Lamu

Here we go in a little 18 seater plane from Nairobi to Lamu. The first part of that journey, from Kampala to Nairobi, was a kind of extended torture, as I described in the comment on the earlier entry. It cost about $10 and lasted 16 hours…

[Inside the plane]
…this flight cost almost three hundred dollars and took just under two hours.

[Runway]
We stopped over on this dirt runway…

[Indianna Jones]
… with a thatched hut and khaki Land Rover to meet the wealthy white Kenyan family who were on their way to a lodge on another (more exclusive?) island. As we took off from this one the guy behind me was humming the theme music from Indianna Jones.

[View of Lamu]
Lamu, as you can see, is on the coast. It’s actually an island.

[View of Lamu]
The airstrip is on another island; so that first thing I did after landing was get onto a boat. This hazy pic is what it looks like as you approach.

[View of Lamu]
The front of the town is very pretty with a wide street/promenade…

[View of Lamu]
… good for strolling, and for checking out the pretty tourists.

[View of Lamu]
Harambee Avenue is the ‘main street’.

[View of Lamu]
As you can see, its a good deal narrower.

[View of Lamu]
Also good for strolling.

[View of Lamu]

[View of Lamu]

[View of Lamu]

[View of Lamu]
Here’s the guest-house where I stayed.

[View of Lamu]
The room had a good view of the dock.

[View of Lamu]
And of the donkeys. The island has one car, operated by the District Commissioner. No others are allowed…

[View of Lamu]
… recall that the roads are somewhat narrow. Harambee, here, is wider than most. The DC is, therefore, restricted to moving back and forth along the seafront. But I shouldn’t think that matters; his car (like so many things in Kenya) is more about status than utility.

[View of Lamu]
Everyone else makes do with hand carts…

[Donkeys]
… donkeys …

[Boats]
… and boats.

[Boats]
Check out how the mast is secured with flipflops.

[Beach babes]
Shela — half an hour’s walk down the coast from Lamu — is the posh resort where the beach is…

[Crowds]
… where big crowds turned out for the annual new-year’s day Dhow Race.

[Race]
Dhows are these wooden sailing boats. They get really worked for the race, with extra crew members to counter-balance (Im sure that has a technical nautical name) the boat when its leaning into the wind.

[Pirate]
The winning team (this pirate one of them) capsized their dhow as they beached after passing the finish buoy then went beserk with celebration, song and splashing….

[Goes around, Comes around]
… but remember there’s always next year.

[Nairobi from the air]
And finally Katie and I flew back to Nairobi, this time in an even smaller 12 seater.