“Andy, I’m coming down from the 26th to the 30th, do you have space at Stilts?”. “We’ve just had a cancellation; we have a tree house available for 27th to the 29th”. “Could you kindly book that for me!”
I had no idea how I was going to make it to Diani, but I knew I had to. With a very small budget, I couldn’t catch the train, I could have taken the bus, but I really didn’t want to go down alone. Spoke to friends driving down and there was space getting there but the only problem was that I HAD to be back in Nairobi on the 30th for the Kenya Nights NYE event at The Alchemist.
Luck struck and I got a FREE return ticket to Mombasa thanks to Larry and African Express Airways. Flight booked for arrival on the 27th and departure on 30th morning.
It’s December, and every last minute traveler is looking for space in Diani, I had a whole Tree House to myself at Stilts. Alone, I would have paid Kshs 1,800, with two people it drops down to 1,400 each or 3 people and you pay 1000 each. I asked on Nairobi Expact Social if anyone was looking for accommodation and my friend Nzech said he needed space (for the same dates) and he’s bringing a friend along. Sorted!
Day 1 – 27th Dec
Flew in! My awesome friend Tremayne picked me up from Moi International Airport and we drove down to Diani. Nzech and Anaar had already checked in at Stilts. It was so good to be back in the forest of Diani!
We hung out, played Phase 10 and then hit the beach, which, of course, was busy. It’s December! It was awesome swimming in the ocean and getting salt in my hair again & fresh Madafu on the beach! Had a drink later at 40 Thieves and walked back to Stilts.
Showered and changed. Met Wayne who’s volunteering there, taking care of things at Stilts. Dude’s got some awesome history (and tattoos!). Hung out at the bar/lounge area all evening. Meeting new people, had a great dinner, fed bush-babies, had Trem help me surprise Matt who flew in from Cape Town. Played another round of Phase 10 till about 1AM! Nzech, Anaar and I walked to 40 Thieves after. Place was filled with kids! Played a number of rounds of pool and then went back to Stilts at around 3AM.
Day 2 – 28th Dec
Got woken up by monkeys jumping around and bush-babies hanging out at the tree house. Banana Pancakes for breakfast and bottomless tea! Get a call from Bram saying if I wanted to hang out with Matt and them in the day, it would have to be today and not tomorrow as there would be too much of running around going on – preparing for the 6AM Beachlife gig for NYE and Be Distinctive on the 29th at Swahili Beach Resort.
Stilts have you sorted in every way possible. They have all the contacts! I asked for a boda-boda guy and I paid the smallest amount to go all the way to Sonrisa. Like Bram kept saying: if you think you’ve gone far enough, you haven’t. Just keep going.
Set up for the gig was going on while I hung out by the bar drinking a lot of water. Catching up with old friends and entertaining the interns. Spent all afternoon and evening at Sonrisa.
The night of course had to end at 40 Thieves. Finally got to meet up with Ritesh, Stephan and Islam. Danced till pretty late and must have gotten back to Stilts at around 4AM. Showered and slept.
Day 3 – 29th Dec
The last day of my stay and definitely my favourite day.
Anaar left for Nairobi. Nzech was in Diani for the Sirocco event at 40 Thieves, they brought down Problem Child from South Africa and I was in Diani to get some beach in my life, the Be Distinctive Event and friends.
Spent all morning and most of the afternoon hanging out at the bar/lounge at Stilts. Got to know some of the guests and spoke about very interesting stuff. After lunch I took off to Swahili Beach for the party and met up with Ritesh and the rest.
Matt and I went for dinner at Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant. We were both kinda dumbstruck, it’s a pretty neat place!
Went back to the Be Distinctive party, it shut down at around midnight then we all moved to 40 Thieves! Hung out there for a while. Matt went back to Sonrisa then Ritesh guys hung out for a bit and left because there were way too many kids around and I still wanted to dance. Luckily Nzech was still around. Then ran into Adrian and hung out till the sun rose.
Technically Day 4 – 30th Dec
Rushed back to Stilts, grabbed my stuff, said quick goodbyes to Wayne and Jane then bolted in a taxi to Mombasa to catch my flight with African Express Airways.
On days like these you’re happy for delays. One, you’re exhausted, two you lose your ticket somewhere at the airport and are happy to run into friends like Joe Muchiri who find your lost ticket for you without even asking and we flew the same airline! Joe and his buddy flew African Express because it was the cheapest flight leaving in the morning for Nairobi. I mean, paying Kshs. 6000 ($60) in December for a one way, that’s a deal!
I’m so grateful to Larry, African Express Airways, Tremayne, Andy at Stilts Backpackers, Nzech and Ritesh for making it an awesome trip! This was a lucky trip and one of my favourite trips to Diani because of how much I got back from it mentally and spiritually.