SWEET, SWEET MEMORIES – WATAMU & LAMU
I didn’t think I would ever live through a pandemic. It all seems surreal, doesn’t it? Having to think twice before leaving the house, to keep my distance and avoid shaking hands or hugging people, to wear a mask outdoors. It sucks, it’s uncomfortable, it’s weird, but we still have so much to be grateful for.
Today I’m grateful that I have a comfortable home, a safe space where I can just be me. I’m grateful for family, for good health and provision. I’m grateful for my job, which has taken me months to settle into. I’m grateful for friends who stay in touch, for still being able to order in when I want a treat, and for memories.
I’ve been spending quite a bit of time poring over old pictures, soaking in the warmth of good memories flooding back. Now I badly want a holiday, but since nobody knows when we’ll be able to wear our swimsuits and chill by the beach again, I’ll settle for pictures of when we were able to do that.
In October last year my girls and I (hey DKD!) took a little trip down to the Coast. I was literally three weeks into a new job and I was there asking for leave to go and enjoy a fun time. Because I’m a millennial and that’s what we do, right?
We survived those wonky planes that fly from Wilson to begin our five-day trip in Watamu, where we stayed at Kings Landing for three nights. We didn’t have access to, or even a view of the beach, but that’s fine because we were more interested in catching up and stress relieving (read: drinking lots of gin). Plus the staff were lovely, including a very accommodating cook who made some bomb food and didn’t judge us for drinking all damn day.
The house didn’t have wi-fi as promised when we were booking, and there were lots of creepy-crawlies, but the pool was sweet!
That part of the trip made me fear and respect pink gin in equal measure. Weh! I vaguely remember sitting in the pool stuffing chevda into my mouth because I was boozed and starving. Someone among us – or all of us – had decided we didn’t need the cook to make anything for lunch because we’d had a heavy breakfast. It was a lie.
The second part of the trip was what I had been looking forward to most. Lamu. I’d been wanting to visit it for the longest time. I’d even talked a friendly PA at my former office to gift me a coffee table book with pictures of the place so that I could prepare for my trip, and it was everything I imagined it would be. Quaint, small, lazy, quiet. With good food and beautiful scenery.
We stayed at Waridi House in Shela, Lamu. Let me just say that it was a little…unexpected. The listing on airbnb had beautiful pictures and described it as “magical” and “each room has an individual private terrace overlooking beautiful sand dunes and trees full of birds.” Sema exaggeration! The house seemed a little dusty, like it had potential but needed to be taken care of.
And that pool was not what one typically expects when they think of a pool. It looked like a little swamp, the kind you catch disease from. Something to do with rain and silt, but I wasn’t trying to go for a dip in there even once it cleared.
I really wish I had taken pictures of the food, because the chef was AMAZING! I ate the best seafood I’ve ever had in my life in that house.
It was better than what we had at Peponi, although the hotel comes with some gorgeous ocean views and friendly staff (apart from that one guy who told us to switch off our music then proceeded to play a horrible selection, like we were at a place frequented by old Kikuyu men). The sundowner there was definitely one for the books so I’d go back.
Day 2 in Lamu, we decided to cross over to The Majlis. I’d seen beautiful pictures online so I wanted to explore, and I wasn’t disappointed. I’m only disappointed in myself for not take more pictures there. Maybe it’s because the seafood risotto I ordered for lunch was severely underwhelming. Come to think of it, none of my friends enjoyed their food, apart from one or two who ordered pizza.
But I was also tired, and a little out of it after having a difficult conversation with someone I had to humble myself for. That convo ended up being a waste of my good time by the way, I should’ve just spent my time having another drink.
Even though their food was disappointing, the place was beautiful and the sunset boat ride back to our spot on the other side of the ocean was breathtaking.
We were able to squeeze in a trip to the Lamu Museum on the last day, because we’re cultured people who also enjoy some history; we don’t just sit and drink on holiday.
I had a moment with the pots, which I evidently have a thing for going by how many photos I have of the pots alone.
After the museum tour we were supposed to be taken on a short tour of that side of town, hoping we could pick up a few souvenirs and look around. Our guide was pretty useless though because what he did was make us accompany him for his errands. He literally took us to the market and asked us to look around while he bought potatoes and tomatoes.
I’m ready to go for another holiday. I don’t know when it will be, but I’m working on this quarantine body and trying to save my coins so that holiday will find me ready.
Take care of yourselves, and stay safe!