Day 12 (September 21, 2013)   Mombasa


Mombasa Southern coast

   This could take a tour to Kisite marine National Park for this day, including swimming with dolphins and snorkeling in Wasini Island. We could make the transfer to Mombasa to be included, as the lunch is.

   We’ll try to see the highlights of the city before going to rest.

   If we're finally not going to any tour we would look for a transfer to Mombasa and would explore the city.

   The night is going to be short as our flight to Istanbul is scheduled for leaving at 4:10 AM.

   The spots marked at map are:

 0- Hotel Papillion Lagoon Reef
 1- Kisite Marine National Park
 2- Mombasa


Papillion Lagoon Reef   
   We’re breaking our fast and saying good bye to these buffet meals around 9 AM. The only thing to do next in this resort is taking our baggage to the reception desk and checking out and leave. There is from where I call our driver to let him know our deal is still up. Then we check out and pay 900 ksh by the T-shirt we bought in the gift store and remove our magic bracelets which give us right to everything here.

   Our car arrives late, around 10:30 AM, and the driver blames the lines for the ferry for it, but we don’t care as we don’t have any rushes for today.

   The trip is like the one the day before yesterday: straight between palm trees until Likoni ferry. This time we’re not as lucky as the previous one and we must join a log line through Likoni market, which we watch from the car.

Likoni market
Likoni marketLikoni market

   The amount of vehicles in the line makes us wait for more than one ferry to get full before our turn comes, as an example of what our driver’s explained.

   This time we don’t leave the car until it parks, once in Mombasa, after a fence, in an area belonging to New Palm Tree Hotel. We deal with our friend he will pick us up at 5 AM for the trip to the airport by 2000 ksh. It seems too much but as we’re happy with him I just get his agreement of the tip being included there.
Our room in New Palm Tree
   The hotel is close to the city downtown and from outside it is a building just as the others in the street. This is the least touristic of all the hotels of this travel and when it was booked we were looking for a place to leave the baggage and resting before going to the airport, but after the change in the flight time we’re going to sleep here and the room is valid for that too.

   We go out for a walk and explore the city. My thought is to find the petrol station I just see from the car before reaching the hotel because it is a Pizza Inn in it and, since Naivasha we want to eat pizza.

   Somehow, walking is complicated on these streets which recall us the ones in Cambodia: peeled sidewalks, puddles, mud… and the streets are full of tuk tuks!

   When I’m thinking about getting one of these tuk tuks as we’re not finding the station, it appears after a turn.

Streets of Mombasa downtown

   Inside, it is very clean and there are two restaurants, one pharmacy and a supermarket looking pretty modern. We ask to the pharmacy about something to treat the burnings we’re bringing from Diani but we’re sent to a Nekumatt supermarket far from here. Here, we’re interested mainly on eating and we get a pizza with coke menu by 750 ksh which we share.

   Before leaving the place we do some small shopping in the supermarket. Then we go back outside to the street, looking after some pictures with the tusks. But after some roundabouts and crowded streets we are not finding them. I know they’re in Moi Avenue, and I think we’re in the right street but, as there are no signs for the street names, I cannot confirm. When we are in the entrance of a big supermarket we get in because Eva is looking for local coffee to bring to home. We find a pharmacy in the lower floor where we buy some special cream for burnings looking better than an after-sun.

Mombasa downtown buildingStreet of Mombasa

   We’re sick of walking the streets without knowing where we are so, when leaving the building, I ask to the closest tuk tuk how much is going to be a quick stop in the tusks and then going to Fort Jesus from there. As he answers 150 ksh I don’t bargain and we get into it.

   We weren’t in Moi Avenue, but in a street parallel to it. We do some pictures with tusks and our driver offers for helping us with the photos for the couple photos.

Tuk tuk ride by MombasaMombasa's tusks

   Then we do the trip to the fort and I give a 200 ksh bill to our driver, saying good bye while taking the way up to the entrance from this sort of circled and closed square, with drinks and souvenirs shops all around.

   I'm surprised by the most expensive ticket for a monument in this travel: 1200 ksh per person, but we pay for it as this is the only visit for this city and the last one in Kenya. We refuse any offering for guide, though.

   The entrance goes to a huge courtyard with palm trees and only one restored building, the rest of them are wearing a layer of years with peculiar colors going from red to dark.

History of Fort JesusFort Jesus courtyard

Fort Jesus

   But it is by exploring the corners of this place when we enjoy the visit and take a lot of pictures which demonstrated how photogenic this historical place is. Some rooms of the buildings are with some trivial objects in display and others are still showing tracks of how they looked like in the times of yore with their original wall paintings.

Hall in Fort JesusFort Jesus buldings

   Very characteristic of this place are also its walls with canyons and sea views.

Fort Jesus canyonsFort Jesus walls by the seaViews from Fort Jesus

   We get into the gift shop where the man shows us, as if it was a mystery, the place was used as kitchen. But we finally buy nothing in there as it is an expensive place.

Fort Jesus canyonGift shop in Fort Jesus

   When we leave the fort we’re having in mind this is the end of our travel in Kenya. A short tuk tuk ride takes us back to the hotel, where we rest connected through their free wireless. Although the signal is only stable out of the room, in the courtyard they have in this second and last floor.

Return tuk tuk trip to hotelViews from Hotel New Palm tree's courtyard

   The hard rain makes us be back in our room and, when we go downstairs for some diner in the hotel they tell us restaurant is closed. It is 8:30 PM, what time do they diner here!? As we don’t want to go outside we order to the take away place in front of the reception desk a couple of each of the two kinds of pastries they have: balls and triangles. They have a specific name, but I cannot tell them.

   We take our diner on the bed and go to sleep early as we must be ready at 5AM.