Here we go in a little 18 seater plane from Nairobi to Lamu. The first part of that journey, from Kampala to Nairobi, was a kind of extended torture, as I described in the comment on the earlier entry. It cost about $10 and lasted 16 hours…
…this flight cost almost three hundred dollars and took just under two hours.
We stopped over on this dirt runway…
… with a thatched hut and khaki Land Rover to meet the wealthy white Kenyan family who were on their way to a lodge on another (more exclusive?) island. As we took off from this one the guy behind me was humming the theme music from Indianna Jones.
Lamu, as you can see, is on the coast. It’s actually an island.
The airstrip is on another island; so that first thing I did after landing was get onto a boat. This hazy pic is what it looks like as you approach.
The front of the town is very pretty with a wide street/promenade…
… good for strolling, and for checking out the pretty tourists.
Harambee Avenue is the ‘main street’.
As you can see, its a good deal narrower.
Also good for strolling.
Here’s the guest-house where I stayed.
The room had a good view of the dock.
And of the donkeys. The island has one car, operated by the District Commissioner. No others are allowed…
… recall that the roads are somewhat narrow. Harambee, here, is wider than most. The DC is, therefore, restricted to moving back and forth along the seafront. But I shouldn’t think that matters; his car (like so many things in Kenya) is more about status than utility.
Everyone else makes do with hand carts…
… donkeys …
… and boats.
Check out how the mast is secured with flipflops.
Shela — half an hour’s walk down the coast from Lamu — is the posh resort where the beach is…
… where big crowds turned out for the annual new-year’s day Dhow Race.
Dhows are these wooden sailing boats. They get really worked for the race, with extra crew members to counter-balance (Im sure that has a technical nautical name) the boat when its leaning into the wind.
The winning team (this pirate one of them) capsized their dhow as they beached after passing the finish buoy then went beserk with celebration, song and splashing….
… but remember there’s always next year.
And finally Katie and I flew back to Nairobi, this time in an even smaller 12 seater.