August 10, 1987

8/10/87 Malindi

beach-front bandas in Malindi

After rising early, we took a quick dhow ride to the jetty going to Makowe. When the bus arrived, we said all our good byes to the crew with some bear hugs and firm handshakes. Our bus was one of the large matatus. It had about sixty very narrow seats, plus they added another fifteen to stand in the isle for the trip to Malindi.

The dirt road had been turned into mud because of the heavy rains. Every time the bus moved to the side to pass oncoming traffic, we slide precariously close to the ditch on the side of the road. Unfortunately for me, I had an isle seat. A short fat Indian was practically sitting on my lap the three hours to the Tana River. There we got off the bus and as they drove it onto the river barge. We ended up helping to pull the barge across the river. After a break to fill up with gas, visit the banana and corn vendors and buy a few cookies at the dukas, we set out again.

This time I took a window seat but it wasn’t much better. The road was a little dryer and we made good time. Just outside of Malindi, we were stopped by a police road block. They were checking for overloaded buses, which ours was. All the people without a seat were told to get off and the driver was given a ticket. The bus later caught up with our thrown out passengers about a quarter mile down the road and they climbed back on the bus. So much for the law.

Malindi looks like a cross between Lamu and Mombassa. Our bandas are right on the ocean beach. For a shower and the use of the bar, we headed down the beach to the "Driftwood Club," very posh. After an expensive pizza dinner, we all finished with a few beers at the club.

Sunset over the Indian Ocean