My flight for Mombasa was booked for the 29th of December 2011. Had been looking forward to the break for weeks. Had even given in my leave application at work a month before!
Thursday morning arrived and it was gloomy in Nairobi. Mum drove me down to the airport. My flight was at 10AM. Had to be at the airport an hour before. I was traveling alone. For the first time in my adulthood! Checked in. And the count down began!
Arrive in Mombasa at 11.10AM and was picked up by Riyaz, Farhan and Arif! Drove down in insane traffic to Likoni. Picked up my mate Fareen and got on to the ferry to cross over to paradise –DIANI!
Soon as I got to Diani I uninstalled Twitter from my BB. I had made a decision to go a on a digital detox! 😛 So we got to Diani around 1PM and got escorted by my high school mate Princess and her cousin to the place Fareen and I were going to stay at – Golf Apartments! EPIC PLACE! And PERFECT location! So we left our stuff over at the crib and went for lunch at Booksfirst! WORST PLAN EVER!!! We were STARVING and it took an hour for the food to be served and when we did get served the orders got messed up and that was a bad start to the Diani trip.
After munching we went dropped Fareen back to the crib and Riyaz, Farhan, Arif and I went over to 40 Thieves for the Kite Surfing Competition. Bumped into my brother Riz there. Unfortunately it was really cloudy and windy. Fortunate for the Kite Surfers I suppose. We wanted to go to Blue Marlin as Dj Drazen and Foozak & Frankie B were performing there. Jack Rooster had organized pre-warm up parties to the BIGGEST event of the year – BEACHLIFE NYE 2012 at Safari Beach Resort. So Arif and I decided to WALK ON THE BEACH and find the place. Hahahahahaha!It was a LONG WALK and we finally stopped to ask where Blue Marlin was and yup! There was no way you could get there whilst walking on the beach. It must have been 6PM by now and we were walking back to 40 Thieves. Walking back and we were in high tide. So we’re basically dragging ourselves back. That was quite the workout!
Regrouped with Farhan and Riyaz and made our way by car to Blue Marlin. It was practically in Galu and not Diani if you come to think about it! Got there and Riyaz had to order something to eat as our orders at Booksfirst got messed up. Hung around. Met Drazen, Jack, Foozak, Frankie and Riz came by too. Bumped into friends I went to Princeton with, Neel and his brother Rajiv. These were kids I used to baby sit! All taller than me now! *sigh* Fareen called said she was awake and we could pick her up. So we left Blue Marlin and went back to Golf. I had to change and the boys freshened up as well. Got ready and went for dinner at Leonardo’s! Once again, our orders got messed up. Actually, to be clear, it was only Riyaz’s orders that kept getting messed up. Poor guy. Anyway. Dinner ended with THE BEST ICE-CREAM EVER! Leonardo’s without a doubt has the best ice-cream in Diani!
After dinner we went over to 40 Thieves. WHAT A VIBE! Though it was filled with kids! The music was awesome. The atmosphere was just so incredible! Can’t even begin to name the amount of people I met there. It was kind of odd seeing almost everyone from Nairobi there, but it was expected! Thought we’d go check out Full Moon as Drazen had a gig there as well. Went over but it didn’t seem like such a vibe so went back to 40 Thieves. I think we got back to the crib at 4AM. The boys were meant to stay the night but they decided to drive back to the North. It was an interesting first day!
Woke up in Diani. Now it hit me! The fun was YET to begin. Got up. Freshened up. Fareen was still sleeping. I decided to go for a swim. The pool was kinda cold. Was sort of cloudy so didn’t get much of a tan. Didn’t want one anyway (like a brown person would wanna get even “browner”). I finished my swim then Fareen went for one. Lol. It was funny, we both seemed to be doing our own thing. Later on we went to THE BEST RESTAURANT IN DIANI – ANIELLO’S ITALIAN RESTAURNAT! OH MY GOD!!! He has THE BEST pizza and pasta EVER!!! Bumped into Satie. Hung out for a while with him as well. Fareen and him apparently went to school together. Lol. Small world. Went back to the crib. Chilled out. And waited for the sun to set. Made chocolate milkshake. Then decided to head over to Blue Marlin’s. Got there and unfortunately the gig never even took place. So we ended up having dinner there then headed over to 40Thieves. Bumped into WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE!!! But the vibe was different as well. The crowd seemed older compared to the previous night. Which obviously was a good thing. But again, we didn’t stay there for too long. We just had a few drinks (Orange Juice for me) and walks on the beach. A bit of dancing and that was it. On my way back to the crib Linda Hobson wrote to me asking if I could PLEASE help her out during the 6:AM BEACHLIFE NYE 2012 event. I wasn’t too sure at first but then I agreed.
