Friday, August 10, 2012

A visit from an old friend

(old as in 'we've known each other for a long time' not old as in 'she is an old person' - I feel Odharnait would like that clarification made)

For 3 weeks in July and August I had the pleasure of hosting my first (but hopefully not my last) visitor in Kenya - the beautiful Odharnait Ansbro. Odharnait and I have been friends for 9 years, something we calculated while on our travels. Like many of my friends it's hard to stay in contact as much as we would both like. Timezones, work schedules and other life commitments tend to get in the way. So when she said that she was coming out to see me, I was thrilled to get the chance to spend some quality time with her. something that we haven't done for a long time. As much as I enjoyed the traveling we did together, some of the most enjoyable times we had over the 3 weeks were spent in my kitchen, drinking green tea and having the chats.
I won't go step by step through our holiday adventures for fear of making you all wildly jealous. Instead I'll highlight my 3 favourite parts of our trip.

Dhows, doorways and donkeys in Lamu
Our trip Lamu can be summarised with the 3ds - dhows, doorways and donkeys. All 3 are omnipresent elements of laidback life on the island.



Lamu is just a wonderful, wonderful place. Having visited it on my first trip to Kenya back in 2009 I was anxious to make a return visit at some point this year. When Odharnait asked for some beach and coast time it was the perfect excuse for me to plan a trip there. Staying in a self-catering apartment with its own rooftop veranda, we spent 5 days sitting, eating, reading, eating, sitting some more. Just what both of us were looking for. We both agreed that it would be the perfect place to go if you needed to write your novel. We didn't quite manage to write a novel while we were there, but I did manage to finish my book for bookclub. Which is a start.

Book reading - with obligatory coffee and chocolate biscuit cake

Where Can You See Lions...
... only in Kenya. Surely I don't need to put up another link to that video, do I? Do I? Ok, here it is!

The highlight for the 2 and a half days that we spent in the Maasai Mara (apart from the gorgeous food at our lodge) was spotting lions. Lots of lions. Male lions. Female lions. I had been waiting for this moment since I arrived in Kenya and when it finally arrived I was exactly as giddy and excited as I thought I would be. For evidence of this see the video below:

Now we did spot other animals besides lions. These were (takes deep breath)

Thompson's Gazelle
Grant's Gazelle
Maasai Giraffe
Guinea Fowl
Crested Cranes
Superb Starlings
Secretary Birds
Lilac breasted roller (Zazu!)
African cave buffalo
Striped mongoose
But for me, it was all about the lions.

Not a lion

Not a lion

Not lions
Not lions
Definitely not lions

Nairobi nightlife
I couldn't let Odharnait leave Kenya without sampling some of the Nairobi nightlife. On Tuesday in between our coast and safari adventures we went for dinner with some friends and then on to K1/Klubhouse (setting of an earlier blogpost). It was 'Jazz Night'at K1 but it wasn't so much Jazz as Classic 105-esque covers.

Caution! Party Zone! Well that's me warned.

Some things never change...

Odharnait has also graciously agreed to write a guest blogpost in the coming weeks on her experiences in Kenya so keep your eyes peeled for that!

In the meantime I urge you all to get checking British Airways, SkyScanner and Kenya Airways and start planning your own trip to see me!

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  1. ZAZU!!!! zazu! I'd come just to see a Zazu. That is all :)

  2. I know Clare, wish I had a good photo of one but I am sadly lacking in that department. Louise, I was so so happy. It only took nine months but I can now cross 'See Lions' off of my life to-do list.