Day 103 –
S: I fell asleep, fully clothed, as soon as I lay on the bed. L: That was 8pm, but I woke him up to get him to get unchanged, but the rest of the night we were disturbed. The hotel is big with no lifts so the stairwells are noisy with talking and laughter and footfalls until 1.30 am.
S: Besides that, we slept, off and on, but this morning before 7am two guys arrived on motorcycles at the church next door and proceeded to set up the most raucous sets of speakers. L: We love to hear praise songs, but this was really over the top.
On the way to breakfast, we noticed that our car was parked in so we asked the receptionist if she would please ask them to move it as we were leaving straight after breakfast.
Breakfast was ok, but nothing fancy.
S: We went up to get all our things from the room, started the car and waited……… After asking the receptionist repeatedly to please call the driver of the car, Lesley went back in to the breakfast room to find out whose car it was and only then did the receptionist “catch a wake-up”. So we had, patiently, waited for 20 minutes.
L: We finally managed to get going at 8.20 am and set off with clear skies above. We only had 165 kms to go to get to Mombasa so thought it would be a good drive. Wow, the amount of trucks on the road was incredible and this was a Sunday. We met the “blitz-vinnig”, really fast busses coming from Mombasa, they must leave at 6am.
The weather turned to cloudy and damp and then it really poured about 40 kms from Mombasa. The visibility was so bad, but luckily, most of the drivers were sensible and even used headlights!! The rain made us decide that we would rather stay in an hotel as we didn’t want to have to pack up a wet tent for the ship trip etc.
We got into Mombasa at lunch time. Town is scruffy and dirty so we drove through, past the river, towards the beachfront. We drove through a beautiful suburb and arrived at the Nyali Beach Resort. Steve went in and was very disappointed when he heard that it was KSH 8 000 ($90) so he climbed back into the car. I felt at that price the bathrooms should be good so I went in to find them. Yep and so the restaurant should be good too. I looked at the menu and went to call Steve. Once we ordered our food at the Mandap Restaurant (for them to bring outside), we went down towards the shore to see the sea!!!! It has been nearly two months so it felt lovely to feel the salty breeze. It is really hot and humid here too now that the clouds have cleared. We had some cool drinks and lunch and it was lovely on the patio.
I heard 2 guys speaking Afrikaans so on our way out, I stopped to ask if they knew of any affordable places to stay (this hotel was fully booked too). They were so friendly and then told us that they were leaving really early in the morning so they could move in to one suite (2 single beds) and we could use their other room. How nice of them. We chatted for a while, saying that we did not want to inconvenience them, but they insisted. We said that we would meet them at reception when they finished eating to check with management. The receptionist would not go for it and by then we felt that we should find something else so we said goodbye to Wimpie and Pierre and thanked them for their kind gesture.
During our conversation, we mentioned that we were hoping to stop off in Cairo for a few days on the way to the U.K. They work all over the world, in shipping security and said that Egypt is not a place to holiday at the moment as there is a lot of unrest and uncertainty with police and army checkpoints and roadblocks everywhere. We had been unsure whether to go so that seems like a red flag too.
S: Finding accommodation was a mission!!!! We went in to about 8 places, all way too expensive, but luckily, got the number for the Sun-Sweet Resort. It does not have the word “beach” in it so it does not have the view nor the prices that the others do. After trying various rooms, one without a toilet-seat, we now have one though the air-con has not yet been fixed nor the sound on the TV, hmmm. Other than that, it is clean and ok for the price of KSH 3 500 per night including breakfast.
We have still not heard from the shipping agent so I will call him first thing in the morning and hopefully start the ball rolling. I feel a bit anxious as nothing is decided, but Lesley tries to point out that from the time we left home, 16 314 kms!!! ago, nothing was planned and we have just followed where the road leads. L: What fun. Can you believe that we have done more than16 000 kms in Africa in just over 3 months, what a ride.
And, on that note, I persuaded Steve to take me to see the sea or even the river and to get out of the room for a while as they were supposed to send a technician for the air-con and the TV, both not working,
We left and saw a patch of blue at the end of the road, but you cannot really get to the beachfront as all the sites are privately owned, mostly by the hotels and resorts.
I love the signposts that are dotted around saying “Plot Not For Sale”.
We got to the bridge over the river and drove over it and saw a sign for a restaurant called Moorings. Following the signs through all the dark alleys and down to the riverfront, but what a great find. It is a floating restaurant (the only one in Kenya) and you walk down a gangplank and sit on the deck which rises and falls with the motion of the water. I loved it.
