In my experience most stop-overs could last for hours at a time, frustrating travellers and business people alike. If you’re making a connection via a new city this could be the perfect opportunity for you to quickly explore and see some sites. First, have a number you can call to make sure you don’t wander too far. The trick is to have enough time left to catch your plane, bus or train to your next destination. Second, be willing to walk around with heavy luggage incase there are no provisions for it.
Mombasa town was such a destination for me. And with two hours to spare I hopped onto the nearest tuktuk (the local means of transportation) and took a drive down to the various spots I had heard about and which I would recommend as well.
This was my first stop and with some guidance I made my way to some benches which were close to the waterfront. I got there just in time to overhear someone say a ship was coming in from the high seas. I sat down and took in the breeze and watched the ship come to dock as I nibbled on some snacks I bought from the local kiosks (shops)
Then buy madafu (coconut water) to wash it all down. Local dishes like biryani and samaki wa kupaka are some of the popular meals which you can eat at a fair price. Take time to savour your meal as you listen to the chatter around you.
It was getting closer to my departure time so I went in to pick some snacks for the journey back and to use the washrooms (eek!) but once I had sat down I had trouble going back to the sweltering heat. So I stayed a little while longer and finally looked for a tuktuk to take me to my next and last site.
I bumped into some Jamaicans who had just come from seeing the ruins and they readily recommended their tour guide. He was young enthusiastic college guy in a tight pair of jeans, white sneakers and a baggy khaki shirt. As we wandered round the ruins he spoke so fast and so half the time I had to read the history from the little placards they had placed in the different places. 🙂
The fort was built by Portuguese in 1593 then it was later used by the Arabs as a prison cells where slaves were kept in captivity before being shipped away.
Which were quite pricey even for a local or better yet take pictures for the gram (lol). They had some wood carvings, straw hats, beaded jewelry and colourful khangas. I bought a couple of beaded bangles and made my way back just in time to board a Nairobi-bound bus.
I was talking to a friend recently who told me I had missed out on so many good spots. I plan to travel deeper during more trips in the future.
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