A Travellerspoint blog

Climb Mount Kenya - TICK!

My LONG OVERDUE (2yrs!) blog post from my 2010 trip to Kenya.

I am sitting in my cold house in London, staring at a blank screen with my essay title staring back.. I'm running out of ways to procrastinate, and looking through old Facebook photo albums brings me to the ULTIMATE procrastination technique.. The 'really-desperate-to-not-write-an-essay-on-J.S.Mill-so-I'll-write-a-blog-on-a-2-year-old-event-instead' technique! I kept a diary of my travels, so here's the typed transcript!

March 16th 2010-Day 1
Starting altitude: 2650m
Finishing altitude: 3300m
Distance walked: 9km
Woke up at 7am after a nervous, pre-mountain climbing sleep and Milly, Hattie (my climbing comrades/ascending amigos/hiking homies) and I started our toughest climb yet - the climb out of bed.. Our hotel breakfast consisted of pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, "toasted toast", and a cup of tea to wash down my anti-malarial pill. We were then fetched by our mountain guide, Benson, who we were very dubious about meeting - but we were pleased to see that he was kitted in walking boots and a GoreTex, not flip-flops and a football shirt.. Encouraging! He walked us to Barclays bank where we would be withdrawing our cash (sketchy??) to pay for our trip. This was quite an ordeal for me as my NatWest card wasn't accepted, nor was my Mum's card, so I ended up having to borrow the 39,000 shillings (around £333) from Milly, who luckily had a bank that didn't block her access for trying to withdraw more than £50 in a foreign country.... Anyway, easily sorted with a few expensive phone calls home, and we're off!

Quick dash back to the hotel to pick up the rented down feather GoreTex jackets, something I never expected to be wearing in equatorial Kenya, and we hoped in the car and drove 50 minutes to the foot of the beast - Siramon Gate, Mount Kenya National Park, 2650ft above sea level. There, we were met by our four accompanying porters/chefs (sounds v. glamorous, but it's pretty impossible to hike up with a packed lunch and all your layers on your back!).

Our ascent started at 11.45am, and for the first 2km of our journey we followed a dirt road which leads up to the Old Moses Camp. Also following the path was a blue-bummed Baboon who walked infront of us for about 1.5km - very Kenyan! The walk up the the camp was very interesting; starting in a lush green towering forest, we walked with the apes avoiding big vines growing across the path and dodged Elephant dung, which this time, we did not make into paper. The scenery changed about the same time as our monkey-mate disappeared into the bushes. DSC02745.jpgThe trees became gradually scarse, and the flora and fauna developed into massive prickly bushes sprouting fluorescent pink flowers, and looked like something from King Kong. We stopped for a brief lunch of tomatoes, ham sandwiches, Lucozade, bananas and homemade guacamole.. Average Kenyan lunch, no? We continued walking, and arrived at the camp to immediately change into warmer clothes. My 'uniform' for the past 10 weeks had been a t-shirt and short.. Layers? What are layers?!

The porters had made it to the camp a little bit before us, so we arrive to a hot cup of tea, some biscuits and... POPCORN!!! My favourite food presented to me after a steep hike up a mountain - glorious. There was another group staying in the camp as well, and too my delight, they were Canadians! They were on their way back down from a disappointing attempted ascent - they weren't able to reach the summit as the visibility was too poor - it was snowing heavily! We ate a tasty dinner of soup and fish which quickly got cold as a result of the bitter breeze creeping through the door of the metal shack. We hurried into bed at 8pm, and I woke up regretting my choice to climb this mountain when I had to check I still had my fingers, toes and nose..