There was a boat sailing back down to the bridge, taking the passengers on a booze cruise with the music pumping. We watched the sun go down with our drinks and delicious burgers and not a mozzie in sight, how special.
Back at the hotel and it should be called Sun Sweat as it is still 30 degrees and the air-con technician will only be here tomorrow. We have asked to be moved as we took the place thinking that there was air-con in the rooms……. Ok, so now we have a working air-con, but no toilet seat (and it doesn’t flush) so I suggested that they give us the key for the next door suite for when we need the bathroom? Done. I tell you, things are peculiar in Africa………
Day 104 – Happy Birthday, Liz. Bless you xxxx
L: It has been so quiet here so I nearly fell out of bed when the racket started at midnight. I opened our door and told the kids that had just arrived in their suite to please quieten down, where the parents are, nobody knows.
A few hours later and it sounds like rocks being thrown, oh that is driving rain on the metal air-con box outside and the rattling window as it shakes in its frame. I sure hope that this building stands as it is badly made and never fully finished. It has open-ended passages and the stair-cases are skew with the top floor staircase made of rough cement, no tiles.
S: We are fully awake and really hot as the air-con seems to be at the lowest allowed temp of 18 degrees. So, we have been running between the two rooms to use the toilet each time and now to try. the shower – again, no hot water. Even in this heat, putting cold water on your head is never pleasant.
I phoned to speak to Simon and seems he was waiting before doing the Loading Order, for the paperwork from Ryan. I told him to go ahead, please, as it seems that Ryan is not going to be ready in time. We really hope that this will not delay us now…….
L: We had decided that since so little works in this hotel that we would have to find another place for tonight, but breakfast first.
How do you like your eggs? Both of us said, fried, over easy.
Half an hour later and we thought that we had someone else’s breakfast, but there was no-one else. Can you imagine a pancake, scrambled eggs, omelette and fried eggs in one – that was what we got, a pale yellow glob with a strip of bacon and the obligatory fried sausage of some description. Ugh. The juice was greenish so we skipped it and had coffee and tea and cornflakes with hot milk.
We handed in the keys and heard that you have to ask for a kettle of hot water to shower with as there is no piped hot water. Nice of you to tell us.
Once again, we tried to find the person who had parked us in. After 15 minutes seems the owner of the vehicle has left for the day. I told Steve that I could direct him out, just.
After a lot of back and forwarding, we were out, much to the surprise of the hotel staff.
S: We drove closer to where we would need to drop the car eventually and after finding places ranging from KSH 14 800 (R1 800) for a night we finally stumbled on the Leinmach Guesthouse with a special for August at only KSH 4 000 (R500) per night including air-con and breakfast. They showed us the room and I bumped my head on the top of the stairs, it is a place for midgets with smaller pockets – that will have to do.
We are amazed that there is no building-code in Kenya and clearly no-one uses a spirit-level to get their buildings straight.
Now to find that beach………
This is so weird. You see the big blue strip on the GPS, but when you get close there is a house or a huge double gate and fence blocking the access. Once, we managed to park the car and a guy came running down the road to tell us that if we walked from there, the car would not be safe. Sounds worse than home.
L: Finally, we drove back down to Nyali Beach Resort, I love it there and went down through the grounds to get to the beach. The security guard asked us for our access pass. Nooooooo. You have to get a receipt from the restaurant or show the access to get to the sand, but it is a public beach. We gave up and went to the restaurant and had a lovely Beer Shandy. We ordered lunch as it takes a long time to come. So now I am typing the blog and jealously watching the crowd of ladies who have been in the water for the last half hour………..I will make a plan, soooooon.
Lunch was good and while we ate our waiter went to tell the security that we were his friends now. How super to have our feet in the sand with the sun on our faces and then, that swim, YAY. With all our bags on the beach, we dunked separately, even with the security guard standing on the patio above us. There were so many people trying to sell us souvenirs and a lot of fishermen on the beach, so rather safe than sorry.
We spent a couple of hours there and left back to Leinmach Guest House and it was so hot again that we put our things in the room, left the air-con on and went to swim in the 14 metre long pool, which is just stunning. We tried to order some ice-cream, but no, only fruit salad here, like most of Kenya.
S: Simon called about the ship, some more red tape, so we really hope to have a date and time by tomorrow.
After sorting out the things in the car that we are leaving to go by ship and packing our bags that we will take with us when we fly to the U.K, we went into the lounge to catch up on the news. We do not have a TV in our room. I did not feel like anything to eat so Lesley ordered soup and bread for herself.
L: A quick dip on the way back to the room and we will post the blog and some photos. We hope that tonight will be a bit more comfortable and that everything in the room, works.