Backdate: East Africa trip Aug 2015 Day 3 - 12th Aug - Pange Island (sandbank) + Prison Island + shopping @ Stone Town

12/8/15: It's a visit to the Pange sandbank and Prison island today! About 10mins' drive from SS's place to the "jetty". The beach was alrdy filled with some fishermen in the morning, and yup SS's dad's workers helped carry the props needed for SS and John's photoshoot.
*I just realized how fair I was back then~*
ST, SF and Jenny were telling us how scary the tide was when they took the boat previously, and even showed us a video of how sea waters came splashing onto their boat~ So, deep down inside, I was mentally prepared for a bumpy ride (just praying I dun fall into the sea~).
We rented one boat (SS's parents helped us, so I dunno the cost), and Alex happily sat right in front. *I have to take care of SS's flowers, so probably sitting in the middle is better for me.* Maybe because we set off earlier in the morning, so the 20mins' ride was still smooth pretty much. The purpose of gg there earlier was cos the sandbank would "miraculously disappear", i.e. submerged under seawaters by 11+am that day. It's due to the rising tide though. *Imagine all the boats were to leave you and you can't swim~ cham lo.* Calm seawaters surround the sandbank, and it is really tranquail, cos by the time we were there, no one else was on the island! It literally belonged to us woo~

While Alex, SS and John were setting up their temp changing tent (John bought it on TB and he said it costed only $30+!) on the sandbank, SS's mum sat aside to help look aft our food and stuff, while ST, YJ and I went exploring ard the rectangular beach together haha. *I have no idea whr Jenny, SF and Pi were.*  
The waves brushed through our feet, and it was very cooling. It was windy, and we took grp photos along the way. There were more rocks towards one side of the sandbank, and you can easily find sea creatures hiding in there. *Ooh we tried walking and balancing on some.* I saw this huge purple starfish too, and at first I was afraid to pick it up, but still plucked up the courage to, lol, woo it's hard. ST was telling us how they discouraged visitors from taking away seashells etc. so as not to harm the sea creatures... I agree. There were many very tiny white crabs "speed crawling" on the sands all the time. It's so difficult to catch hold of them on camera but I managed to take one below~ in the nick of time phew!
An hr+ of relaxation on the island simply was not enough. I miss it till now haha. And u can see from the photos, there are "slopes" on some parts of the sandbank, whr u can see the sea water levels change. We could feel the tide rising as time passes by, cos more of the sides got submerged. ST told YJ and I the previous time they came, they could even walk on some of the stones and see sea urchins further away, but on the day we came, they were alrdy underwater.  
We saw one of SS's dad's worker dancing away while listening to his mp3 players. Sorta curious what music he was listening to, and apparently he said like hip hop, rap music haha. *The macho man looked so carefree. But I heard that this 24yr old guy was alrdy a dad of 1 daughter, and his previous wife died. He seems to be looking forward to another marriage though, and he's interested in angmohs haha!*
Ta-dah you see Alex in action! I mean yeah John and SS too~ walking the white sands. *Poor SS got her shoulders and back all burnt red! The sun in Africa during noon time is vicious for sure!* At about 11am, many other tourists (one grp of Germans came) came here to set up tents and then snorkel. *Lol I wonder if they checked the time properly, cos the sandbank would be "gone" in no time...*
I couldn't even open up my eyes properly la. *It's not fog or what, it's just overexposure haha.*
We left the sandbank before noon, and took the same boat to Changuu aka Prison Island, another approx. 15mins away? Had fruits and the burgers prep by SS's mum on the way there.