March 17th 2010-Day 2
Starting altitude: 3300m
Finishing altitude: 4200m
Distance walked: 14km
DSC02606.jpg
At higher altitude, you can lose your appetite, so we were told to eat as much as possible.. Not a problem! Had a big, energy filled breakfast, and left the camp at 7.30am. One of the Canadians gave me a pair of 'Vancouver 2010' red mittens before she left - a sentimental gesture which I would later GREATLY appreciate when the temperature dropped again. From the camp we walked up a gradual incline at a nice pace, taking energy tablet and chocolate breaks along the way. Getting to the top of a very steep slope, we were greeted by the breathtaking view of the clouded 3 snow-capped peaks above a enormous glacial U-shaped valley. We took a 15 minute break here, and watched the clouds move away to reveal the mother of all mountains.. Holy mother were they ferocious! We dipped down into the valled to walk along a path surrounded by the weirdest, alien-like flora and fauna I've ever seen. We got neared the end of the valley floor, and started to see our next camp on the horizon. At this point, I could feel the effects of the altitude kicking in in headache form, so dosed up on Asprin with lunch. Making it to Shipton's camp around 2pm, we enjoyed the last few hours of the sun before it was swallowed up by the mountain.

Our guide told us that there was a possibility that we might make our ascent to the summit later that night to catch the spectacular 7am sunrise, but that we would probably leave it until the following day because the visibility would be better. We would instead spend the next day going on short walks around the camp to acclimatise ourselves in preparation for the summit. After lying on the ground to soak up the sun for a while, we ate and went to bed.

zzzzzzzzzzz

"WAKE UP"

March 18th 2010-Day 3
Starting altitude: 4200m
Summit altitude: 4985m
So apparently we're going to go ahead with our sunrise summit - we were woken up at 2.30am with clear, but uncertain conditions. It was so cold that I put on literally every layer I'd packed - seven layers. 31636_3893..38956_n.jpg (yes that's me in yellow)..
Walking with flashlights, we started our climb up Africa's 2nd highest mountain! The temperature quickly dropped as we got higher, we started seeing snow on the ground and my water bottle had transformed into a block of ice. I soon found it harder to breath, and it was difficult to concentrate on the path as I was focusing so intensely on regulating my breathing. I tried to distract myself from irregular weezing, and loosing track of real-life, we rounded a corner and saw the most amazing pink sunrise over the clouds. A few more meters of scramble later, and we reached the top, grabbing the summit sign together. Four thousand nine hundred and eighty five meters on top of the world!! It was around -15'c + wind chill at the top, so after a few photos and "ooohs" and "ahhhhs", we climbed down to a sheltered spot to "ooh" and "aah" some more. Kenya's phone network 'Safaricom' prides itself on "signal everywhere - even on Mount Kenya".. SO TRUE. I called a bewildered ma n pa at 5am GMT, and did the whole "we made it to the top... could see mt. Kilimanjaro... so amazing" spiel..

Descent took 1hr45mins. Down to hot choco. Played with weird Rock Hyraxes. Ate. Wrote in diary. Bed at 7.30pm. SWEET.

And the rest is history!! I'm sure my mum is the only one who will read this, but it's nice to finally - and in too much detail - get it down on paper!
KWAHERI!

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Posted by flynck 09:39 Comments (1)

Round 3!

1. Canada, 2. Kenya, 3. CanadaHongkongMalaysiaVietnam!!

rain 20 °C

I don't know if anyone still reads this, but I'm sure it'll give my family some peace of mind when I'm in Vietnam at least.. (They can't get past thinking that there's a "smell of Napalm in the morning"..).

Anyway, I'm leaving tomorrow to start my summer trip; the last thing I do before 3 years of education! I'm flying with Air Canada as a standby passenger (thanks to my cousin being a flight attendant!), which means I may or may not get on the flight based on available seats/passengers missing flights/Air Canada employees wanting to fly, and pure luck! As it's the first weekend of the summer hols, the flights are rather full - overbooked in fact! I'm aiming of the 2nd flight of the day, so hopefully, if I don't get on that one, I wont be waiting in Heathrow for too long!

I'll be spending a few days in the city, staying with my grandmother, seeing friends etc, and then I'm going up to my friend's cottage on Lake Kawagama in Muskoka, Ontario. I've gone for the past 7 or 8 summers, and it's such a lovely tradition - I can't wait to get back!

