Mombasa to Diani

8 Dec

At 5:30 a.m. it was time to get moving. I packed up and Phil helped me get my stuff (too much stuff) into the lift and out onto Digo Road. We said our farewells and he pointed me in the direction of the ferry and the road to Tanzania.

The 3rd wheel (Extrawheel) is the real attention grabber. While I rode people shouted at me in Swahili and English (and sometimes German). Some do the thumbs-up. One old dude gave me the clenched fist in the air revolution sign. I shout ‘jambo’ back or just whenever someone is staring at me. Constantly, in other words.

The bike is a great ice-breaker between me and genuinely interested folk. I’ve had dozens of conversations that began with questions about the bike and how it’s all going, their only apparent motives being curiosity and bonhomie. It’s refreshing because I might otherwise only be approached by myriad touts and hustlers.

I attached my big black bag on top of the Extrawheel with bungee cord. Unfortunately that crushed the mudguard against the tyre, so I pulled over in the outskirts of town and thought I could carry the bag on my back but first I should jettison something. My trainers. I held my old Pumas up and asked a nearby guy “would you like these trainers and orthodontic inserts?” and he was quite keen. I don’t blame him, I would have been too, if I didn’t have to carry the buggers everywhere.

After the busy and dusty outer rings of Mombasa I rode into the countryside. I bought a humungous mango in the shade of a tree for 15bob (10p) and shared it with a mother and baby. By 10:45 I was in Ukunda, had found my campsite, and was completely roasted. Rare colobus monkeys run and jump around the campsite and we find out from some guys returning from a snake sanctuary that there was a spitting cobra and a boa constrictor captured recently within 10m of the site. I have to chuck a couple of huge centipedes (huge!) over the wall before setting up my tent.

Right, time for more jettisoning. I carry my Lonely Planet and The People’s History of the World books over to a table and introduce myself to Shem. While we tear out parts of the books that he wants, I find out that Shem is a Kenyan NGO who works near Nairobi educating Masaii girls about sex (behave). The Masaii circumsize their girls by chopping off the clitoris. Shem writes and teaches sex ed. classes so that they know what they’re getting into. Saving clitori everywhere. What a man. He also started up a ‘dayandnightclub’ in Kenya with a Swiss friend. Views of Mt. Kilimanjaro and an underground dancefloor for 10,000GBP. It’s called Pesha.

I go into a posh beach resort for some peace from self proclaimed ‘The Bush Doctor’s’ and ‘Rastaman’s’ and get turned around and turfed out by a security guard. ‘You’re welcome.’ He says as he points to the exit.

I have some beers with some English and Shem in the evening. Shem and I head to the bar to watch United vs. Basel. Luckily there was a torrential rainstorm that wiped out the power and so I’ll never know what happened next.

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2 Responses to “Mombasa to Diani”

  1. neilson December 8, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    hey Jack its rachel and neilson, just wanted to say hi and how wonderful your journey sound so far. Keep that gun close at hand
    The weather here is proper shit, jealous of your sunny climes. but happy Im not cycling in that heat.

    take care.

  2. Jack Morris December 8, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    United lost 1 – 0 so it was probably good that you didn’t see the rest of the game. They are now out of the champions league.
    So far, your trip sounds really interesting and that you are enjoying it very much – how much happier am I!!!! 🙂
    Keep it up, the writing is good fun and entertaining to read, it is lovely to be able to share the trip with you.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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