A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A WANDERLUST

It’s the journey more than the destination

Holiday Series: #3 Adrift

January 16, 2021

Here I am

At the coast of Mombasa

Looking beyond the vast Indian Ocean

Watching the boats sway with the wind and the waves

And I walk along its white sandy beaches

Warm water wet our feet

As it brings me back

To my place of respite for the night

Holiday Series: #2 First Meals of The Day at #DianiBeach Mombasa Kenya

January 12, 2021

The trip last Saturday, if you count the hours, only took 8, but the prep to get to the airport took half of that. Because it’s an early flight, you don’t expect me to have a proper meal at any of the stops. The planes don’t offer meals for an hour trip each way. So when I arrived in Nairobi, I am hungry. I realized I didn’t eat the night before – now thinking about why I have no answer.

But I arrived very early, so having breakfast at 6.30 in the morning seated in the domestic departure area was out of the question. Don’t get me wrong, there are coffee places, but that is way too early for me even to drink coffee. So, I promised myself that when I arrive at #DianiBeach and settle in the #QueensChateau, I will only eat seafood – fish, crabs, lobster, shrimps, and squid. The meat will not be until I return to Kampala in a couple of weeks.

Lunch

I joined my colleague slash friend in Mombasa. They’ve been here for a couple of weeks, and they know their way around. They found the house a block away from the beach, so it’s not very far to get your feet on the sand anytime.

When I arrived, they suggested we have lunch at the beach. You don’t have to ask me twice, I obliged, and she didn’t disappoint. She brought me to #bidibadu restaurant along the beach and ordered my first meal of grilled fish with chips.

You be the judge how good it was

Before… I can’t help myself and wait for the others

After… Eaten in less than 30 minutes

I washed it down with my first coconut water

Overall it was a good afternoon on the beach.

Dinner

It was delightful.

We went to dine at #Lantana resort. The place is very nice and well organized. The architecture mimics that of the middle astern building I am familiar with. After all, Mombasa has a significant Arab influence, so I guess that why Lantana has that feel to it everywhere, you look.

Façade #LantanaResort

Floor tiles

The lantern at the entrance of the building is casting a shadow on the ceiling #LantanaResort

We ordered a seafood platter for three people, and it didn’t disappoint. We enjoyed every bit of it.

Finger licking good… Lobster, calamari, fish fillet, and shrimps

Stomaches filled. A brief walk to our castles, the queens are now ready for a night cup and sleep.

Holiday Series: #1 Off To Kenya

January 10, 2021

I took the plunge; I traveled out of Uganda to finally take my leave and have fun in Kenya!

Funny how talking to someone dear to me changed my mind about traveling. Well, he didn’t exactly change my mind about it but convinced me enough to re-think about joining my friends in Mombasa. Which, by the way, I should have done two weeks before, but I didn’t.

So here I am, in our castle #QueensChateau along Galu Beach.

Dhidhak photos (Mombasa, Kenya 2021)

But what brought me here was not without a hitch, which almost made me want to turn back, if I am that superstitious, which I am not.

Midnight run

Uganda still has a curfew at 9 PM. To make the trip to the airport after that time, I decided to go the official way, hire our organization go to taxi services. Good, I did that because to reach the airport, I was stopped five times – yes! 5 times!

The first checkpoint was not far from #TheSummit, and it was the one that asked many questions before we were let go. The rest is mere routine, but still best to be driven by someone allowed to be on the road after curfew.

Because of the curfew too that I almost had an accident pfffttt! 🙄

As we moved from our second check-point, getting out to the #LugogoBypass, turning to the right, one car was speeding in our direction — good thing my driver was alert and managed to avoid a head-on collision and the vehicle swerved but didn’t slow their speed. I suspected that those party-goers (it being a Friday) were intoxicated and were avoiding a check-point.

The sudden bright light in front of us woke me up while the driver slammed the breaks. When they passed us, they were still laughing as if nothing happened. I was shaken a bit after not being out at night for over ten months, and I was not expecting it.

Checking In

I will only be away for a couple of weeks, but I felt like I am not coming back for a month — I have 19 kilos of luggage and a back-pack. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I just want to make sure I have everything I need since it is my first time in Mombasa.

It’s an early morning flight. I was expecting the airport will be quiet or at least not swarming with people – I was wrong. There are long queues, big suitcases. Four flights are flying at the same time as me, so you know what I mean.

The organization at the airport was right – I’ve sent off people, so I know that they were following SOP. All my documents were in order

negative covid-19 test – ✔
within the time limit – ✔,
passport with a valid visa – ✔,

and when I reached my airline counter, additional documents were validated —

registration and passenger are tracing QR code available – ✔✔ again!

One thing that irritates me, though, is that people, despite plenty of reminders around the airport to keep distance and stickers on the floor where to stand when lining up — they come to close and breathe over my neck (not literally because they have their masks on tho). I kept looking back and giving them the eye, and if it doesn’t work, I asked them to move! Snobbish right? Well, I am still a bit paranoid, traveling, or being in crowded places, knowing that I am the only one following the rules.

It was a precedent to my karma that morning — it’s already Saturday when I checked in! When it was my turn, I put my heavy bag to be checked using my non-dominant arm and twisted my wrist – bummer! I knew I sprained my wrist and without ice, it will hurt and slow me down. The pain was immediate, and I had no access to ice; I asked the cafeteria, but they don’t have any, even the water was not cold enough to offer relief.

My flights are short, and I know that by noon I will be in Mombasa, and I can buy something to get it set until it recovers. Good thing I carried my hot/cold pack, which I can use until it heals completely.

I’m not superstitious, but I do believe in karma — it just keeps happening to me to ignore.

I tried to make less movement as I could, but I made the mistake of putting my backpack overhead. When I took it out in Nairobi, the pain increased, and I regretted my lack of anticipation. The next flight was much better.

Off to the castle

#QueensChateau is waiting for me. It took an hour and a half and one free ride to get to Diani.

Arriving very early in Nairobi, I didn’t have a chance to go to a pharmacy to get a bandage and cold spray, so the first order of business to my driver in Mombasa is to the bank and pharmacy and get this wrist strain controlled.

The first half of the trip, the amount of complaint I had with the heat will make you think I don’t live in a tropical country. Only when we turned to Ukunda that I started to feel I am on the coast. The breeze turned fresh and cool, with very low humidity even during the middle of the day.

When I arrived at our lodging for the first week of my holiday, I was happy to be home!

I started writing this couple of hours before the calendar changes to 2021 in Uganda while getting ready to welcome the new year on my balcony with my wine, anticipating the sporadic fireworks displays even though I know it is not allowed. Unfortunately, barely 30 minutes before ushering in the new year, the skies cracked …

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Belated Christmas greetings from #thesummit. You guess right, I’m still here in Kampala and haven’t decided on what I want to do until early next year. But I did decide on not taking the full seven weeks in one go. Thank God for having a good line manager. He agreed to break it until March. …

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