On August 5th, I fly (standby again!) to Hong Kong. Luckily, this flight isn't as overbooked, so fingers crossed! I'm getting a flight from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur on the same day I land, and I'm meeting up with Vanessa, my bezza!! Her dad works in KL, so I'm staying in his condo with her family for a few nights before we fly off to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).

We (refers to Vanessa and I from now on) will be staying in HCMC (Ho Chi Minh City) for 2 nights, and then taking an overnight train up to a place called Nha Trang, which is a beachy area about 1/4 of the way up the Vietnamese coast. We're sleeping in 'Backpacker's House', which is apparently full of... Backpackers! It should be fun, and hopefully we'll meet lots of travellers. From Nha Trang we're taking another bus down to Dalat, which is a city located 1500m above sea level in the Central Highlands. We're only stopping here for one night, with a certain visit to the 'Crazy House'.. Just google it...

After our highland journey, we're bussing it back to HCMC to stay one night before catching our plane back to KL. We'll be in Vietnam for 8 nights in total, but we already wish it was longer with the amount of interesting suff we've been reading about in Lonely Planet!

Post Vietnam, we'll be spending 3 nights back in KL with Van's dad (the rest of the family will have flown home) before flying to Penang, an island city off the West coast of Malaysia. In the 1700s, Penang was described as "the White Man's Grave" due to the amount of settler deaths due to malaria... FUN!

So, after Penang, Vanessa flies back to England on August 25th, but I feel like a little stop off in Hong Kong, so that's where I'm headed! I've spent 2 days in Hong Kong before, but I didn't get to do too much, so I plan on staying for a couple of nights to see the city and it's surroundings. If anyone has any suggestions as to where I should stay/what I should see, then please let me know as I haven't made any plans so far!

Right, anyway. That's a very jumbled entry - definitely not my best. Just felt like sharing my plans with whoever still reads this (not including Babs n Jeff..) I must go to bed now so I can be up for a 12 o'clock flight!

Bye bye Southwell! Xox

Posted by flynck 07:21 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged preparation Comments (0)

Man eating lions? Welcome to Tsavo..

When: February 24th-March 15th with the Leap Where: Rukinga Sanctuary, Tsavo National Park

sunny 38 °C

I've neglected this blog long enough, so with a little (a lot, actually), of persuasion from Babs, I've decided to finally 'update' (I think inform is now the right word) you on the final 3 weeks I spent in Kenya on the Leap.

I'm sitting here with my diary infront of me, reminding myself of the absolutely amazing time I had in Kenya. I'm back home safely now, working (full time!) at American Apparel, seeing my friends, and coming home to fresh BBQs every night. It's very surreal to think that just over a month ago, I was spying on a Cheetah, eating chapati with beans, and loving every minute of my time spent with 10 people I had previously never even knew existed!

So, I'll start writing about what happened all those weeks back! We left Makongeni camp on the morning of February 24th, saying goodbye to all of the people who made our 5 week stay there smooth, easy and enjoyable. The drive to our next destionation; Rukinga Sanctuary, took us about 6 hours, including a stop off to what Duncan calls 'Africa's Biggest Supermarket'.. It was infact just the largest one in Mombassa, but still.. We got to our camp at 2pm, just in time for lunch, and we were then shown around. BOY, was that place luxurious! We were sleeping in Bandas (circular huts) in comfy bunkbeds, and had a new mess area just outside our doors where we ate, worked and chillllled.

During the first week we spent at Rukinga, we went on game drives, cleared the roads and filled in drainage areas the Elephants had destroyed by ripping up water pipes, visited a Masaai Village and planted trees at Sasenyi Primary School. The first game drive we went on was an early morning one where we expected to see many animals awake, bright and early, hunting for their cereals and toast. It was a very eventful drive indeed, including 2 lions, some antelope, giraffe and a tree full of baboons. Oh yeh, and the minor incident of AN ELEPHANT MOCK CHARGING AT US!!! I'm sure I will have told most of you the story by now, it far too mentally scarring to repeat..
We also spent a day in Tsavo East National Park where we saw lots and lots of wildlife, including a gaggle of Zebras, a wounded baboon, a parade of Elephants, and many more animal antics..

