Month: January 2015
Our first farewell was to Joe’s new house, and the arrow commemorating the contribution in memory of Bill Haynes that paid for the roof.
The house looks good
Teddy cutting the grass
Deacon Joseph, Father Joe, Bridget, Steve and Teddy
Then to Shanzu, where at last we caught up with Joe’s brother Martin
He took us back to his house to see the family
Cecilia (Joe’s sister in law) at the fruit and veg stall.
And then to Barnabas, where we greeted each class
Bridget with Eva (in red gingham)
The cooks at work
Relaxing, waiting for lunch
Sadly our schedule meant that we had to leave before lunch was served. We met Eunice and went with her to Kiembeni where her friend Mary has “plarn” baskets for us to bring home – plarn is “plastic yarn” made from old plastic bags, crocheted into very functional baskets (and if you’d like one I have some for sale!).
And then, a not-too-quick drive to the airport, hand back the car, check in, a mooch in the shops, onto our flight. First stop was Kilimanjaro, where Bridget got her first glimpse of Africa’s highest mountain, then on to Addis Ababa where we hit the ground with a bump. A long chilly evening in Bole International Airport preceded a bumpy flight to Heathrow. At last, when we emerged from the terminal, the car was waiting for us, one signature and we were off, and soon home to do the laundry!
And finally – a couple of recommendations from this trip:
- We hired both our cars from Glory (www.glorykenya.com). They were in good condition, clean, and the service was excellent, and flexible. More expensive than back street, but well worth it.
- For the first time we used a Meet and Greet parking service (of airport) by DriveFly (www.drivefly.co.uk). Prebooked, we simply drove the car to the right place in the short stay car park and they took it away; when we returned we called them as we picked up our bags, and when we got to the same car park the car was ready and waiting and warm (and had done just 8 miles in our absence – I took a photo of the odometer before we left it). Cheaper and easier than long stay, will use them again.,
Our last full day took us to Haller Park, a zoo in a reclaimed cement quarry owned by Bamburi Cement (part of Lafarge)
Monkeys are everywhere
Giraffes at feeding time
To be honest, Haller Park seems a bit dilapidated now, even compared to 2 years ago when I went there. Low tourist numbers mean low revenue, so many of the snake cages were empty, for example. But feeding giraffe is always good!
After this visit we went back to Cobba Cabana at Mtwapa, enjoyed a tasty lunch on the beach served by our friend Miriam, then we sat in the shade and read – a rare chance to just relax. When Miriam finished we took her to Majaoni where we both enjoyed her massage skills, followed by supper at one of the family of Boko Boko owner Yolande..
After Mass in Kikambala and an IT surgery, we drove to Cobba Cobana beach in Mtwapa, where Bridget was delighted to find a well-maintained pony for hire. She had 20 minutes of fun riding up and down the beach.
Then we enjoyed a soda.
Sisters with matching phones!
Bridget and Lucy photo-bomb Maggy’s posing
After lunch in Kikamabala, Daniel took us to a local cave where African Barn Owls live. The cave is amazing.
And then to North Coast for one last Passion Juice
First stop was to visit Eunice who runs Okoa Jahazi
We then took a walk down to Mtwapa Creek
Canoes and mangroves
After lunch with Lucy in Shanzu we visited Jacob and Lydia and went to Chalets Beach, swam in deep water, but Aid got stung by a jelly fish..
Tina came with Shanique to do some laundry for us. Shanique is such a poser!
Then (with various stops on the way) we headed to Bombolulu Cultural Centre where we had a tour of the different homesteads of the various Kenyan tribes.
In the Swahili House
We then headed to Nguuni Tatu Nature Sanctuary, but the track to the picnic area was blocked!
Eland in the bushes
Ostrich showing off
Jumba la Mtwana – ruins of a Swahili town
Buchuma Gate to Voi Wildlife Lodge
Elephants at Voi Wildlife Lodge
Lions – honest…
Voi Wildlife Lodge
Bufallo at the water hole
Leaving Voi Wildlife Lodge
Voi Safari Lodge
Voi to Buchuma Gate
Today we said goodbye to our Kluger 4×4, which had served us well taking us on rough roads to Mivumoni, around Arabuko Sokoke forest, and to Kolewa church as well as being well suited to the local roads with their lumps and bumps. The Glory Car hire office in near the famous tusks, and Edu was with us as guide.
