By the end of February the uncertainty started to become a bit overwhelming. The Good Man was asked to participate in a conference in Zanzibar and we decided that a family break to a peaceful island sounded like a good plan. So off we went.
Zanzibar is a true tropical paradise. We spent our first week on the east coast which sports pristine beaches and some amazing snorkeling. It was all pretty rustic but comfortable and we loved it, spending long lazy days on the sand or by the pool. At some point during the week I looked up and considered the moon and stars. And then I contemplated lunar cycles. And then I considered my own lunar cycle. Which wasn't behaving very cyclically. One plastic stick later and it was confirmed... Bambi is to be a big sister. This actually explained a lot - my food aversions, my inability to deal with the heat and humidity (although, to be fair, it was roasting) and general grumpiness (which I had been attributing to stress).
Our second week was in Stone Town. What an amazing spot. If you have even the remotest interest in history, this city is a must. You won't find hundreds of clinical museums and memorials but you will be able to see the remains of early ocean trade, breathe in heavy waves of cinamon and nutmeg, watch dhows sailing along the coast as they have done for centuries and contemplate words like 'swashbuckling' and 'adventurer' without having to give yourself over to too much imagination.
The Good Man was working for much of this time but Bambi and I managed to keep ourselves busy. We went on a spice tour which basically involved a chap wandering around a small spice plantation with us in tow. That said, he carefully wove a grass reed hat for Bambi as he strolled and did manage to persuade some local youths to climb to some very precarious perches in an effort to show us all the fragrant treasures of his patch.
We also wiled away an afternoon at Mercury's - a very popular seaside bar named in honour of Zanzibar's most famous son - Freddie.
For our last day, with work commitments over, we decided to do the Blue Safari. The highlight of this trip (for me at any rate) was the snorkelling. The Good Man is not a strong swimmer and took off with the tide back to the sandbank powerless to fight the current. Lowering Bambi into middle of the ocean off the side of the dhow met with some resistance on her part (as I write this I do sense how foolish the idea was to start off with - but, hey, I'm pregnant). So my 'highlight' was nearly thwarted.
However, one of the guides, sensing my disappointment, said that if I was a strong enough swimmer to swim against the current from the sandbar he would take me out on my own. So we cruised back, deposited Bambi with her driftwood father and headed for the reef. What an incredible experience. Fish of every colour and shape, sea cucumbers, starfish, crabs and the big one - an octopus which, after some provocation it should be said, attached itself to the arm of my guide who rocketed to the surface and swung it around violently until, under its cloud of ink it retreated back to its rock. Suitably chastised, we retreated back to land and a sumptuous seafood barbeque. And Bambi proved an adept dolphin spotter as we sailed to the mainland.
Then it was time to head back to Nairobi where more big news awaited.
But more of that next time...