<a href="http://tinypic.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i44.tinypic.com/urcch.jpg" border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic"></a>

After our first week at Rukinga, we went to the village of Kasigau where we spent 7 days living on the side of Mount Kasigau, working with the villagers every day. We were living very simply this week, sleeping in tents, showering from a water tank, and eating no meat as there was no fridge for storage! Our main project in Kasigau, was to work with the Women Basket Weavers group, helping them to dig the foundations for a small building which they will use to store their baskets for sale to tourists. These women were amazing. They earnt little more than the equivalent to $1 per day by selling the beautiful handmade baskets which took them close to 5 weeks to complete. These baskets are sold to the small number of tourists who venture out of Tsavo to spend the day in a real African village. The weavers were so full of energy and joy, and often sang traditional Kenyan songs to us while we (attempted!) to help them with their weaving. On the last day of weaving, after they'd treated us so kindly and made us feel so welcome, Tilly, Poppy and I sang Amazing Grace and Silent Night to them which I think they really enjoyed. It was sad to leave them, but we all felt like we had helped these women a little bit, even if that was just through brightening up their day by singing them a song!
At the end of the week, we climbed to the top of Mount Kasigau (1600m) which was really fun, and good training for Hattie, Milly and me who would be conquering Mount Kenya later on! We got to the top in 3.5hrs to be greeted by the mother of all rain clouds.. Typical. Very enjoyable trip down, however. We all went flying through the undergrowth, sliding down mud-slips, and dodging giant red spiders whos webs were invisible through the trees. Eugh...

Back at Tsavo camp, we finished up the projects we had started the week before, and spent more time at Sasenyi School planting the trees and doing a bit of teaching. On the last day we spent at Sasenyi, we presented the Headteacher with bags of our clothes, pens/pencils, books, and a football I had carried all the way from home! They really, really apreciated these donations, and pumped the football up right away to play with. George, Orlando, Fi and I joined the schoolboys in a kick around with the new ball, which was so much fun until the ball exploded due to being pumped up too full! It was quite funny at the time, but really dissapointing for the kids who had just recieved a new toy!

At this point, we only had 3 days left with each other! March 13th was Natalie's birthday, so we were hoping that the 2 game drives revealed lots of animals! They really didn't. We drove around for about 2 hours seeing absolutely nothing but some birds. On the way back, about 3 minutes from camp, we were all hushed as the truck came to a hault, and 2 Cheetahs casually walked across the road right in front of us! It was amazing. They were so beautiful, and we were so lucky to have seen them that close to the end of our time in Kenya!
That night, we all dressed up as something related to our 10 weeks in Kenya. The majority of us went as animals, and we had a 'big catwalk' show and danced around to our out-of-date music. MUCHO fun! I have put lots of pictures up on Facebook, so do have a gander!
On March 14th, we spent our last day together, packing, and then heading up to nice spot where we took lots of pictures and watched the sunset one last time as the 11 Leapers.

The day of March 15th had been in my calendar for a long, long time, and after being in Kenya, with the same 11 amazing people for 10 weeks, made it come faster than expected. We all headed to Mombassa airport together, and said our goodbyes at the check in desk. It was all so fast, that it didn't really hit me that we weren't going to see each other for a while, until Milly, Hattie and I were alone together in Nanyuki (Mount Kenya base). We were without the noise and energy of 11 people, the sound of Duncan's "Christine!!!!", the smell of Silus and Titus's food, and the continuous annoyance of little children's "What is your name?"... All to be missed.

Next time: MOUNT KENYAAAAA! 4985m up!

Posted by flynck 08:34 Archived in Kenya Tagged volunteer Comments (0)

Bye bye civilization, hello LIONS!

Probably my final entry before home!

sunny 36 °C

SORRY FOR THE RUSHED ENTRY AND BAD SP!

