Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mombasa - Time to Mellow Out

The cure for anything is salt-water. 
Sweat - Tears - or the Sea.

The Sea turned out to be the perfect cure for my built up stress as a result of the nine-hour working days in Nairobi.

An eight hour bus ride later we arrived in Mombassa in the stark black of the night and immediately felt the heat stick to our skin.  
At this point we were not only exhausted, but also gave up on any attempt to find our hidden rental on our own.  A friendly Kenyan offered to lead us there on a fifteen minute boda boda ride in the pitch black of the night.  We arrived faces wet with tears from a combination of fear and a non-stop laughing fit .

As soon as we were settled we had decided this was going to be our home for the next week.  We could feel the salt on our lips already and fell asleep to the sounds of the waves crashing just outside of our hut.

We woke to a swim in the ocean every morning, followed by days of laying by the beach reading, sleeping and of course - more swimming.

Our rustic little rental held a large handful of english books - and when the weather, beach and atmosphere is this good - you aren't brought down at all by the fact that you've read over half of the books before.  

Visiting friends along the coast brought us to Shanzu for the night where Adu graciously hosted us in his family hall and treated us to our sunday specialty Chapati for breakfast!
  Africa's passion to please showed through with our attempt to order a vegetarian dish for Leona.  Without a doubt, her plate always arrived with a large piece of meat sitting atop of rice, no matter how many times we frequented the restaurant.

Shanzu was a short stop for us as we didn't feel particularly fond of the soccer games on the beach that were started with us in the middle of the goal posts - regardless of the miles of open beach, the locals seemed more interested in playing right on top of us. Oh Vey.

After a week of laying in the sun you pull yourself from the beach with the hopes of a hot shower and electricity at the next destination. Nyeri.

We are so thankful for Bryan who showed us the lifestyle in Mombasa expat style in the modern community of Nyeri for the week.  I jumped at the opportunity to join him on his daily gym sessions at one of the many hotels along the coast.  And we found ourselves in a comfortable routine of visiting the camels on the beach, laying on the day beds napping and reading - of course disrupted with some dips in the ocean.

The food here is remarkable thanks to the expats who have opened several italian bistros along the beach, we spent the week indulging in oven roasted margherita pizza and hand-made pastas.
When of course we weren't dining on the local catch of the day while Bryan enjoyed his regular order of octopus. 

Our first adventure on our own in Nyeri led us to South Coast were we spent the day of course - reading and sleeping on the beach.  We gathered our sandy bums and started the trek back to Nyeri starting with a thirty minute boda boda ride.  On our final ferry back to the main island logic was lost at sea and the 'enter' gate was opened before we had a chance to 'exit' the ferry.  Resulting in a chaos of people running at each other, stomping the weak ones to the ground.  

We soon were wet with tears combined from laughter and fear (a reoccurring feeling here) and before we knew it the ferry was leaving the dock to return to the south coast - the side we had just come from - with us in tow.
We made it back safely to tell our ridiculous story to Bryan who then suggested we stay at the local beaches for the next while.  We couldn't agree more.

Without a doubt we were cured from our stress - thanks to the sweat - tears - and most importantly the sea.

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