Hello Lake Victoria, Goodbye Kenya

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Africa » Kenya » Nyanza Province » Kisumu
May 5th 2012
Published: July 2nd 2012
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I escaped Nairobi on a fittingly disgusting morning and got a bus to Kisumu, where after about 8 hours, I arrived into some sunshine. I stayed in Kisumu with Christina, who I had met in Mombasa. As it was a Saturday, we went out that night and predictably enough, the Sunday was fairly unproductive. Of all the places I had been in Kenya up to now, this was the first where tourists would not regularly come. They seemed to be fairly used to the mzungus all the same. There was also a surprisingly big Indian community.

Kisumu is situated right on Lake Victoria, my first contact with Africa's biggest lake. We went down for lunch by the lake one day, where there are a number of restaurants set up, with freshly caught tilapia on display. When you want to order, you can go over and choose which fish you would like and it comes back fried in sauce and vegetables, with some ugali. Ugali is an East African food that perhaps is best described as play-doh without the taste. It is ok to mop up some sauce with, but only ok. We also spotted some hippos close to the restaurant, which was unusual for that time of day. They usually steer clear of humans and are only there in the morning. The fact that all the local bus drivers seemed to bring their buses down for a wash made it all the more surprising.

Rainy season in these parts was surprisingly regular. You could almost set your clock to it starting to bucket down around 5.30 p.m. All you can do then is hope to be inside and that the power won't go. Kisumu was my last stop in Kenya. As much of a great time I have had in Kenya, I can't say that I have any great love for the country itself, certainly not compared to the other countries so far. There was nothing particularly 'Kenyan' which endeared itself to me. Mombasa and Lamu are really interesting places, but I would class them as more 'Swahili' than 'Kenyan'. I've already said what I think about Nairobi in a previous post. The buses may be far better and creature comforts may be easier to find, but Kenya left me a bit cold. Having said all that, it was 3 great weeks for the most part!

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