Got up early. Had a quick bite and tuk tuk’d my way to Safari Beach Hotel. Set up for the event was taking place. It must have been around 10AM. The mornings at the coast are something else. There’s nothing more calm and relaxing than that anywhere in the world. Had a quick meeting. And agreed to meet up later in the evening again. We were hosting the VIP section for the event. I really don’t remember much of what I did that day. Hahaha. I know Riyaz guys had planned a trip to Wasini Island and we had offered them to pass by the crib to freshen up for the event and all by then. But I left that upon Fareen because I was leaving earlier than everyone else. Also I managed to get Fareen into the VIP section. Connections baby! 😛 Anyway. I left the crib around 5PM. Satie offered to drop me at Safari Beach. On the way I had to pick up the VIP voucher from Riz and had to do some shopping for the event as well. Got there and it was chilled. Was right in time to catch the beginning of the event. Jack Rooster played from 6-9PM. AMAZING SET!!!!!!!!!!! The crowd started to build up. The vibe was awesome. A colourful night. Different races. All came together in the name of music. Met an Iranian couple who were buzzing like mad and were just soooooooo excited to be in Kenya for the first time and fell in love with the place! Riz and I got to chill for a while as well. We called up mum and spoke to her. Riz of course was covering the entire event. So I knew I wouldn’t be able to communicate much with him even though we would be “seeing” each other around. The only time he really came up to me was when he need water or an energy drink (because I was allowed to have drinks without paying :P)
Galivia took over the dance floor after Jack Rooster. She had a killer set! Crowd was still building up. I’m juggling between hosting the VIP section and meeting my friends and enjoying the music. The stars of the night walked in and I was their host. Solarity (Nick and Alfie) from London, UK and Hisham Zahran from Egypt. It was cool that Hisham remembered me from all my tweets 😛 We’d spoken and number of times. Nice build up 😛 I love however how they didn’t have a diva attitude. They were so relaxed and were so happy to mingle with the crowd as well. A lot of the people in the crowd didn’t even realize that Solarity or Hisham just walked right by them. They were that chilled out. They made their way to the stage because you know it’s only going to get better when Dj Drazen takes over! Drazen ear raped the crowd. FLIPPING HELL his set was INCREDIBLE!!! I HAD to get out of VIP and join the other side to usher in the New Year. Luckily found all my friends. And we did the count down together. EPIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hisham Zahran from Egypt took over from 12-2AM. Chilled out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3o_9bpPW0A&list=UUSiKMrVAGLANm9uxdyEY8JQ&index=4&feature=plcp
Kenya’s favorite DJ K took over after Hisham and as always, he never failed to impress. By now everyone’s over hyped. And just wanting more. A definite crowd pleaser was Foozak & Frankie B. These 2 NAILED the crowd! Plus we HAD to love the beach balls being thrown around in the air. That was fun but getting sand in your eyes, not so fun. Best known for playing the Sunrise Sets, Dj Barney Barrow took over from 4-5 and shocked the crowd with his versatile set. It wasn’t the usual Barney Barrow set. And of course, the crowd responded better than we all expected. The highlight HAD TO BE Solarity’s set from 5-7AM. The sunrise was BEAUTIFUL http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ueCb3M-ksI&list=UUSiKMrVAGLANm9uxdyEY8JQ&index=1&feature=plcp
Got to the crib, Fareen was knocked out cold. I freshened up, packed my bags, and then knocked out. Didn’t sleep for too long though. I just stayed in bed all day. Fareen went to swim and chilled by the pool to get a tan. Later in the evening we decided to try out an overrated Chinese Restaurant. So we tuk tuk’d it. Wasn’t too far. Was just up the road (well everything in Diani is just up the road lol). Wasn’t toooooo bad. But Nairobi has better Chinese Food for sure! Must have been 10PM by now. And The tuk tuk guy decided to bail on us. So we walked around the area (it was well lit up). Checked out some hotels (from the outside) and then called a cab. Got back to the crib. Decided to chill by the pool. Dipped are legs in. And talked for a while. Plotting our next day. I love how usually the 2nd of Jan nothing much really happens! Hahahaha!