We then walked through to Marikiti (the market) where we bought a couple of kikoi. It was interesting to see the hustle and bustle, but a bit intimidating for B (and not a place to get a camera out). We ended up at Jahazi Coffee House where we lunched on biriani, then took a tuk tuk to the Holy Ghost Cathedral to met Fr Joe. This is the grotto where Joe used to celebrate mass with the youth when he was posted to the cathedral, and also where the late Archbishop Boniface Lele is buried.
After a visit to Kenya Wildlife Service offices to buy our tickets for the trip to Tsavo, Joe dropped us at Fort Jesus. There’s lots to see…
But Bridget is more interested in cats!
We paid to go round the fort, built by the Portuguese, taken over by the Omani Arabs then by the British.
16th century graffiti
The old Police Station from colonial times, still abandoned.
Typical Old Town architecture.
We called in at Barnabas School. here I am talking to a Peruvian volunteer.
With Harrison, the head teacher
Lucy and her Class 1
Maggy and her KG2 class
The new Class 5/6 building
Smart new house opposite the school
Bridget and Imelda
Then at Shanzu we met Grace
Our friend Daniel (aka Ali) took us on a walk out to the reef. Here are some of the things we saw.
Bridget and Daniel.
Sea urchin – the reason we wore shoes.
Bridget and her sub-aqua camera
Crab burrowing into sand
The top of the reef.
Daniel at the ocean’s edge.
Looking back to Sun and Sand Hotel
It was a bit deeper on the way back.
Different sea urchin
After a late night we awoke to the sound of singing from the church where Fr Anthony was celebrating the 07:00 mass. We had a lazy morning, then drove ourselves to Kolewa for mass in the mud-walled church here. It’s quite a long drive up onto the ridge, rewarded with great views into Giriama country.
Our trip to look over the edge was accompanied!
A huge mango tree
Heading to the church
After Mass (we were too involved to take pictures during the service)
After Mass we returned to Kikambala for lunch, then we drove to the Serena to swim from the beach, where we met Tina and friends.
After supper, Aid, Maggy and Tina went for a drink at Lambada in Mtwapa, had fun, and got home rather later than planned!
We had a quiet morning at home, catching up with the blog. The girls did some laundry.
Chickens for Imelda!
Bridget loves Hibiscus
After lunch we went to visit Ngomongo Villages. After several attempts to find the place (no signs) we discovered it was closed because of poor tourist numbers (which explains the lack of signs). So we went to the nearby Shanzu Transitional Workshops for young disabled women, where they make goods (mainly bags) out of kikoi. They have a little sensory garden.
Bridget, as ever, found a furry friend.
From there we drove just down the road to the Serena Beach Hotel, and sat in their beachside garden watching things go by (and drinking passion juice).
Looking from the hotel towards the beach.
After returning to Kikambala we went to supper as guests of Yolanda who owns the Boko Boko Seychelles restaurant nearby, with wonderful food and a warm welcome.
A long but quick drive to Watamu took us to Arabuko Sokoke Forest, where our guide first took us on a guided walk. This is a local fruit.
A black kite.
A pink Lucy
A praying mantis
The larva of a bug (anti lion?)
The larva sits in its hole and waits for prey to pass, then pulls them in with its jaws.
Maggy adding scale to a mahogany tree.
A baby baobab tree.
An ex butterfly, still pretty.
Land snail shell
A live butterfly – they were impossible to photograph.
Swinging on a tarzan creeper, our guide Johnston showed us how and we all had a go
Completing the walk.
We all climbed the tree house.
An eagle over the swamp
B under a famous arched tree
Lucy at the view point taking a panorama on her new phone.
All of us
On the way back, we saw a mongoose ahead on the track. Not very close, but better than we’d achieve with the duiker and red-rumped elephant shrew we’d seen earlier.
The viewpoint was a long way (28km of bumpy track each way) so we were glad to be back on the highway and head back to Kikambala
As we walked to the beach, we found a chameleon on the roadside.
The tide was not as high as we’d hoped, which meant there were many birds around still.
It was a little breezy as we walked along the beach.
Still We were able to wallow in the warm water.
As soon as we were in the water, Maggy wanted Lucy to take her photo
On the way back we found some Colobus monkeys.
Kikambala Village (restaurant, accommodation, beverages) was till being built when we were last here. Looks good.
We headed to Shanzu, where we called on Samuel’s family. Gloria and Shanique were playful, and liked b’s water bottle.