will start our drive to Malawi and to Mt. Milange. It has a 1,700m face with only a couple of routes on! The rest here is over with and the climbing continues. Altough a little bird did tell me of a great beach on the side of lake Malawi that is great to have an “active” rest on just incase things get stressfull. Dave
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