|Posted on October 12, 2013 at 7:50 AM|
Jambo everyone, we are still on the coast of Mombasa waiting for our car, which are told will be some time after the 15th, when the ship is due to arrive. ??!! So, since i last wrote, we have left our nice little resort of royal Reserve and have been staying in the town of Mombasa at a hotel called New Palm Tree. Not quite as lavish you might say, but at least it has air-con, toilet & shower, and is close to all the shops.
On our second day here we went to visit HALLER PARK which is born from a quarry for the cement factory here. There is a HUGE area which was left more or less as a rubbish pit, (originally under sea level). Now it has been transformed into a beautiful park which is home to giraffe, hippo, antelope, buffalo and many more including a few tortoises no less than 100 years old each. Our taxi driver we had that day also had his daughter in the car, being a Sunday, who had never been to the park, so we had a extra 10 year old to share the experience with us.
Getting a visa card here is quite quick & simple compared to home. You put money in your account, hand in the application form, wait more than an hour, then presto, there is your card, with your name on it, all ready to go. You choose your own pin, swipe the card to register it on the banks computer, and that's it. Done in a day.!!
We have learnt that our laptop is, so-far, the most saving grace we brought with us, keeping us in touch with the world as we know it. The tv here at this hotel only has local channels and Aljazeera.... not a lot of choice. So it was with great delight that we finally got to skype with both our kids, and see their faces once again.
Here in Mombasa, things are never dull, being only 3 weeks since the Westgate Mall terror attack, we had our own shooting and riots here in Mombasa. I belielve it was a religious cleric and 3 other people shot and then the protest / riot happened after that. The thing is, it was directed at the specific people and we were not under threat. In fact Bob was down at that area during the day and was told on his way back in the tuk-tuk what had just happened short time earlier. With the threat of more riots, the hotel management came and told all clients to stay indoors for the night or at-least be back by 7pm.
On a different day, one of the other guests of this hotel had her earring snatched from her ears as she walked near the Nakumatt supermarket that we frequent quite often. You really have to keep your wits about you here.
And the latest excitment to speak of here in Mombasa was on the way to the dhowl while we were in our taxi. We noticed lots of people yelling and getting very concerned. as we looked around we could see the reason for the chaos,.... the main cables to the transformer in the middle of the road had caught alight and was on fire. I am sure that everyone knew the strong possibility of a iminent explosion,.... so people started trying to get away, which, of-course, is quite difficult when you are in a traffic jam, which is the norm around here. We were quite lucky to be able to move on relativly quickly, but we could see that the jam was just going to get much worse before getting better. Passing by the same transformer later that night, we did not see any evidence of a explosion but our taxi driver said that it explained why the power was off for so long earlier that evening.
THE annual MARA MARATHON was a highlight which was not even advertised, but was telecast on the local station. Joseph, our maasai friend, rang us from the Mara to make sure we knew about the 21km Marathon and we then watched on tv, seeing the runners cross the open land with gazelles and wilderbeest also running along and a few giraffe loping along in the distance. They had a helicopter above to keep an eye out for the more dangerous wildlife, then hovered over a lion to make it go away or at least show that he was about. I think the winner ran the 21km in 1 hour 11 min.
On our return visit from a different supermarket one day we opted to drop in on the local KSPCA. ( The animal society for prevention & cruelty to animals). We had bought a few supplies of dog and cat food to donate, and was very impressed with living conditions of the animals here. We epected to see mangey, flee ridden animals in small cages, but this was not the case. Their enclosures were all good sizes AND they were clean!! The water bowls were clean, the animals looked healthy, and, to our delight, we learnt that the dogs were not left in their runs all day, but they had nice grassy areas at the back where they could run and romp together. To say the least, we were impressed with what we saw. Knowing the conditions that most people live around here, we did not expect cement paths etc..... they are not seen anywhere here,... but at -least the animal housing was of good order. They should be pleased with themselves as they try to survive to stay open.
Our latest and most special night however was last night, 11th Oct. it was our 38th wedding anniversary and chose to celebrate it on the Tamarind Dhowl. As i leant back against the edge,with the cool breeze on my face, hearing the water lap the sides of the boat as we cruised out towards the ocean (or opposite??) We simply enjoyed a beautiful ambiance that is a dhowl ride. With around 40 people we enjoyed a 4 course seafood dinner, then danced to the African rythm of the live band. Being in the tradition of african culture, as they dance, they form a circle and one will go in the middle and do a dance before someone else jumps in the middle to do theirs..... naturally, we joined in and had a great time doing the african hussle. Nice to see Bob relax so much. Just to top it off at the end of the night, Bob decided to take the microphone and share with everyone on board that it is our anniversary. This caused great applause and many congrats even later as we walked to the taxi waiting on the shore. It was truely a beautiful night and i am sure we will both put our 38th anniversary down as a special one to remember.
So, that is the latest that has been happening here. We are told that the ship should arrive on the 15th, even though we keep tabs on it and know it only left Durban, south Africa today.... so we wont get excited just yet, and we know that when it does finally arrive, it will take days to clear....but THAT will be for the next update.
So, bye for now my friends, i will now see if i can load some photos and /or video in the gallery section. Kwaheri!
Categories: Waiting in Mombasa for the car