26-29 July 2018
Ushongo Beach, Beach Crab Resort
Another interesting day on Tanzanian roads! After leaving the park, the road north takes one through villages, growing various crops to feed the village, then to massive sisal plantations.
As we descended again through another plantation, we entered the thick coastal forest, and the most diabolical muddy road! It rains here pretty much every evening – Equatorial climate – it required low range, diff lock in parts. There is no way bigger trucks will be able to get through either as the trees form a beautiful dense, low, avenue for about 2km to the resort.
Beach Crab is delightful. We were allocated 2 sites directly on the beach…paradise!!! Richard is happier than a sand flea or a clam! In fact as I am typing this blog, he, Pete and Sally are out sailing on a canoe-type dhow. As soon as the tent was up, we were in the water – incredibly shallow, as a reef probably about 1km from the beach protects this bay.
Braai in our portable braai, on the beach – Richard had bought 1kg of freshly caught tiger prawns form a local fisherman at Saadani – so a real beachcomber evening.
Next day we vrotted in camp – snorkeling in the shallow water – it is a beautiful underwater meadow of sea grass, which literally twinkles when the sunlight filters through the clear blue water. Magical. I watched a goby emerge hastily from a neatly constructed sand cave – a large prawn came out in full bulldozer mode, pincers held together to form a shovel as it pushed sand from out of the burrow, swiftly followed by prawn number 2. Once the sand was dumbed neatly nearby, the prawns retreated back into the burrow, the goby reversing swiftly in, only to be pushed out again a minute later by the next load of sand.
The afternoon I spent trying to tidy up and reorganize Klippie and the car, as our daughter, Emma, will be joining us in Arusha for the last part of our trip.
This all happened while we were driving to Beach Crab – Emma has taken a Leave of Absence from her studies and to help her clear her head we asked if she would like to join us. I am so excited – 2 months a very long time not to see one’s children, no matter how old they are. It must be so hard when children or the parents move countries and continents away.
Richard decided to bake us a loaf of bread in our portable braai oven, and had managed to buy some fresh snapper from a local fisherman, so dinner sorted!
This was the evening of the eclipse – we sat in our beach campsite and watched the eclipse happening over the Indian Ocean. It was pretty spectacular, and I think the first time I have really witnessed a total eclipse, certainly so clearly. And that blood moon, sjoe.
Day 3 at Beach Crab we went on a guided snorkeling trip out to Maziwe Island on a wooden dhow with a motor. Maziwe Island is in a Marine Reserve, and is a sand island attached to an enormous reef that is exposed at low tide. Given that it was spring low, the reef was exposed and seemed to stretch for miles.
The snorkeling was wonderful – beautiful soft corals and huge anemones waving in the gentle current, multi-coloured fish everywhere, and starfish. A light lunch of delicious sandwiches and watermelon under a makeshift awning on the sandbar completed the morning’s trip, and we headed back to Beach Crab for a leisurely afternoon.
Last day at the sea, and Pete, Sally and Richard went sailing on a narrow dhow with outriggers. Also took a rod in trolled for some fish – not too much luck in that department I believe, but they really enjoyed the sailing on a beautifully simple boat, with cotton type sail.
I pottered in camp. Richard, back on shore, bought 2 fresh lobsters, and promptly cooked them for lunch. We then packed up our tent, got everything ready for a very early departure for the next morning…destination Moshi.