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Monkeys and Tuk Tuks

overcast 28 °C

The first thing we did yesterday morning was walk about 20 minutes to the Nakkumat grocery store. On the way we made friends with two locals who talked politics, economy, and wanted to know everything about Canada. They didn't even know where it was located; they asked what the neighbouring country was. We talked about the difference in population, how I worked two jobs and how Josh works long hours away from home, and we talked about how they cannot get a job so they resort to their skills and hope for tourism, which is a lot slower nowadays than it used to be. They actually fended off some of the local vendors who are desperate for our money, or so it seems. When we got to the store, the boys quickly told us how they couldn't benefit from our money, but they could benefit from food, and asked if we would agree to buy them rice and oil in exchange for their prayers. We agreed, and they walked us through the store. By the end we also had sugar and flour in our cart for them too, and our bill came to about $80 Canadian, probably $20 of which was ours. While I felt good about helping them, I knew we could not do this with every single local we met. It's only our first full day here!

Josh wanted to get a cheap cell phone for Kenya as it will make our lives much easier, and it will help him connect with his friends easier since wifi is very spotty. In order to do that we needed our passport, so we took our first Tuk Tuk back to our villa. It was nice and breezy and cheaper than a cab!


Passport in hand we headed back to the store, where we were greeted by guards with huge guns, guarding the entrance to the cell phone store, as well as two security people, male for males and a female for females, who checked us for metal. Once in the cell phone store we felt our white privilege again (forgot to mention that in a previous post.. it's shocking) and were put to the head of the queue. It didn't take too long and we are now the proud owners of an LG Cell phone where we're texting with good old T9 word :)


From the store we took another Tuk Tuk to the Colobus Conservation Centre. On this Tuk Tuk I saw my first monkey, a baboon!! Just on the side of the road walking. So cool, no time for a photo I was too much in awe.


Once there we were greeted by our guide Mary who was so sweet and took us on a tour of the property. It's an NGO that started 20 years ago to conserve the monkeys, they do so by various initiatives throughout the coast to preserve the habitats and stop the poaching and killing of monkeys. The colobus monkeys are so cute and docile and they literally just chill all day.


The other types can be vicious, as Josh has experienced in the past. And Mary warned us of one named Val who had just bitten a tourist that morning. She suffers trauma from humans in the past which is why she was brought to the centre, but she definitely wanted to attack us when we met up with her. Mary looked worried, which made us worried, and we diverted our paths to avoid her as she was charging. Mary assigned a worker to watch her and spray her with a water bottle to keep her at bay for the rest of our walk. The rest of the tour was great, we saw the monkeys grooming each other and feeding babies, we also walked through the forest to see the old trees and stumble over all of the coral on the grounds. Coral is everywhere here, proving that this all used to be underwater.


Once finished at the conservation centre we walked down the main road and stopped at a local "pub" which had roosters and chickens roaming and a handmade roof out of banana or palm tree leaves. He offered us a cold tusker, but then explained they had no electricity so it would be sort of cold. It was warm, but the flavours came out a lot more so I enjoyed it happily.


After the pub we continued to walk and, for lack of a better word, were harassed by the sales people at all of their little huts. These guys are made out of cardboard and other garbage and mud, but they sold their carvings and paintings and things.


We got a motorcycle part way to one of the main shopping centres and I hadn't eaten so I got two bananas and a mango for breakfast tomorrow (peel it or forget it right?). The bananas were very tasty and they were 10 Kenyan shillings each, that's 13 cents Canadian. We also stopped at the famous coral restaurant here and made a reservation for tomorrow night, which is Good Friday so we got the last table. We then walked down and saw where Josh has stayed in the past, Diani Cottages, and we walked down to the beach where there was tons of locals and a lady selling clothes and things, and the beach was gorgeous.


From there we continued to walk and be harassed at the shops before we hopped on a motorcycle and rode that back to our hotel.

A dip in the pool was much needed as I haven't sweat this much I don't think.. ever.


We came down to the beach for a few Tuskers and to enjoy the sun setting; were on the east coast so we can't actually see it set but it's still wonderful. Such a nice breeze and all you see is ocean it's gorgeous. These crabs are everywhere though and josh went for a dip and while I wanted to, knowing the crabs are out there, I just can't bring myself to get in! Up to my ankles is the most I'll go in, those at home know this about me haha.


After the beach we headed down the street for some dinner at an Indian place about a 15 minute walk away from our hotel. It was dark on the walk and yet we felt so safe. We arrived and they had lots on the menu for me, and I had the some of the best Indian food I've ever had! After dinner we walked back and stopped in at a bar for the cheapest Tusker we've found yet.


We continued home and Josh wanted another Tusker so I passed out on our balcony as soon as my head hit the pillow. No idea how long we were out there, but I slept like a baby. We woke up this morning to see the sun rise, it wasn't that spectacular but it was a gorgeous morning.


And here's some shots of our villa.


Posted by kvandervegan 22:15 Archived in Kenya

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Kels thank you for writing in so much detail about your trip and putting up all the pics! I am fascinated and hit refresh every morning when I sit down at my computer in Montreal. Keep having fun and stay safe xoxo

by Alex

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