Kenya: Coastal Creature

Posted by Ryan Sanderson Smith on 8 March 2010 Tags:, , , , ,

Entry: 8 March 2010 (Day 146) Place: Omo Valley, North Western Border from Ethiopia
Exit: 3 May 2010 (Day 202) Place: Busia, Western Border into Uganda

I’m definitely a creature of the coast.
I love how the sun reflects off the surface, how the water moves to its own rules, has a life of its own. It refreshes, it calms and it changes moods. To swim under clear waters is like flying in a slow motion, silent world. I love how the salt dries and pulls my skin, the feel of the sand. It’s a different world.

The coast of Kenya delivered to my beach passion superbly.
The beaches were pure white, which contrasted beautifully with the light from crystal clear blue waters. The plentiful coconut palm trees gave it an exotic feeling.

We spent most of our time slowing our heartbeats on a laidback stretch of beach south of Mombasa, called Diani, where we stayed in an unpretentious backpackers lodge called Stiltz, tucked away in the forest opposite the beachfront. Long swims, max relaxing, sundowners in beach bars (which sometimes turned into sun-uppers) were the order. It was also like a 24 hour sauna due to the humidity; I think I wore a shirt once.

The North of the coast was just as rewarding. In Watamu big game fishing is big business and my jaw dropped as I saw a magnificent 580 kg Blue Tail Marlin pulled in. Curious crabs scuttled around the mangrove trees that mingled out of the sand.

The road further north to Lamu Island felt more off the beaten track. Especially when the guards at a checkpoint asked us if we wanted an escort, as the area is close to the Somalia border, and the suspension bushes needed replacing after the less than ideal road. Taking the boat across to the island was like a time warp to an old trading port town. More serene beaches and laidback times followed, but now in the midst of the island’s Swahili culture.

We then left Lamu and headed back down South (that’s the direction we should be travelling if we ever want to reach Cape Town). However, we realized that it was Easter weekend and we wouldn’t be able to get anything done in Nairobi anyway. Our coastal creature instincts took over and told us to go spend the weekend soaking up the beach vibe again at Diani.