Stork Passage

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    • Day74

      The Ocean!

      March 15, 2016 in Kenya ⋅ 🌙 29 °C

      We made it! I've been excited for the ocean for quite some time now, and we're here! And holy crap it's hot! We got here around 745am after our VIP night bus, and we already feel the heat! Usually we can start feeling warm around 11 ish, but this town didn't give us a break. We first thought we could explore the town with our backpacks and eventually stumble upon a guest house we like. That plan went out the window when we were drenched within 20 minutes of walking, just trying to make our way to the ocean front. We saw the ocean, we walked in the sand, and we went straight to a hotel the lovely fisherman said was the cheapest on the water front. Done! It's probably the worst deal we've had yet, but we were sweaty and tired of carrying our backpacks. So we got an OK price for a pretty crappy room. Meh, there's a bed and a toilet. All I need.

      Once showered, laundry done (remember, I only have 2 T-shirts, so considering the heat, I wanted to have one clean for diner time while I knew I'd be sweating through the day one), we set out to explore the town. Again, we were too ambitious with our plans, considering how hot it is. We made it to "downtown", walked around a bit. I needed to be fed, getting a little grumpy, so we found this selfserve local place and it actually had things we haven't seen yet!

      Insert - The coast is said to be a different culture, Swahili, with a higher Muslim population then inland and since its the oldest port, the population of Indian people is large due to it's trade history. Inland Kenya, much like the rest of what we've seen in East Africa, isn't very diverse. Kenya has Kenyans, and a tiny bit of Indians are visible. The coast actually has some diversity and it's refreshing. End insert.

      So the food was different! Still managed to find my chapatis though. Everything still fried, I feel right at home. Well fed, coke to cool me down, and back out we go. I blame Jack for having lost our sunscreen when she went biking without me at Naivasha Lake. Blaming aside, we had to buy more considering my glowingly white skin that's hiding under my farmers tan, is about to be exposed on the beach. 13$US that little sucker. And it's 200ml, I can't fly home with it. How insulting.

      The Malindi museum was... Well it was worth the dollar I paid to get in. Lol. Basically Jack was interested, so we got her the student price (yay for student cards!), and when he saw I wasn't joining, he assumed it was the price and said I could join for 100KSh (1$). I guess I can't really say no at that price. It consistent of exactly what I don't like about museums, pottery. Lol. Old big pots found somewhere that mean something. Sorry, I'm just really not that interested. The rest was just photos with information plaques next to them. Old Malindi photos were nice. Old traditional tribal wear was interesting... Lol.

      Now the goal, which was over estimating our energy in this heat, was to walk through the Old Town to eventually make our way to the beach. We managed to do a couple blocks, a couple market streets, constantly looking for the side of the road with shade, to then have a seat in shade and have Jack drink tons of water as she felt faint. The women likes to push herself and ignore her body until it wants to give out on her. Once her energy level was barely enough to get her up, I managed to convince her that a mototaxi to take us to the beach is an OK thing to do. Turns out, the beach was still pretty far, neither one of us would have made it!

      We're excited! We want to refresh in the water, cool down. Swim around like we're kids again. And then we feel the water. It's hotter then most showers we've had here. Not the most refreshing, but it did the trick! Jack got some energy back, I got to have my second coke of the day at this nice beach club... It was a beautiful afternoon. You can't go wrong with the ocean! My usual fear for jelly fish was yelling at me to get out, but I managed to ignore it. That is until we started making our way in to apply some fancy expensive sunscreen, and I had to get by a damn jelly fish! I saw it! I saw the whole thing, with tentacles and everything! I ran out, leaving Jack to fend for herself, and refused to get back in. Ew, jelly fish.

      Stopped by a cute little peninsula called Vasco de Gana point, and the oldest church in East Africa apparently, built in the 1490s, Portuguese. Relaxing, beautiful and sunny afternoon. After our second shower of the day, I put on my now clean and dry shirt, wash the other, and off we go to diner! This town has a large Italian influence, so the pizza restaurants are of plenty!