Sad times. The day to leave Diani and go to North Coast was here. We had planned to do breakfast with Princess. Fareen woke up late (she was gonna do her infamous cheese omlettes). We ran out of bread and eggs so Princess and I walked to Nakumatt and bought some. The clouds decided to disappear. I guess we left them in 2011. So thanks for the awkward tan on my arms only!!! After breakfast Fareen and I decided to go to Leaopard’s Beach Resort. WOW! That is one incredible hotel! We were trying to kill time and figure out how we’re gonna get to the other side of the coast and where we were going to stay. Made enough phone calls and luckily got space at the Aga Khan Cottages in North Coast. BEACH FRONT on Bamburi Beach! OH YEAH!!!! 😛 We had to check out as well and obviously couldn’t walk around with our massive suitcases! Left our stuff in Princess’s office and from there went for our last meal to Aniello’s L Princess and her 2 cousins joined us. That was a nice afternoon. Said bye to Aniello and luckily Princess’s cousin offered to frop us till the ferry. Which was fair enough coz from there we were sorted. The drive was hilarious. We had a flat! Luckily we realized we had a puncture right next to a “garage” (please don’t make me expalain this so called garage! Lol). Changed the tyre and headed to the ferry. Got to the ferry and WHOA!!! TRAFFIC! So they drop us at the ferry and we’re trying to figure out where we’re gonna find a cab or a tuk tuk. We couldn’t go an as pedestrians because of our suit cases. While Fareen was saying bye to Princess and her cousins, I spotted an empty tuk tuk going into the ferry. I screamed out of shock. As I knew what we were going to do next is going to be quite a scene. Waved BYE to the 3 ladies and Fareen and I RAN towards the ferry. Me, in my sundress, flying away, looked like a balloon from behind and dragging our suitcases! Asked the tuk tuk guy if we could board and he said sure! We must have taken half an hour to cross as there was a lot of traffic. Now, normally, it would cost 60 Kenya Shillings to pay for the ferry and maybe 100 to use the guys ferry. After crossing he asked for 600!!!!!!!!!!! Fareen and I lost it! Argued with the man for the longest time!!! And ended up giving him half of what he asked for. Honestly, that was really stupid of him. I think that’s the only one pissy thing about going to the coast. They always treat you like a foreigner no matter how much Swahili you speak or even after flashing your Kenyan National ID!ANYWAY!!! Got picked up by a cab that’s usually available at the Aga Khan Cottages. Cabby’s name was Ali. Really nice, decent, old man. Got to the cottages after the longest drive! CHECKED IN!!! Unpacked. FINALLY got to have a HOT SHOWER!!!In Diani there was no heater or instant water heater. I don’t believe in oh it’s hot so you should have a cold shower. You have to fight heat with heat.If you haven’t tried it, please do! TRUST ME! You’ll feel fresher after. So the evening flew by. And we left for Il Covo at around 10PM. There wasn’t much to please the tummy on their menu (that we hadn’t already had in Diani) so we decided to go with plain old burgers! Later were joined by Fareen’s friend Aneez who randomly bumped into her. And another friend Khaled joined us as well. After dinner and a few drinks for them, he headed up to the Il Covo club. We partied till 4AM!!! It was AWESOME!!!
Woke up at 6.30! Had to repack whatever I had unpacked. My suitcase zipper broke! But I was in a hurry as I had to meet my friend’s mum for breakfast! I call her Mama because she’s like my second mum. But you can call her Yasmin Aunty J Ran over to Whitesands Hotel for breaky. Hadn’t seen mama in such a long time! Talk about changes! Had the heartiest breakfast for the first time throughout my stay at the coast. I didn’t have much time as my flight back to Nairobi was at 11AM. So wound up breakfast by 9. Ran back to the cottages. Used a rope to tie up my suitcase(LOL! How embarrassing. Looked like I was going from upcountry to Nairobi). Ali was spot on on time to take me to the airport. Said bye to Fareen L Her flight was later in the afternoon. We tried changing flights to go back at the same time, but weren’t lucky enough. Got to the airport. Checked in. And waited for the flight back to Nairobi. Sitting at the airport I get a text from a UK number! Dj Pinkz had arrived in Mombasa the day I was leaving! HOW did I manage to miss the guy twice in 2 years at the coast? Unbelievable! Hahaha! Planned to meet up in Nairobi then. Boarded my flight. Luckily the skies were clear and I got an epic view of Mount Kilimajaro! Landed in Nairobi and mum’s first question was… What happened to your suitcase!
I had an awesome time in Diani and North Coast! Totally looking forward to the end of 2012 already! 😀
LINKS TO BEACHLIFE NYE [by Rizwan Ibrahim]