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Diving Over Christmas

The visibility was as good as past dives in Watamu, but the diving was still good. Here are some photos and a bit of video (not my best) to show you some of what we saw.

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On the way to and from Watamu, we stopped in Voi. We wanted to take a break and make the drive a bit easier. We chose Voi Wildlife Lodge as the place to make our stop. Big mistake.

I don’t want to go into too many details as I don’t want to relive it. However I can tell you this:

  • Service was terrible on the way down. Their excuse was that no one was really around and so there was less staff.
  • Service was terrible on the way there. Their excuse was that the lodge was full and thus very busy.
  • Food was barely edible.
  • We reserved and paid for an air conditioned rooms. We did not get one either time. Didn’t get any real answer as to why either time.
  • The fan in the room didn’t help as the bizarre mosquito netting somehow blocked the air flow at the top.
  • There is no safe in the room nor are there adequate locks.
  • There is no Do Not Disturb sign so you can’t even request that housekeeping stay out, given that there is no safe.
  • It’s pretty easy to break into any room.

The place is a dump. Do not go there. Here are some photos to show you a bit of how bad it is there.

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Our uncomfortable bed

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Fan overhead…but the airflow is blocked

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Another view of the tiny room

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A note that basically says to expect to be robbed.

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This lead to an adjoining room. I did not feel particularly safe.

Christmas at the Coast

This past Christmas was our second Kenyan Beach Christmas and it was a good one. We drove down, which was fine but we wouldn’t do it again. We did a lot of diving with Aqua Ventures, which was great. We stayed at a lovely house, which we would do again.

It was really nice to have the space, not to mention the access to the beach and privacy that the house provided. We had a cook, which made things so much easier. We could get up, have breakfast made for us, go diving, and be back for lunch. Then we relaxed the rest of the day. The featured image for this post is from our private, little, shaded beach lookout point.

Our cook, David, got whatever we needed (mostly fresh fish and vegetables). We did a little bit of shopping at Blue Marmalade, a local grocery store that has most of what you’d want. (We drove down with our own alcohol.) We ate in mostly but did go out for a couple meals. Christmas Dinner was at Tamu, a relatively new Italian place, which was really nice. Boxing Day Dinner was at Medina Palms, which was superb!

We skipped eating at the Crab Shack as we learned that:

  1. They don’t always have crab.
  2. They are not eco-friendly and, in fact, tore down a lot of mangrove to build out their restaurant.
  3. Of all the businesses in Watamu, Crab Shack is the only one that does not give back to the community.

We didn’t feel the need to support it. There are plenty of other places in Watamu that are great and support the community.

Going back to the positive, another good thing about this trip was Non Solo, a gelato place. We went three or four times. We even bought a large container to take back to the house. No regrets with any of the indulgences from there!

Overall it was a lovely Christmas.

Starting to get back to normal…

…We’re getting there. Bit by bit. In the meantime, I’ll resume normal posts starting next week.

A couple days later

Things are starting to get back to normal. Most places are open. Everything still feels a bit weird.

Kenyans are resilient, as are expats. We’ll get back to normal.