|Friday 3rd August - Kenya - Diani (until Wednesday 8th)
Our Kenyan beach holiday started off with two disappointingly rainy days. Big, grey clouds rolled in from the sea and it poured rain, rain, rain. Two days of rain that even Fort William would have struggled to match! In the few dry spells we still managed to dip in the pool or sea but we didnt see much sun. Thankfully the week improved as it went on and we had a good few sunny days.
We are quite far south on Diani beach and it seems to be mainly private houses or small cottage complexes in this part of the beach. Our hotel has about 6 cottages set in a narrow strip from the beach back to the road. The swimming pool area is built straight up from the sand so you can overlook the beach from the pool. From our cottage balcony we have a view through palm trees to the pool and the beach beyond. The beach is really beautiful, stretching as far as the eye can see in either direction, with palm trees growing right down to the white, fine sand. At low tide the waves are gentle and the beach is broad, but at high tide the waves become big rollers and there is a narrow strip of sand.
Weve enjoyed the wildlife that weve seen while weve been here. There are colobus monkeys in the trees around us (they are black and white and fairly reclusive). Then there are a bunch of bold and cheeky monkeys, jumping into the house and onto the table to steal things. Numerous crabs run around on the beach, disappearing down their sand-holes as they see us approaching. Over the last few days weve come across an enormous snail with a shell larger than my hand, a bright green praying mantis and a long, black caterpillar with scarlet legs.
Weve also enjoyed the wildlife that weve eaten! Every day a couple of men cycle in with a supply of fish, prawns, crabs or lobsters for guests to buy. We buy fresh fruit from stalls in the nearby village and other provisions from the supermarket. All this is passed on to our personal cook who does a wonderful job.
The girls have enjoyed playing with buckets and spades here. One afternoon we had quite a crowd of children playing on the sand with us. When they started playing football, the older kids kindly passed Keziah the ball and made her feel involved.
Jane, Andrew and I have had lots of fun with boogy boards in the waves. There are three boards at the hotel so sometimes, when the waves are big, we leave the girls playing at the pool with one of the hotel workers and we pretend we are surfers. Weve all swallowed a lot of seawater!
The beach is very quiet and sometimes it feels as if we have a long section of it entirely to ourselves. except for people trying to sell us stuff. Everyone is very pleasant and friendly and not too pushy, but it is funny to note that every Westerner walking down the beach has a Kenyan chaperone walking along beside them. Many of the people weve spoken to on the beach seem to think that Jane and I are twins and that Keziah and Naomi are twins. They often ask Jane where her husband is to which she usually replies In Scotland, I think.
Today we bought a few souvenirs a carved elephant for us and a couple of carved Masai people for Jane. Tomorrow Jane flies home with all this in her luggage, along with the spears and Hamer nick-nacks from earlier in her trip.
Were all going to miss Auntie Janie very much, its been great fun to have her with us. We dont have many days to wait before our friend Alasdair comes out to meet us, so were looking forward to that too.