While walking back to my guest house earlier this week, I passed the office for Zanzibar Parasailing, and decided to pick up a brochure. It turned out it wasn’t all that expensive ($70), and since I’ve been able to do so much on the island for very little money, I figured one last splurge before I spend the next couple of days on the ferry and in airports would be well worth the money. I arranged to go on their sunset tour, so on Saturday afternoon one of the drivers for the company met me at their offices in Stone Town, and drove me to the beach in Nungwi, about an hour up the coast. Like all the beaches I’ve seen here, Nungwi was beautiful. I boarded a little dingy that took us out to the motorboat they use for the parasailing, and as soon as we’d stepped aboard, the boat captain, Bacchu, and his assistant, Omari, started unpacking the parachute that I would be using on my tour. Once everything had been checked, and I’d been fitted with a lifejacket and harness, Omari attached me to the parachute and started letting out the line. That’s literally exactly how it happened – no discussion of what to do (or not do) while up in the air, and I had just enough time to shout down that I wanted to do the “freefall” effect they mentioned in the brochure before I was up in the air, floating above the Indian Ocean.
For all its marketing as “thrill-inducing”, parasailing was actually the most relaxing and laid-back of the big-ticket activities that I’ve done. The wind picked up the material of the parachute as soon as it was unpacked, so I was just naturally lifted off the floor of the boat once I’d been strapped in, and as the line was let out, I gradually moved further and further upwards. Being so high up afforded me some great views of Zanzibar and the surrounding ocean, and it was beautiful seeing the sunset from such a unique position. Sadly, Omari apparently didn’t catch my last-minute request about freefalling, so I can’t report on what that involved. Still, it was great to be able to try an activity that I’ve been wanting to do ever since I saw people coming in to land at Regina Beach, after parasailing on Last Mountain Lake, when we still lived in Saskatchewan.
As I write this, I’m just a few hours away from boarding the ferry. It’ll cross back to Dar es Salaam tonight, arriving at around 6am tomorrow morning. From there, I’ll catch a taxi to the airport and hang out while I wait for my flight to leave tomorrow night. Then a few (like 30) hours later, I’ll be meeting up with Kelly in Los Angeles, and Mom and Dad after that, when we arrive in Maui. Not long now!