Oh whoa the sun was scorching hot by noon time. Most of us were busy spraying the sunscreen, and I think it was ST and Pi who bought the entry tickets to Prison Island, the Aldabra giant tortoises' conservatory (local price TsH 2000 each ssshhh~) for us.
I needed the washroom, so ST, YJ and I walked ard Prison Island first. The island saw use as a prison for rebellious slaves in 1860s and also functioned as a coral mine. The British First Minister of Zanzibar, Lloyd Mathews, purchased the island in 1893 and constructed a prison complex there. No prisoners were ever housed on the island and instead it became a quarantine station for yellow fever cases. The station was only occupied for around half of the year and the rest of the time it was a popular holiday destination. More recently the island has become a government-owned tourist resort and houses a collection of endangered Aldabra giant tortoises which were originally a gift from the British governor of the Seychelles.
We walked into the Prison restaurant area (should be an area once used for those convicts?) to use the ladies. *Alamak the lock was spoilt, and it was so dark I had to turn on my hp light.* Anyway, there we walked down a short flight of stairs can came to a dead end. There were dining tables and seats ard, and carvings on the metal gates, though I couldn't really decipher what they meant. *Weird, I have a feeling of deja vu when I was gazing over the waters... felt like I've been to somewhere similar, really.*
Maybe I'd thought too much, or the stupid ideas of prisoners committing suicide by the edge of the rocks took me aback. I didn't find the blue waters there enchanting... it was somewhat haunting.
After SS, Alex and John were ready too, we all headed over to the Aldabra giant tortoises conservation area and met up with Jenny and Pi. *There's a cute signpost that says how far this place is from UK and a few other countries haha.*
John, Alex, YJ and I sorta kept quiet while we walked past the entrance gate cos SS, Pi, Jenny and ST were gg in as locals, so they spoke Swahili and greeted the staff there lol~ so the 4 foreigners were "smuggled" in smoothly haha. *Pi may be young, but the Swahili he spoke was damn gd.* 
When we say these Aldabra Giant tortoises are GIANTS, we're no kidding. They almost looked like fake ones! *I have friends who thought we were there seeing tortoise statues ermmm.* Then again even though they were so bulky, they can still "inch" step by step la haha. *I dunno why but it's uncomfortable seeing their neck being able to stretch so long to reach the waters lol.*
The tortoises were kept at different areas according to age. Babies were kept in a cage. *There were sightings of peacocks and I think deers on the island too.* Of cos, the area was pretty smelly too. *Too bad it wasn't feeding time when we were there.*
We walked to another side of the island, and saw the jetty! *SS wanted YJ and I to do an "emo" shot lol.* The whole grp of us, being tourists, were of cos excited to take photos with the blue-est sea we'd seen as backdrop, so we did lots of shots there. And of cos, Alex had to be the shoot instructor! Then again, I'm really bad at posing for shoots (me, YJ, SS and Jenny), so some came out sort of awkward-looking LOL. Some were great though, even under the glaring sun! *Erm I dunno what bird that was there.*
After our fair share of fun at Changuu Island, we left for home in the afternoon. *Can't rmb when but there was a short period of blackout while we were home, so we'd have to rely on the sunlights from outside. Btw, it's scarily dark at night there...伸手不见五指。And SS's mum said it's common to have shortage of electricity or water there.* Anyway, we had Urojo (soury potato soup that the locals have) and Mandazi (Swahili bun) for lunch.

Pi helped all of us to buy the SIM cards and the prepaid value cards for use over our span of 2wks in Tanzania. *Lucky we have him, cos I think foreigners are not allowed to buy local data plans there!* Costed me TsH 12000 altogether, but mine was 2 prepaid cards (shld be Zantel, not Airtel) for 2wks, and it worked pretty well most of the time, both at Zanzibar and Safaris, though there was no signal during some parts of our Safari trip later on. *Interesting thing was that the instruction to key in info etc  into the phone were all in Swahili~ tourists wouldn't know how to deal with that~ so again, thankfully we had Pi !*
YJ, ST, Jenny and I met GC that evening cos he said he could bring us ard Stone Town, so we could look for souvenirs to bring back to SG.
There were so many Maasai warrior paintings ard, and YJ looked like she could bag them all LOL~ The sea opposite to The African House Hotel looked damn gd in the evenings.
We walked into one of the hotels there, and wow I liked the interior decor, and the backview of the hotel... sea again! Snapshot a kid playing soccer against the sunset... so chilled.
YJ and Jenny tried their local drink before Lody came to fetch us back home for dinner. *I wasn't feeling too well so I didn't have it.*