I'm sitting in Forty Thieves Bar on my FINAL day at Diani Beach, before heading off to Tsavo East National Park tomorrow morning. I'm being serenaded by the awful music playing, which has just changed from some awful cheesy song, to the Exorsist theme tune! The sun is shining as always, and the waves are getting bigger and more full of Jelly Fish!

Last week, we continued to build the nursery brick-by-brick in the morning, and work with the carpenters, or in the hospital in the afternoon. The working week was generally the same, but this time, we seriously lacked in man power! Our group were dropping like coconuts, with stomach upset, sunburn, chronic fatigue, allergic reactions to henna, and untreated Bronchitus which turned into Pneumonia! There's a story behind all of them that I wont go into now, but everyone has fully recovered!

Last weekend, we decided to venture farther than our repetative Saturday nights out at 40s, so we went to 'Shakatak Club' which 'Lonely Planet' describes as "quite hillariously seedy, but fun once you know what to expect". They realy couldn't have sumed it up any better! This seedy African joint was full to the brim with sex tourism, which was rather gross and awkward, but just as the guide book says, "hillariously seedy". Despite my awful dancing skills, we had no problem grooving the night away, avoiding the stares of the fat English and German tourists! The night was really fun, the best we've had so far, and the seedy-ness just added that extra touch you wouldn't get on a night out in Nottingham (er.. To some extent...).

Sunday was Valentines day, and as we were all away from our lovers (pahhah), we did a 'Secret Valentine' where we all presented our hat-picked partner with whatever we wanted. I went for the average chocolates, cards, loving comments and interprative dance approach on Natalie, whos partner was Milly, whos partner was me! We had a craaaaazy love triangle going on, but we didn't let it come between us..

Valentines morning was spent at the 'Jesus Miracle Center' (church) with Duncan, which was a very interesting experience. The church itself was very African, built entirely out of wood and palm leaves, with a massive thatched roof with open spaces providing light. The service started with the entire choir, preachers and congregation (including us Mzungu!) dancing and singing to hymns and songs in Swahili. Duncan had the funniest little dance which amused us all. After the music, everyone prayed rather eccentrically, out loud, with arms high in the air, some crying etc. The preacher then spoke for literally about 20 minutes about the money collection, and how the church needed our donations. "I ask you to go into your wallet and pull out the most excellent note. God will bless you". I personally thought that it was so wrong for a church to use its precious, religious time asking the congregation for money. I guess it shows that however Kenya has moved on and progressed with its laws/politics/gov etc, there is still obvious corruption, even in the church. Despite the money grabbing bit, the whole experience was really cool, and I'm glad Duncan gave us the opportunity to see it all!

I've also seen more subtle corruption since being here, when the roadside police pulled over the taxi we were riding to check they hadn't overloaded the vehicle (which they had-18 people into a 11 seater), and the driver slipped the officer a 100ksh note, which is equivalent to 86p. That seems a very pointless amount of money to slip into your pocket and let Kenya's development slip away with it!

For our last week of work, we had a project arranged where we would be working in the local mangrove which we often swim in. We would be helping a local Muslim women group to excavate a fishing pond, where we would be spending the entire week in the direct sunlight doing hard manual labour. The arrangements fell though, so instead, we got to spend the week at the ocean, snorkelling and being beach bums!! Well, there was actually some work involved!

The work we were doing was with the 'East African Whale Shark Trust' (EAWST) which is run by a guy called Volker Bassen, who decided to 'save the whale' after years of being a commercial fisherman himself. The EAWST also works on conserving the state of the coral reef, which is where we came into the equation.

We went out at low tide every morning, and took the boat out to the reef and were literally told to just "jump in". The Sea Urchins (big black spikey balls) live off the coral, and bury themselves into it, destroying it. The fish that normally eat the Urchins have been almost completely fished out in the area, so the Urchin population has literally exploded. It was our duty to swim around with a sharpened wooden stick, stabbing as many as we could find. It was definitely very satisfying to hear and feel the crunch of their shells in the otherwise silent underwater scene, and I loved seeking revenge on the annoying creatures that went into my foot on our first day at the beach!

