Friday, September 20, 2013

Lamu and Shela

After our return from the Mara, we bid adieu to our most resilient, patient, and all around rock star of a driver - Sammy. He took us over many miles of bumpy, dust filled roads and never, ever lost his smile or sense of humor.

donkeys are one of only 2
non-walking ways to get around
Rhonda, the kids, Richie and Way then had a quick break for laundry and email checking before heading out for Lamu, on the Indian coast. After many days on the road, this part of the trip would be a welcome change, maybe best of all because Lamu is a car-free island, so no more days in the van!

While the rest of the crew got a head's start, I stayed in Nairobi for a couple days to earn some money to pay for all this fun! (mostly kidding, I'm definitely 2nd fiddle in the earning dept these days!) A couple days later I joined up with everyone.

Lamu alley
Lamu town center
Richie stayed in Lamu Town, which is the main town on the island.

dhows in the harbor

Way and the Schutzbank/Fleischer clan stayed in Shela which is a smaller town on the same island, but only a short boat/walk away.

The first couple days were spent enjoying the beach, touring the town, and generally relaxing and taking in the spirit of the coast.
passin' time

Richie chattin' with the artisans doing wood carvings
Carving a Lamu door

At the far end of the island just past Shela - the beach curves to face the Indian ocean and continues for about 9 miles. The sand dunes are as high as hills.

The first couple days we were in Lamu was Ramadan, at the conclusion we joined in the celebrations which included children's games.

In Shela we stayed at Banana House. Rhonda was able to negotiate adjoining rooms for the kids and us on the ground floor. Outside our rooms was a relaxing hang-out space filled with pillows and they served us breakfast there. It was nice to take naps while the kids ran back and forth to the pool. One night the B&B served a scrumptious Swahili dinner in the courtyard.
our dhow for the day
Our last full day we hired a dhow for a trip to some of the islands surrounding the bay. It was amazing to float from isle to isle , try some fishing, & explore the coves. The shipmates grilled us a lunch of freshly caught fish and coconut rice - yum!


i think my smile was bigger than the fish!

the first mate teaching Matthew how to bait a hook
where we stopped for lunch
In the afternoon we toured around an abandoned village from the 15th century on one of the islands before sailing back to Lamu.
Takwa ruins
walking around Manda island
drifting back to Lamu
What a great way to end an unforgettable 2 week journey around Kenya. Before we knew it, we were back in Nairobi and Matthew started 2nd grade, Ruby started Kindergarten, Rhonda and I were back at work, Way flew to Europe for a grand tour of the continent, and Richie headed back to Japan.

You betcha - 2nd grade!

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