Mombasa: ugali, camels, white sand beaches, and Old Town

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17 hours after leaving Nairobi, we wobbled off the train (major sea legs goin’ on) into Mombasa.
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Our first order of business was to find our way into the city center and grab some local grub.
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We were directed to this hole in the wall type place, with zero mzungus (Swahili for ‘white people’. It’s not a racial slur, just a literal translation), so we knew it was going to be good. Of course, we couldn’t understand half the items on the menu, so I just pointed and hoped for the best (100 Shilling = ~$1).
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Ugali is cornmeal mixed with water to form a thick porridge/dough. You can eat it with vegstew or curry. It’s pretty flavorless, but really filling. The vegstew was great!
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The beaches in Mombasa have such a cool vibe. Little huts selling curios (tourist trinkets to buy; wooden carvings and oil paintings, etc), carts to pick up a cool drink or fresh fruit. No big crowds. The water is warm, the sand is soft. Mmm, vacation.

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We saw this dude, just hangin’ out.
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Any time we were on the beach, we saw camels and their trainers. Just chillin’. Giving folks rides. It was awesome.

The last day we were in Mombasa, we spent the afternoon exploring an old fort from the 1600-1800s (Fort Jesus, pictures not shown) and the narrow streets of Old Town.
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The feel to Old Town is influenced by the Arab, Asian, Portuguese, and British settlers that have come through Mombasa. Chickens and trash, clothes hanging out windows to dry, little kiddos playing tag and curio shops, all filled the streets with life and culture.
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If you watched the video, How To: Take Over Kenya, we had a really funny conversation with this guy selling cassava chips on the side of the road. He made us laugh pretty good.
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We enjoyed a sunset from the marinas near Old Town.
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We ate delicious marsala chips (they call french fries, chips).
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We pretended to be millionaires and snuck into this colonial, mega fancy resort to have drinks at their bar. (Okay fine, we didn’t really sneak in, the bar is open to all visitors. We just felt like posers because we were by far the youngest guests by 30+ years.)
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We played cards while sipping fresh mango juice while enjoying the tropical Indian Ocean breeze.
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Mombasa was just plain great.

I really enjoyed this city a lot.

But nothing compared to the time we had on safari… stay tuned for the final part of our trip tomorrow!

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Holly KN says:

    When operating in a foreign language, menus with pictures = MAJOR plus. :) We very much like the point and nod and cross fingers method! :) This looks gorgeous…

  2. misszippy1 says:

    Awesome trip! I am just getting around to reading your posts and am looking forward to the safari. Such a great experience!

  3. Jessica says:

    Wow. Looks amazing!! I can’t imagine ordering food that’s on a menu in a different language. Yikes! Haha

  4. Lisa says:

    Wow, what a fantastic trip and just awesome pictures :) You guys seem to find “home” wherever you go. I think that’s just so great. I hope Cabo wasn’t too homesick (or vice versa)!!

  5. kaitwatts says:

    That camel looks awesome!

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