We also removed loooooads of seaweed from the coral, as blocks out the sun that the reef needs to grow, causing the coral to die. We became human underwater coral mowers, and were ripping up huge handfuls every minute which again, was very satisfying!

When we first started the project, the reef was quite bare in terms of fish, but after 5 days of ripping and stabbing, we saw so many different species at the spots we'd cleared. I saw lots of Parrot Fish, Angel Fish, Dory Fish (from Finding Nemo!), and some Pipe Fish which are streched out Sea Horses, and are very rare! We also saw a 1 metre long Spotted Snake-Eel, slithering below us.

But by far, the most exciting thing we saw was on Monday, our first day of conservation, before we even set flipper in the water! We were chugging along in our tiny boat about 10 minutes from the shore, when I spotted 25 dorsel fins coming towards us. I had a momentary panic as the conversation had just recently changed to sharks, but then realised that I was staring at 25 Bottle Nosed Dolphins, including babies swimming around our boat! We were told that Dolphins only every cross this part of the week twice a year, and we managed to witness one of those rare occasions! They gave us a good show, and swam with us for about 20 minutes. It was really amazing, and gave a great start to a gerat week!

We leaving for Tsavo tomorrow, so I'm very scattered as I need to pack, try and sort out Mt Kenya and relax on the beach (my excuse for this rushed entry!). Tsavo National Park is where 'Big Cat Diaries' was filmed, and where, if I don't see a Lion, I will seriously KICK OFF! I'm not actually sure what we'll be doing in Tsavo, so I'll familiarise myself with the itinerary for a little bed time reading.

We'll be in Tsavo for 2 weeks, and then we're moving on to another camp for the final week with the Leap. I'm climbing Mount Kenya directly afterwards, so next time I'm on the internet will probably be when I'm back in Southwell, freexing my butt off in temperatures unknown to the local Kenyan (which I'll be by that time!).

I'll write one final entry one here when I'm home, and then I need to start planning my next worldly excursion, but for know, I'm off to ride a camel called Obama!

KWAHARI!! Xxxxxx

Posted by flynck 05:31 Archived in Kenya Tagged volunteer Comments (0)

It's a hard life, here in Kenya!

Not!!

sunny 34 °C

Hello again! I really haven't done well with "writing the blog every weekend"... I've been keeping a diary every single day, so when I come home you'll have something to read!

So this is weekend #5 in Kenya so far, and weekend #3 at the beach-I'm still loving it! I look at my life like this: I'm saving the world 9-5, Mon-Friday, and living the life of Royalty on the weekends! I'll update you on the past 3 weeks here at Makongeni Camp/Diani Beach.

We're staying in the Leap owned 'Makongeni Camp'. It's about 6km down the "highway" (aka dusty no-speed-limit road) to Diani Beach (town). It's right bang smack in the middle of Makongeni Village in a fenced off area next to the primary school. We're sleeping in canvas tents with camp beds and mosquito nets, and we have the 'Coz-Moz' (chill out, mill out zone...?) where we all-CHILL! The camp is great, and like luxury compared to sleeping in a D of E style tent like the last camp! The best bit of camp is waking up in the morning and eating breakfast surrounded by about 15 monkeys all grooming and play-fighting eachother!

We're doing lots of work within the community while we're here, which involves walking around the village like the Pied Piper being followed by so many kids.. We've been building a nursery for the school to expand into, as at the moment there are 4 year olds in the same class as some 9 year olds! We buil every morning to avoid the hottest sun, but in Kenya, there's no escaping the day's heat! The building involves us mixing 4 wheelbarrows of sand with 1 bag of cement (the ratio for plastering walls, not building a school!). We then slap wet cement onto the top surface of the wall, and whack down a "brick" which is just a stone with flat edges.. The whole process is extremely repetative, and after much thought, I've decided that I do not want to be a bricklayer.

