Spending a week at a beach house is like spending a week at the cottage (an old school cottage), except you’re in tropical weather, have no BBQ/fire pit, have mosquito nets over your beds, and you have to contend with the beach vendors pitching their wares. These range from African crafts, to glass bottom boat rides to camel rides.
Like a cottage, the utensils, cookware, sheets and towels are ‘leftovers’ or lower quality; however because we are in Kenya, the salt and humidity in the air quickly creates rust and mold on said utensils.
Same goes with the fridge (looks like it’s from the ’70s). And although there is a newer washing machine here, both are subjected to Kenyan power cuts, meaning our clothes got stuck in the front loading washing machine the first night and we had to throw out all our perishables another night.
Aside from that, the house itself is beautiful, with a thatched roof, large outdoor sitting/dining area, 2 large bedrooms and an upstairs area that could host another family. The kitchen is small and the bathroom shower is open, because a shower curtain would get moldy in 2 seconds flat.
The yard has beautiful vegetation, complete with a small banana tree. We sit outside for breakfast and lunch, when a couple of neighborhood cats come to visit to see if we’ll give them food.
As for the beach itself, we’re actually a 7 minute walk from the beach. We make the trek twice a day. In the morning the tide is still high, and the girls enjoy the waves. In the afternoon the tide is low and you can see all the sand piles from the crabs digging their holes.
The Indian Ocean has nice warm and clear water. The shells here are mostly white, but you can find some with other colors. The girls and Anthony enjoy making sandcastles, as it’s good packing sand.
As I mentioned, the beaches are empty. This is because of a bombing that happened in Mombasa a few months back. It has kept many tourists away and those who are dependent on the tourist trade are left suffering.
Despite the hardship, we’ve found the Kenyan people to be very friendly and laid back. The saying ‘Hakuna Matata’ is actually a Swahili phrase. You’ll also hear ‘Jambo’ a lot, which is a greeting that means ‘How are you?’
There is even an airline here called Jambo Jet, which flies to Diani beach from Nairobi or Mombasa. I highly recommend that over the train or the bus. We’ve yet to decide which mode of transportation we’re going to take back. We have train tickets but everyone is telling us it’s not reliable, so stayed tuned….