Friday, September 13, 2013

Zanzibar: Langi Langi

Though I had my initial worries about the hotel, we ended up loving Langi Langi.  For about $100 a night, we had a clean, cool room with a view of the lush garden. An added pleasure was the fresh picked hibiscus flowers that our maid would leave on our bed at night. We enjoyed breakfasts of fresh fruit, crepes, red beans, fried fish and pastries made with touches of cardamom and cinnamon served every morning on the hotel’s wood deck overlooking the beautiful turquoise water and white sand beach.

This deck was our favorite place to hang out. During the day we lounged on lawn chairs, safe from the cat calls from the beach boys, and escaped down rickety stairs into the water for a refreshing dip.

On days with a low tide, we would watch the local women wrapped from head to toe in bright, colorful fabric wade out into the water to catch sardines, octopi, squid, clams and mussels. They would then bring it back on shore directly below the deck and divide up their share. One day I decided to capture the moment digitally but as soon as I focused my camera, one woman pointed up and they all started shouting at me. I immediately put my camera away and for the rest of the trip, only took their photos at a safe distance.

A majority of the nights in Nungwi, we ate dinner on the Langi Langi deck as well. We had developed a friendship with the hotel owner and chef Rasta because every day he would recommend a new place for lunch (as the Langi Langi closed for lunch during Ramadan) and we would come back and tell him it was crap. Rasta had a very quirky sense of humor and a sign posted in front of the restaurant described his restaurant’s values and his observations. Kent's favorite was "here a pizza will come faster than the police."  His food combined Indian and South East Asian spices and was delicious, if you didn’t mind waiting at least an hour. We my favorites were the octopus curry and stuffed tuna with shrimp sauce.  

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