safari ya kenya :: Day 8 :: in Malindi and Mombasa

Thursday, June 19

We thought about going to the country again this morning, and returning to Mombasa in the evening. But when we got to the bus station and surveyed the incoming clouds, we changed our plans and went straight to Mombasa.

Loading a bus is a complex process in Kenya. The bus won't leave until it's full. And a large number of people don't want to get on until the bus is leaving. Every so often, the bus will begin rolling forward in hopes that people will think it's leaving so they'll get on. Eventually, the bus will reach the end of the parking lot and back up into its original position. Just before the bus actually leaves, there will be a rush of people getting on. These people have been just hanging around the bus station, refusing to board a bus or matatu. They seem to all suddenly decide to take this bus after all, and the bus is finally able to leave, not on schedule because it was waiting till it was full to leave. It was a long bus ride to Mombasa, and once we got here, we were both dying to stand up and move around. We had lunch a bit before 2, as soon as we were off the bus. Then we checked out a couple of hotels that are farther away from the mosque than the hotel I had been staying in. But they were not very nice, and I'm spoiled. So I came back to my very nice hotel with a 5 a.m. wake up call to prayer. The other hotels seemed like they were nice when they were built, but no maintenance has been done on the facilities at all, i.e. broken toilet seats are not replaced, missing knobs for the shower are not replaced, it still has the original coat of paint that is now peeling off...

This picture was taken from the bus that took us back to Mombasa (that's why I'm higher up than the matatu)

In the afternoon, we went shopping for some souvenirs. Rod told them that I am his wife / I belong here / am not going anywhere / and not a tourist so that they wouldn't insist on charging me the tourist price. After seeing everything that was there, I decided what I wanted and made Rod a list to go back and bargain/haggle some good prices for me. He loves that. He got me some good stuff, too. While he was doing that, I wrote some post cards. Then we had dinner, watched TV, and called it a day.


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