Trip Start Jun 15, 2011
149Trip End Jun 15, 2012
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We arrived in Mombasa without a visa, which is normal for us. When we got to the immigration check they asked for fifty US dollars for each visa, and I had to scramble to find an ATM, then convert the money back to US dollars, sort of double dipping on the exchange commission. We got our luggage easily as we were the last to get to the conveyor, then went outside to get our ride. For the fourth time straight we found our name misspelled (this time it was Beckel) and we took our last long journey to our next place of leisure. This consisted of a 1-hour drive, a ferry ride across a river which inexplicably didn’t have a bridge, and another 1-hour drive to Diani Beach.
Our place there was on the far end of outrageous. The landlady, a Kenyan lady named Agnes, and her French husband Mark were there to greet us. They showed us around, introduced us to the workers and told us what we needed to know about living in Kenya. There was a lot to tell. We had a large two story house, round in the African fashion with a large central pole carved from a single tree, with supports sprouting about halfway up going out at a 120 degree angle from the ground to support the roof beams. The house is surrounded by almost a quarter of an acre of grass and trees, and has a pool, lounge chairs and an outdoor shower
Agnes asked if we would need a cook. I asked her how much he charges, and she told me $8/day US. I asked her, per person? Per meal? And she told me no, it was per day. We asked to have him stay with us for our entire time in Kenya, and we arranged for him to start the following morning. We also have a guy who cleans the pool and the house and does our laundry, cleans and replaces all the sheets and towels every other day, whose services are included in the price of the house. Dennis is a very serious and hard working guy, who likes to smile but doesn’t like to joke around; he makes it obvious that he has no time for that. We later met the cook, a jolly man named Adam. Adam made it clear that he has all the time in the world to joke around, and would soon become our best mate here in Kenya. He takes us to the store and walks us to the beach to keep the beach boys in check, and helps us to negotiate with everybody for our excursions. He works for us all day long, and besides cooking, he has nothing else to do.
A while later another guy came by, a local fisherman named Ali, who told us he would bring us any fish or seafood we could imagine. He had a large basket with two giant reef fish in it, a Coral Trout (he called it something else), and a white snapper. I bought them both for a modest fee and decided we would eat them the following day for lunch. Then we went down to the beach for dinner.
The beach is about a five minute walk, but it is not advisable to walk around after dark. This place gets inky black when the sun goes down. There are baboons in the bushes and cars on the roads which can’t see you. So we had a dinner in a beach café called 'Nomads’, then took a taxi home, as Adam advised. We went to bed at around 8pm, and slept around the clock. The kids are convinced that there is no better place than here. Kenya is their new favorite place.