Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mtwara - Take two

I am back in Mtwara. I had a bit more time to explore and I made good use of it. Exploring the local beer is something I did during my last visit as well, so I knew what to ask for to go with the lobster I had. This time however I did more than just eat and took the time to dive one of the coral reefs at Shangani Beach with a friend. I am sure that this is not the best spot to snorkel in the area or the best reef to explore, but despite that it was quite an experience. I immediately realized that my knowledge on tropical sea creatures is a bit limited, so I will have to read up on the new topic. Secondly having an underwater camera or at least a waterproof housing is a must, so I will have to look into that too. The time has also come for me to do a proper scuba course, so that might be my next objective set for 2012. Today I have seen things that I have only seen in pictures before. It was quite an experience and I can just see how a new interest is forcing itself into my life....

After the dive we took a walk to the local fish market. I promised myself the last time that if I ever come to Mtwara again, that I will bring my SLR with me. Unfortunately I lied to myself. The place is absolutely a haven for good pictures. I am still a bit cautious when taking pictures around the locals, so I will need at least a Swahili speaking friend with me if I really want to capture the real beauty of this part of Tanzania without feeling like an intruder. The dows and little mokoros on the water looks like something from a postcard. The fish market was really an interesting place, but we did feel a bit awkward being there. No-one really made us feel uncomfortable, but we stood out like sore thumbs, looking like tourists not knowing where we wanted to go. I think we were a bit scared trespassing or venturing into areas we were not allowed to be. It was in any case a wonderful experience to see the market with all the fish and the place where the local "cooks" prepare food for the little stalls. Here I guess you will find the cheapest meal in Mtwara coming straight from the ocean. I really fell in love with Mtwara. I cannot wait to discover more.

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