Travel, it presents testing challenges, moments of exquisite reward and insight, and times when you are racked with self-doubt and problems, it could be that light at the end of the tunnel. Hola, cómo has estado? Let me first say the coast missed the code of conduct memo that was received by the rest of the country. Boy! It’s been unbearably hot! So am seated here staring at a blank page trying to tell a story but am not digging the vibe, am in denial. It can’t be over😒 I am physically in the office but my mind and soul are still stuck in Lamu. I had a blast, it was so beautiful, felt like the first time yet i had been. I can’t put a finger on what particularly made it so. What really was different this time? But wait, there are a number of amazing photos on my camera. That sounds like a good start, a story on it’s own we can tell through them; but before we get started here is a link to my first experience.
The old Swahili town of Lamu is a living museum of the hybrid African-Islamic-Arabian culture that dominated the East African coast for hundreds of years. It’s literally a small paradise off the Kenyan coast, one of the country’s best beaches and it does live up to the title. By now you must know due to the nature of roads, usually very narrow, no vehicles are allowed and the only means of transport is either a donkey or dhow but walking is also an option. If it’s not the beautiful beach to walk on that’ll have you falling in love, its the cocktails over spectacular saffron-coloured sunsets or the swahili dishes or the culture or the water sports or the dhow cruises. Lamu has it all but the sunsets stole my heart without a fear in the world for punishment and run away with it and am happy that way , but let’s discuss that later as i show you why.
Shela on the other hand used to be a simple fishing village a while ago and is now a favourite spot for holiday homes. It’s home to Shela Beach on the island’s windward side. The beach is the archipelagos finest, long, soft and absolutely stunning making Shela a favorite holiday destination for many. It is where Forodhani house is nestled. One person told me Forodhani had a meaning similar to a jetty, another a”watch post” in Swahili, and took its name from the site where it’s built, right on the sea-front with a, get this, 270° view of the sea all around. At the site of the original watch post was the look out for boats coming from and going to Lamu.
Peaceful and tranquil in it’s setting, surrounded by the beach, sea and sail boats, Forodhani house is an elegant and unique sanctuary offering privacy combined with personalized hospitality on the beach front. It combines the best of traditional and modern Swahili architecture and design, and is furnished and appointed with style and attention to detail throughout.
With four double bedrooms and a fifth bedroom with three single beds, the house can accommodate over 10 people. All bedrooms have separate en suite bathrooms, a shaded terrace and an ocean view. The ground floor features a big kitchen, a beautiful dining terrace, a 10 metres pool which stretches between a garden sort of and the ocean and a large open lounge area. The house is a tribute to local craftsmen and the traditional Swahili style – old style vidakas adorn the walls with furnishings including light curtains, antique coffee tables and intriguingly looking old wooden chests.
There is alot to do on this trip from visiting the donkeys sanctuary to passing by Lamu museum or The Lamu silver smith for souvenirs. There is also the sea boutiques not forgetting that the tour gives you the perfect opportunity to learn more about this UNESCO heritage, the culture and it’s people plus the doors. The interesting thing with Lamu is that the doors are different in each part of town, depending on whether it was built during the Portuguese occupation or the Omani Protectorate.
There is so much i got to do this time that i didn’t get to do the first time. I am glad to have been part of this just Rioba‘s Lamu girls trip. For more check out #GirliesInLamu on both Twitter and Instagram.
It’s always a pleasure having you here. Hope you enjoy today’s read. If interested in girls trips, Rioba hosts epic ones, you should subscribe.