Saturday, February 17, 2018

First Two Weeks in Moshi, Trip to Shimoni Kenya

The Smugglers Bar, or as they say, Smugglass Bar--No CREDIT in large letters

john Bob and I show the NO CREDIT sign at Smugglers
Our trip to Kenya was a bit incredible.  We started at home of course and after an hour of familiar driving got through immigration with no problems except something about the printer being broken and Bob needing a paper about his car insurance.
This is immigration Taveta.  Very new.
Our next stop was the policeman and his nails.  He wanted to see all our papers but really made little effort to question us.
For some reason I could only think of the Christmas Carol (the babe the son of mary-3rd verse)
We entered Tsavo National park and were in heaven for the next hour.  Excellent road lots of wildlife

Entering the Tsavo West


And cross they did

Elephants of Tsavo

Giraffe so graceful

Hartebeeste and zebra group hanging out together

Lilac Breasted Roller just hanging out on a sign

Ostrich Pair loving life

oops Zebra Crossing

Zebra wondering---who are these white people?
We had actually left Tsavo and were in Taita Hills when we cam upon a group of Kudu
Sadly we had to join the Nairobi to Mombasa Highway after the lovely Taveta Road, and it is all it is cracked up to be, huge lorries bumper to bumper, smell of diesel making you nauseated, diversions because they are always having to work on the road, but some interesting things to see like the brand new Nairobi to Mombasa Railroad.
Bars are one of my favorite things but the road was so bumpy that it was nearly impossible to get a decent shot off even with a fast camera.  But here is one bar which I liked because it was next to a group of camels (the pictures of them were not very good) and as John said "Karibu Brucellosis!" This is a disease that you get from drinking raw camel's milk.  It is a favorite thing for Bedoins to drink and back in the Saudi Days, John was always invited to the desert to drink camel's milk by his patients.
Note the site Cameral Bar

We had been advised to avoid the Mombasa Ferry (which we intended to do anyway) but to take a different road.  They called it the Taru Road.  And as far as I can tell we were lost for hours on different road paths, but we knew we would get out of it somehow! 
What the Hell!

Yea a town

We think we joined another road, the Samburu Road - who knows?
Alls well that ends well.  We arrived at our destination, the Shimoni Reef Lodge which is pictured here from the bay.  It is luxurous compared with anything else in Shimoni and we did have 3 good dinners and lovely views.
View of our lodge from the bay
The first day of fishing was fun at times, boring at others but I am told that this is the nature of deep sea fishing.
Bob's first Marlin tagged

Striped Marlin close

Bob's sailfish

John's Sail Fish

John's sailfish2

John Fishing

John had a big marlin strike and suddenly Bob had a big Sailfish strike.  Saddies, John's marlin was able to shake its hook after 30 long minutes and Bob got his sailfish right in! We stopped at the Smugglers Bar, and you note the pictures.
This is not a very good picture of the three of us who had been waylaid by a guy we thought worked at the bar but was just a guy hanging out at the bar waiting for tourists to come and pay him to guide them through Shimoni town (a town about the size of whatever the smallest town in the US is.)

People coming on board the Pilli Pepa Boat.

Coral Island of Wasini
Look carefully and you will see a man walking along from the small island


Fishermen in Dhau
I had unfortunately not been able to get my little underwater camera to work so my snorkeling experience I can only vouch for was terrific.  I saw so many fish that I wish Jay Garbose had been there to tell me what I was seeing.  The coral was terrible, much worse than two years ago, but the fish were everywhere and it was a joy to watch.  After we snorkled, the dolphin came as if they had figured out it was time for them to come.  The show was amazing.  Here are just a few pictures.

Dophin everywhere.  After we said good bye to them we went to the Pilli Pepa Lodge where we were treated to a delicious seafood meal.  I was lucky to have my waiter take a really nice picture of me, and show off the food.  There was one dish--the seaweed dish that tasted like the crunchy Kale recipe.  It was incredible.  It is remarkable how there is much reliance on Coconut mild as a staple for mixing with nearly everything including rice.
Happy Trish

When we returned to Shimoni, I walked down to the place where the Hemphills live and waited for the boys to come back.  When they did, they brought part of a Dorado for dinner, and reveled in the tales of being in the middle of wild sailfish and marlin for almost 2 hours.  They had strike after strike and at one point Simon (who is the real fisherman) said that he couldn't figure out what was on whose line because one fish would pick it up and another would take the line away.  He made a statement to John--well there's your sail fish and it was a marlin when it came in.  Same thing happened to Bob.  They were so enthusiastic that clearly they are ready for another trip next year.  We shall see.

This may be the first day bob marlin or Sail fish

We had the Dorado for dinner and had a lovely chat up with our manager and waiter.  The end of a perfect weekend.

beautiful sunset

Coming home was exhausting though efficient.  I only took one picture and that was a better picture of the old Baobaob near Himo.  We were stopped by police 3 times in Kenya on the way back and they were not very nice this time.  Wanted to see all Bob's papers, argued with him about them, and argued about me lying in the back seat of the car.  We had righteous indignation about it all and the finally let us go each time.  Those nails again.  Going through immigration was a breeze except that John had gotten sunscreen in his eyes and was in utter misery the whole last half of the trip.  Here is the Baobaob to say Good-bye Shimoni until we meet again.