LAMU, Kenya, Aug 7 – I need more time! The four days was not near enough to appreciate this attractive island called Lamu. It took a long time to get there and I didn’t want to leave.
I had only seen pictures years ago of my friend Alain’s house in that little town and I thought about visiting but not too seriously. But surprisingly I was extremely focused and eager to tackle the 900 kilometre drive to Mokowe, where my three pals and I would take a speed boat to the Island.
I am terrified of sharks. I don’t like creepy crawlies. Weeds in the ocean water make me jump but I was determined to overcome my fears on this trip. I had many days to try.
The weather was beautiful on the drive down. None of us had been to Lamu and it was only until we got to Watamu that we decided to take a break and eat.
Venta Club, Temple Point, is fantastic! After the manager Isaac Rodrot took us round at least three acres of the place, we decided to spend the night. At Sh8,000 per person all inclusive it wasn’t such a bad deal. The most notable thing about this place for me was the swimming pool. The waters and base of the pool were stark blue next to amber marble. There was a slightly elevated stage in front of the pool, facing a semi circle of marble pews. The best I can say is it resembles the theatres set up for Romans as they watched plays and performances in those days…
After some steak and wine by the bottle we slept like babies.
It was hard to wake up the next day. But the weather was beautiful and opening the bedroom door to face the ocean merely three or four hundred metres away I felt like I couldn’t move. You even forget that you haven’t taken a shower!
Alas, at 10am, we just had to leave – what with stories of shifters and escorts for the last 100kms to Mokowe. And we still had to say hello to one of my favourite DJs, Dr Vey, in Malindi! The road is perfect up until this point and I didn’t know what to expect after. But I found 150kms of good tarmac road with amazing scenery taking you all the way down. (Note: PLEASE refill your tank in Malindi!)
About five hours, 100 kilometres of rough road, doum palms, wells, green green grass, kids dashing home for lunch and five road blocks later, we were in Mokowe. Ben, who is taking care of Alain’s house, made sure we weren’t hassled by the beach boys all struggling to be responsible for our ‘safe arrival in Lamu’ and guided to us to safe spot to park the car at Sh200 per night.
The moment the boat started slapping the waves towards this quaint place I knew I could save up to live here for at least a year. I couldn’t say anything. I just had to shut up and take it all in. Not sure how to describe it. You’ve probably been to a beach before that looked like desert next to a massive oasis, you’ve probably ridden on waves before, you’ve probably kayaked on slightly rough waters while facing sea that looks like it has white light coming from the sun, illuminating the clouds and wave ripples; but you need to taste the quiet in Lamu. There is nothing like it.
The tiny streets with the fantastic doors are spoilt only by the litter strewn all over the place. The black cats are scary-ish and please don’t try and venture into any NIGHTCLUB or HOUSECLUB! Keep to the restaurants! And if you’re not used to walking for at least half an hour, get a donkey. If you faint they might call you a thin long tuk-tuk to take you to hospital. That’s a funny sight.