lunedì 10 dicembre 2012

Welcome to Malindi

Finally after a very long and uncofortable (but still better than my trips in Mali and Senegal) we arrived in the early morning in Malindi. It was still dark but the air was warm, rich of flower scents and welcoming, I was so curious about  Kenian coast and about Malindi where too many Italians decide to spend their holiday or...their life.
We found a nice furnished apartment at Polcino Oasis Village, an old tatty residence where most apartments have been sold to italians. I enjoyed the lovely garden, the big swimming pool attached to the beach but really hated those tiny persistent hungry Kenian mosquitos who used to assemble every night to have dinner mostly with my blood and sometimes with that of my friend Aldy. No mosquito net, no repellent seemd to discourage them, Aldy tried other products with very little fortune.
The beach of Malindi is wide and long, a white sand and pristine warm water but has a thick layer of long seeweeds that your feet should get used to in order to enjoy swimming there.
There are many hotels and resorts, some of them luxurious ones and of course the over protected villa od Flavio Briatore, the most famous muzungu of Malindi. We used to do a 1hr walk on the beach twice a day, getting until the Marine Park, pity that every 10 meters we were stopped by local sellers, hawkers and idlers who consider Italians as the best clients/friends/helpers. That could be funny the first day, OK the second, unbearable from the 3rd!
As usual I did prefer to mix with local visiting the small streets of old town, where we met by chance Camilla, an Italian woman who moved there 13 yrs ago with her husband. They bought an old mansion in the Arabian area and restored it in a magnificent B&B arabian style, Swahili House. She is the first non kenyan certified safari guide while her husband is running a scuba diving center. She was extremely worried because Malindi has experiencing a very low number of Italian tourists this November,caused by the huge financial crisis who made many Italians unable to take their beloved vacation to Kenya.
In Africa you can repair for cheap almost everything you would have to throw in the rubbish, that's why I succeed in having my old but tough Nokia repaired for a few bucks. While doing searching for the right shop we found by chance a great place, Jabreen Cafè, probably the best cafè of Malindi, surely the beloved by me and Aldy. It was working almost at every time with locales and tourists, serving delicious simple food (beans, pees, a kind of boiled spinach called Mchicha, a nice chapati, a white maiz flour polenta called Ugali but also eggs, chicken and fried fish). WE never spent more than 2,00 euros and always exited full and happy.
I also met a sweet lovely mobile phone shop assistant, Aisha. It was so nice to chat with her and to understand her strict muslim way, I even invited her to visit with me Lamu but she needed a friend girl chaperon as well as she told me she NEVER goes to any bar because considered immoral.

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