Blog - Manual Pedal

Zanzibar South, Tanzania

It was a hot pedal out of Jambiani with Eddie through Paije. We started out on soft sand, then pavement for a hard 10-mile stretch underneath the sun before rolling on the red clay off-road tracks of southern Zanzibar. Eddie was a skilled rider and rolled in fast. The trail was packed in hard, tech, punchy but also short and sweet, connecting farms and small villages in between.

We meandered our way into Mangoni, a small village where we met Eddie’s friend Ramodan for lunch. We set our bikes aside and walked around to get a closer look at things. We talked everyday life here and I shared mine in contrast. We looked the same in color but from different sides of the shore, with different perspectives but we were all in this together. Women in the villages were breadwinners. They participated in farming, the building of materials, domestic needs, everything.

We hiked to the local mangrove forest that shelters the coastlines and supplies the villages with the foundation for housing and trade. This was important and what Romodan coined a prized resource.

After our short visit to the local mangroves, Ramodan invited me inside his home for lunch. There he introduced me to his wife and we sat on the floor in preparation for his traditional home-cooked meal. Rice with sardines and mashed green peas. It was delicious and one of the most nutrient dense meals I’ve had during this trip. 2 servings, laughs and good times. I instantly felt like family.

We were closing in on the evening with a good 30 mile ride back to Jombiani. We passed through different villages and trails which brought new discoveries. While on the last stretch of tarmac all of the day’s experiences began to unfold. One of the things that pleasure me the most is that they haven’t forgotten the old ways. They feel the passes in the wind and the fibers between their fingers when tying rope. There is no absolute way of doing things, but more of the model of their reality and way of life. These were humbling memories never to be forgotten but passed on.

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