Lamu, on the Kenyan coast, is a little like stepping back in time. Africa expert Millie took a trip and found it to be as relaxed and friendly as ever.
I have been in Lamu now for a few days and it is as lovely as ever, it's really great to be here. I am staying in a wonderfully shabby chic old Shela villa right on the water, full of character and history - as I write, I am sitting on the roof terrace with a lovely breeze and a great view over the Lamu Channel. Paradise!
I have visited the wonderful Manda beach, which whilst being lovely and peaceful, with the waves lapping beneath your bedroom window at night, it springs into action with the dawn call to prayer, some very keen morning boatmen and donkeys fighting over the pitiful scraps of greenery to snack. Life, and the general atmosphere, in the village alleyways is as peaceful and calm as ever.
Peponi continues to be the social hub of the village and they were pleased to see quite a gaggle of us there on Saturday night. We had the most delicious Sunday lunch there yesterday too - melt in your mouth tuna Carpaccio, grilled snapper coconut rice and a gorgeous mango and ginger sorbet, all washed down with some very refreshing white wine! We have certainly eaten like kings on this trip. Carol and Lars remain at the helm, as they have done for the last 35 years, and maintain a really great relationship with all those in the village and are a key part of its charm. I'm off to see their new Peponi apartments this afternoon which are meant to be lovely.
Yesterday we missioned off to Manda Bay for some snorkelling out at Manda Toto - a little murky after the early short rains hit a few days ago, but stunning long wall of reef to explore. Another great lunch there and good to catch up with Andy Roberts there about how things have been. He was positive, basically.
This morning has been positively hard work! I went into Lamu town to have a look around Lamu House which is really lovely. It's so beautifully done and full of lovely bits and bobs. It's on the waterfront so it's not claustrophobic and right in the thick of things - great fun. I've spent much time here in the past and have had good chats with all the good old expats here who are realistic about things, and I have not felt remotely nervous AT ALL. All the same old faces, as relaxed as ever, and everyone friendly and chatty! I just love it here and the history and culture in town is great and the long empty Shela beach as gorgeous as ever......and always a fascinating bunch of characters at Peponi's bar!