“I travel because it makes me realize how much I haven’t seen, how much I’m not going to see, and how much I still need to see.” – Carew Papritz.
By Harriet Bosibori
Many times when I say yes it is with a lot of anxiety,hopes and faith. I was offered an opportunity to travel to Malindi this past weekend,Sometimes the resources are not enough, the timing is imperfect and a lot of unknown parameters. However,the essence of life is to live it and the experiences forever impact our lives.
We arrived via the standard gauge railway (SGR) in Mombasa on Friday afternoon, we checked in my friend to her room in Mombasa,changed to lighter clothing to accommodate the heat in Mombasa and immediately went round to find the bus stop to board a bus to Malindi then found lunch. We were looking for Swahili food but our exhaustion and hunger did not allow us to pursue that agenda for long hence settled for a quick snack of chicken and fries. After a late lunch I proceeded to travel to Malindi, pretty uneventful journey but I noticed the structure of the roads being good the whole league,tarmacked through Mtwapa, kilifi and finally to Malindi. I arrived slightly past 8 pm got a local ‘Tuk Tuk’ (anyone who has been to the Kenyan coastal towns understands this is the most common mode of transport) I checked into my room later and prepared for the following day. The room was basic and nice. After a simple breakfast of tea and ‘Kaimatis” I made my way to a restaurant where I facilitated a training,. That evening the other friend joined me, we had late dinner and a few drinks then proceeded to sleep. The following morning after the usual breakfast we checked out of the hotel as we were planning to travel back to Nairobi that evening.
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
The highlight of the trip was taking a tour of the town after leaving our luggage at the bus office after booking our tickets to Nairobi. We went to ‘Gedi Ruins’ and got a thorough history lesson about the Portuguese trip to Kenya coast as they searched for a trade route to India and landed in Malindi. ‘Gedi ruins’ is a washed up watch tower marking with the Portuguese emblem used as a mark point of direction through the trade route. Some fights with the locals including Arabs who had arrived before on the island caused the original mark to be destroyed and relocated to the current spot.
We later saw the first christian church in Kenya set-up by St. Francis Xavier in Malindi as he ended up in the island preaching Christianity but needed to bury two of his followers who had died at sea. St.francis was enroute to India and china when he made a stop over in Malindi
In Summary the trip to Malindi was such and experience going through the old town, visiting the local museum I wondered about the generations of lives that had passed through the lands in all seasons and whether their spirits still lived on in the ruined buildings and abandoned artifacts.
Something interesting walking through the old and new town many businesses were closed and we were informed that being a tourist town during low tourist seasons some businesses lock up for the rest of the year. Also many restaurants and bars open up in the evening accommodating the Malindi night life. The town is soo rich in culture and rich experiences that I would recommend any Kenyan to take a trip down.With Ksh20,000 the budget is more than enough for 2 nights accommodation,moving up and about the town. The budget may be slightly higher if you catch a direct flight to Malindi , but heck,live a little.