There's a charity called 'Rafiki Kenia' that's been set up in Makongeni village providing a Health Center, woodshop and a tailoring school. We've recently been chisseling, sawing and varnishing wood to make beds which are given for free to the community. The hospital only opened about 4 weeks ago, so they've only had 5 patients as they all worry that a visit to the center is very expensive, but it's actually only 2.60gbp for a check-up and treatment. As for the tailoring school, we're not actually working for them, but being a group of girls, we've provided them with lots of pretty fabrics which we've bought on the beach to make clothes out of! I've got a funky pair of trousers and shorts so far. All under 4gbp Mummy-don't worry!

Last week we taught in the primary school for an hour every afternoon. For the 1st lesson, I paired up with Hattie to teach Science to a class of 10-14 year olds. Due to the lack of space, and over subscription at the school, there were around 60 students of un-matched intelligence crowded into one room that we had to teach. Hattie and I were actually very surprised at how disruptive and loud some of the students were. We'd expected them to be really greatful, and respect our efforts in teaching them. Instead, some talked throughout, walked around and didn't do any work (YES, Mummy, just like me when I was younger...). The language barrier made it very difficult to have any authority over them, and Hattie and I were having to shout over them to have "Muzungo" (meaning white person) shouted back at us.. Some students were really nice to us, and did the work we set. It made me realise that teachers in school weren't just having a bad day when they got so easily frustrated in lessons-the class actually were causing it!!! I was getting frustrated, especially as the only Swahili words I know are "hello", "how are you" and "you're a gangsta"... Okay.. Well I do know a FEW more than that!

On the weekends (when I'm not saving the world), we're able to do what we want in and around Diani. Diani Beach has been voted as one of the TOP 10 most beautiful beaches in the world-not a bad place to spend my weekends eh?! We go to a part of the beach called "40 Thieves" which has a bar/restaurant/internet cafe, and of course, the most beautiful beach.. The bar serves a variety of food from salads to delicious french fries which yes, I do enjoy every Saturday for a mid swim break. My weekend schedule is: Check/reply to emails, eat, sunbathe, swim, walk down beach to dry off, then repeat.. 've just been snorkelling with 2 friends (Hattie and Fi) which was absolutely amazing. We saw lots of beautiful fish, including some Nemo's and Dory's, bright red star fish, and thousands of Sea Urchins-eugh! Oh it's a hard life.

Last weekend it was Tilly's 19t Birthday, so we spent the usual day on the beach, and then went out to 'Ali Barbour's Cave Restaraunt' for dinner. The restaraunt is built into a cave with candels hidden in every crevas of the wall, and the roof is removed at night to reveal the starry skies. I read on the menu that they had lobster and was excited for a week! Mummy originally thought that Lobyster only came from cold water like on the East Coast, so I nearly decided against having lobster that might have been imported from New Hampshire or the Gaspe! I was eventually told that warm water IS the home to many Lobbys, so I treated myself to one with a nice glass of house white. To my dissapointment, I was not able to play with it before-hand, and I was not given a novelty bib-it was girlled. Still absolutely delicious though... Thanks Babs n Jeff!
We spent the rest of the night dancing to cheesy tunes at '40s' with smelly locals (funny story for another day). After dancing, some craaaaaazy person (me..) posed the idea of skinny dipping to the group, and 1 minute later, 5 of us were on the sand stripping down! We swam (in the light of the full equatorial moon and beach lights) to a pontoon about 20meters out, then shamefully paddled back to shore. We got back to find that our clothes had started washing away, buit were saved by our friends at the last minute! Unfortunately, I lost one earing from a brand new pair I'd just bought, AND a pair of undies... Not fun-but worth it!

The internet is failing again, and the beach is calling to me, so I'll leave any more excitement till next time. I haven't been able to upload any pictures, so I'll probably have to wait till sunny Southwell to load them all up! So long for now,

bye bye! Xxxxxx

Posted by flynck 04:09 Archived in Kenya Tagged volunteer Comments (0)

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