For as long as I can remember my ideal holiday begins and ends with a beach. I’m a modern day water lover and sun worshipper. I never tire of our beautiful coastline-the white sandy beaches that we are so used to speaking of and the warm Indian Ocean. It is unlike no other- with the beach boys heckling, the carts of chilli mango and the various Italian eateries littered around. Mombasa, Malindi and Diani have evolved to form havens for the party-goers, the pleasure seekers and those in search for peace and quiet. So now I ask you, why wouldn’t you want to holiday here too?
Our journey began like no other- I was the first to be up and ready. I greeted the morning with the birds chirping outside. I always find waking up before dawn intriguing, there’s something magical about knowing you are about to witness the breaking of a new day. As the sky began to morph from darkness to light, I eagerly walked from room to room ushering everyone to the car. We were on our way! Ten minutes down the road my dad realized he forgot his driving licence. So back we went- a little annoyed but happy to have another chance to use the toilet. Round two: we all laughed and I positioned my pillow on the window, the reggae tune lulling me to sleep-then it hit me…I forgot my laptop charger. This time everyone was less forgiving. You might be wondering why I would need my laptop, but I had my university exams coming up and it was a necessity. The famous saying goes ‘third time lucky’ and by this point everyone was either too irritated or embarrassed to admit to having left something behind. As if nothing had happened we began what turned out to be our twelve hour journey to Malindi for the third time.
Before entering Mombasa Town we diverted to what I would like to call the road less travelled. I have never seen Mombasa look so earthy and beautiful. The Road was bumpy which didn’t allow me to carry on sleeping and so instead I sat with my face glued to the window. As we drove higher I saw the small homesteads sheltered by palm trees. My head always turned quickly when at the corner of my eye I saw a leso (Swahili word for material typically worn by Swahili women) and on turning I would see Swahili women clad in the most beautiful materials. After a while there were only so many baobabs you could stop to photograph and children you could wave at.
The sky grew dark and we approached Malindi. We arrived at our hotel at night and so we went to sleep. Our heads were swimming full of images seen on the journey and eager to see our surroundings in daylight.
The hotel we were staying at was not what I expected. Sandies Tropical villa is a hotel which you can imagine was in its own league when first built. The main attraction is this incredible thatched building in between the swimming pool and the rooms. At night from a distance all you can see is the warm glow of the lights and the billowing linen curtains. Personally that and the food were all that fascinated me with the hotel-and the view as you can see above. Now on to activities-my father is extremely active and lounging around in the sun is not what he goes away to do. We did a range of things from visiting the Vasco Da Gama monument to boat rides on the reef-yes we like to do all the touristy stuff! Despite full action packed days we managed to wake up one glorious morning to watch the sunrise and the result was simply magical. Here’s a look at all the things we got up to!
All in all the aim was achieved, I received my dose of vitamin sea and I left with salty hair and a camera full of pictures. I know that at any opportunity I will make my way swiftly back down to any part of my beloved coastline.
NOTE: All pictures are courtesy of the author.
Read about other travel stories, experiences and advice from all our guest contributors HERE. Kindly add a comment below, and if you would like to guest contribute or know of someone who would love to…comment with your email address(or contact us) and we will get back to you.