Woke up to another dreary rainy day. After breakfast climbed into a minibus for the scenic hour and a half drive to Nungwi at the northernmost tip of the island. Nungwi is very expensive and there were only two resorts that were somewhat affordable. We checked out one and didn't think much of it, but while walking to the other ran into some of the other passengers and the driver from our minibus and they told us the other place was full. So checked into the first resort - really unimpressed with the service.
Checked the two dive shops - the one at our hotel is run by a French guy who really wasn't interested in talking to me. Walked down to the neighboring resort and had a pleasant chat with the dive shop manager - and signed up for a dive trip tomorrow. While down there found out that we could get discounted accommodation since we were diving and that there were rooms available?!? Made a reservation for a room tomorrow night - later talking with the others we decided the driver had told us the resort was full because they had refused to give him a cut (I saw our hotel hand him a wad of cash). Sat down on the deck over the beach and had a cold drink while waiting for the rain to slacken then walked back to our hotel. Back at our bungalow realized that the room was infested with fleas! We were reluctantly given another room which seems ok.
The sun started to break through a little so we headed out for a walk down the beach. It's an incredible spot - soft, pure white sand and water that seems even bluer than yesterdays. Walked down the the beach getting our feet wet, picking up sea shells, and just enjoying the sand and water. Saw lots of locals collecting coral (probably for construction or lime) and seaweed (for ?) and everywhere we went there were kids beating octopus (must be a staple here). There are also dhows everywhere - anchored in the water, pulled up on the beach, and on shore in various stages of construction or repair (Nungwi is known as a dhow building center). Stopped for a beer at a posh resort so we could use the toilets and take cover from a sudden shower. After the rain stopped the sun really started to break through and we continued down the beach to a lighthouse. Here the tide had came up to far for us to continue.
The tide had also blocked our return so we turned inland and walked back through the small village of thatched coral huts. Besides the unique coral construction the village wasn't terribly exciting (a very small market with a few kinds of fish), but it was really nice - especially with a ton of friendly kids calling out "Jambo!" everywhere we went. Just outside the village we came on a couple groups of trees covered with hundreds of giant spiders - at least five inches long! They were scary looking to - black heads, silver / white bodies and black and red stripped legs - I have no interest in walking around here after dark!
By the time we got back to the hotel it was mid-afternoon and there wasn't a cloud in the sky - it was beach time. Spent a couple hours on what little of the beach was left - swim a little, read a little, swim a little, etc. When the sun got to low in the sky went back to the room and changed. Watched the relatively unexciting sunset (there were some low clouds on the horizon that hid it) and had a few beers on the deck of our neighboring resort (where we're moving tomorrow - it's also where we went to the beach).