Lamu Island

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April 29th 2012
Published: July 2nd 2012
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I had heard the bus to Lamu from Mombasa could be a bit of a nightmare, but mine was fairly straightforward and I arrived in Mokowe after less than 6 hours. The only way to get to Lamu from there is by boat and I took a speedboat, which took about 10 minutes. Lamu appears from behind a forest and immediately struck me as somewhere completely unique.

I checked into a hotel and managd to dodge a few touts who harrassed me to go on a dhow trip with them the following day. I bumped into Michelle, an Irish girl, who I had met in Mombasa and had dinner with her, Anna a Spanish girl and two German couples. Lamu is fairly quiet, but I was happy to have an early night anyway.

The last morning in Mombasa, I had woken up with a big rash on my neck. This looked even nastier the next morning, so I went to a clinic to get it checked out. The woman in the clinic sort of spoke in riddles and wouldn't say what it was, just wrote down shingles and gave me some anti viral injection! This had me freaking out a bit, because I had no idea how I had got shingles or what it meant.

After an hour or so of googling shingles, its causes etc, I began to have my doubts about her prognosis, but still wasn't too sure. I met Eric from Mombasa and we went to the beach at Shela. It is like one of the deserted beaches you would see in a Robinson Crusoe movie or something. The only thing was that it was quite windy, but the water was beautiful.

The only other people there were an English couple living in Mombasa. They immediately pointed at my neck and said I had been got by the Nairobi Fly. This is some sort of beetle that doesn't bite, but releases acid when it is killed. I couldn't get on the internet quick enough to check it out and see an image of the burn, which was identical to the one I had.

The next day, I went back to the clinic to show her the picture, but she didn't seem that bothered. I spent another day walking down to the beach at Shela this time, as opposed to getting the boat. It became quite overcast, so I didn't spend long there. I did go for a walk around the old town, which really is like no other place I have been to. There are no vehicles, just donkeys. All the alleys are extremely narrow and it is very easy to get lost. It is a very Islamic town, so nightlife is fairly limited. I had a few beers and went to bed early enough, as I was getting up early to leave the next day.

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