      We checked out 4 menus, picked a pricey but fancy one. Sharing pizza and a Rocket pesto, tomato and mozzarella something... It was delicious. Worth every penny, accompanied with some house red wine. Finally, some chocolate gilato. Omg it was good. Treating yourself every once in a while is important. Refreshes the batteries.
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    • Day76


      March 17, 2016 in Kenya ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

      What a shitty night's sleep. The mosquito net seemed to be keeping the mosquito's in, not out. We got eaten alive. Jack got up at 3am to take the flash light out and assess the damage, she swells at every bite and she was covered. I was sleeping until that point, but no way I was falling back asleep. I kept having to slap myself attempting to kill every last one of them. Plus the warmth, the sweating... Honestly shitty night. But ah well, life goes on.

      Since we were up, we tried to go see the sunrise, but the doors of our guesthouse were locked and the employee was sound asleep on his mattress close to it, so we saw no point in waking him up. We still set out early for breakfast, about an hour later, starved since we've been up since 3. Beans and rice, my favourite! Walked around town, discovered that further down the main road, passed a bit that seems like you're no longer downtown, you arrive in the rich people's downtown! A bunch of fancy buildings, living compounds, nice coffee shops, covered in tourist agencies... All of who's people, local and foreign, address us in Italian. Every person we have met is Italian, except for one German. So we settle in for a nice latte in one of the fancy shops. We're white, so we blend in, but if you looked closer, everyone there was dressed so nice, white shirts and pants that we could never keep clean, big summer hats, makeup. I've got on grungy t-shirts and shorts.

      Still hot as ever outside. We walked around this fancy downtown, and made our way cutting across living compounds to the beach to cool down. This is a different spot from yesterday, it's by the main pier, no beach clubs or restaurants on the water here. Just seems like deserted land. No one around. But the water was clear of algae and therefor inviting. I went in, attempting to forget about yesterday's jellyfish. Everytime something touched my feet, because the water wasn't clear at all, I flipped out. After a bit I gave up, went back to shore. Walking back to the pier, Jack tried to distract me from seeing a pile of washed up jellyfish, and obviously failed. There was at least 10, creepy transparent jellyfish. I'm done with the ocean for today.

      With big walking plans again, we set out to explore old town. I uploaded a map yesterday so this time I could follow with my GPS, making sure we're going in the right direction. It was a great walk through mostly residential areas. It's mind blowing how an hour ago we were walking amongst the rich, and now we're walking passed clay and wood structures that I hesitate to call houses... People were saying hi, no calling out of muzungu, no following us around selling anything... Kenya is starting to grow on me. We finally found someone to sell us handkerchiefs, being tired of having "water" drip down our faces. In this same little shop (wooden shack along the road), we bought this lovely piece of material to add to our hookah lounge collection. I don't think she's ever had white people buy things in her shop, because right away we got the best price to date. Local price. If she only knew she just blew her first opportunity to screw over muzungus.

      Making our way to the waterfront, well hotels along the waterfront, I set out on a mission to find one that will let us use their pool. Those jellyfish aren't getting me! After passing a few, we found one that was beautiful and affordable, but I reevaluated. We're at the ocean. There's a huge natural body of water right in front of me and I'm looking for a pool... Screw that. I know Jack well enough and she's dying to jump into the waves. So after all this careful walking to the beach clubs, we grabbed a mototaxi back to the pier so Jack could jump in the ocean, free of algae (the water at the beach club area wasn't as clear of algae then the water at the public area... Who would have thought!). I sat under the pier, in the shade, coke in hand, reading my book.

      Jack says I should mention how much fun she had. She thinks I didn't put enough emphasis on how great the water was, how fun the waves were...she had a great time. That is all.

      Another relaxing afternoon after a tiring warm day. We've drank 4.5L of water in the last 2 days... Grabbed a cheap local diner so that we could treat ourselves to that amazing gelato I had yesterday. Honestly mind blowingly good gelato. And wine. Of course.

      This time, I slept fantastic! We changed rooms this morning, since we were up so early we had time to check out a few places. This one is in town, so not on the water, so cheaper, with a fan on the ceiling and good bug nets. Lesson leaned - fan on the ceiling is non negotiable! Off to Lamu we go today.
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