The current security situation in my lovely Kenya hurts me so deep to a point where it physically hurts. For me it’s much worse that most people, not only does the thought of leaving home to take a matatu (public bus), going to markets make you think twice before you do it but also that my sole satisfaction from my work is selling Kenya as a perfect destination and with the attacks this becomes harder and harder each day.
I have made a conscious decision to ensure the bad bad terrorists do not rule my life and make live in fear. I have chosen to take back the power in my hands and live my life as a Happy Kenyan. That been said, this past weekend so a number of governments ask all their people to evacuate Kenya, as much as it pained me, I chose not to cancel my brief vacation to Lamu on the Kenyan Coast.
It was obvious of the situation when I checked in for my flight and see it was a 12 seat caravan with only 8 of them going to the same place. We all gave each other the knowing smile of “You took a brave step to do this”. As soon as we landed and the warm slightly humid salty air filled my lungs gone was the worry. I knew this had been the right thing to do.
I mostly travel solo but this one was particular more solo than any trip I have taken alone. I stayed at a beautiful Lamu house called Msafini Hotel. I was the only guest at the hotel and they all adorned me for my entire stay.
On Saturday morning I awoke to the smell of ginger tea and a Swahili breakfast served on my enormous balcony. It was the best way to start what was to be a day of perfection.
Anchor is lifted and I am welcomed aboard DikDik Sailing boat. My captain was Harun and co captain Mohamed (Arola). The Swahili men all seem to be called Mohamed but have nicknames to distinguish them. They gave me a brief history of Lamu and started on the great fishing stories of catching tuna and some fish that take hours to get on the boat.
My first thought on fishing was this is going to be such a bore, but it turned out the suspense of reeling the fish and wondering what you caught was such a thrill. Harun was 1st to get a red snapper then Arola with 2 yellow snappers, just when I thought I wouldn’t get one, I captured a white snapper.
By the time we run out of bait (tiny little beach crabs) we had caught 7 fish and were now sailing to Manda Beach where we would have our fresh snapper bbq. As the crew prepared lunch I indulged myself in getting soaked in the sun and some swimming.
Having a perfect read about vacations whilst on vacation was so cool. I totally love Mauve Binchy all her Irish writings capture my soul.
Lunch was served and we sat on Manda Island in the middle of nowhere and had this amazing fish, chapatti and a salad. My thoughts were I wouldn’t mind to be stuck on this island, imagine a day of fishing, eating and swimming. Heaven, right?
My evenings were filled with yoga stretches and poses, reading and a glass or 2 of wine.. I really love being on holiday. You have so much time that you get to really enjoy the little joys in life that brings you the most happiness.
It was now time to explore Lamu town..literally walking into a town where it felt like they had missed a century and operated in more ways than one , like an island in the 50’s.
The fort was my 1ststop, here the guide took me along the things he perceived to have brought Lamu to where it is now. Religion, culture, oneness are thing he repeatedly mentioned.. he talked about his family and his parents family and how they have seen Lamu grow. It was all so great to listen to.
As we proceeded to Lamu Museum, I got the chance to live it up like a local and ride a donkey. It was scary and exciting at the same time. I felt a bit sad for the donkey as it’s quite small but has to ferry people, luggage and so much stuff across the island.
The people in Lamu were all so kind and warm towards me, it was really nice having everyone wanting to help you out or just chat with you. I had a nice Swahili man who ferried me from Shela to Lamu and was happy to show me unique stops like the floating bar where the locals go to hang out especially during the full moon. He even taught me to drive the speed boat, I actually became pretty good at steering it.
As my time to came to an end, I could not put away the feeling of wanting to stay here and just eat fresh and cheap sea food and sail away. I honestly think I should consider a cruise or sailing job. The sea loves me and I love it more!!!