We finally got out of Nairobi. Ella and Ken's place is so luxurious that it got quite comfortable and made it literally hard to get out of our comfort zone.
Last night we took the big coach overnight bus to the Indian Ocean coast town of Mombasa. We were picked up by a reserved taxi driver who took us to a short ferry ride and then down the south coast a short distnace to the town of Tiwi. Ella and Ken have stayed at this little resort, the Swahili House and recommended it so we landed here this morning at 7:30 am. The roomrate includes your own private chef so after a quick coffee we made up a grocery list, encouraging him to cook in the local style which is Swahili-coastal seafood with Arab flavoring.
Lunch made us realize that we had hit it big. Calamari salad and fruit. Humphrey the chef, said he cleans the whole calamari, retaining the 'wings' for flavor, salts and peppers and cuts up. He pan sears which releases liquid. Then he add this with pan juices to marinade. Olive oil, lemon juice, cilantro, black pepper. Then fries again. It was served on a bed of lettuce, avocado, thin sliced cukes and tomatoes. Huge serving too! We are going to gain some weight here. But we're only here for four days.
And then dinner. Fish,something like swordfish steak (Koli Koli) in coconut sauce . Marinade fish(same as above), saute garic, onion, then add coconut cream. Garnish with cilantro and lemon zest. Sauted eggplant, beans and onions. Equally good. This was servced on rice. Fruit for topper.
Humphrey says:Food is a love letter from God.
Just so we don't forget. Yesterday we had for lunch,cream of vegetable soup with a salad. For dinner the remainder of the Koli Ko serve with a tomato sauce (using many of the same flavors like garlic, onion, ginger, lime zest) He accompanied the fish wiith roast potatoes and sauted spinach.
Today we had cream of spinach soup for lunch(he said he doesn't need a broth since spinach has a lot of water in it. He addd garlic, onion and alittle mik. The main course for lunch was lemongrass prawns, again marinaded with the typical flavors but added finely diced fresh lemongrass, sauted and served over fried potato cubes.
You'd think all we do is eat. But we did go to Shimba National Park where we were virtually guaranteed to see elephants, so wedid'nt see any. Last week they were seen by the dozens. So it goes when you are in a park versus a zoo. Beautiful terrain though. Pines and eucalyptus, figs and acacias covered the hills up to 1/2 kilometer in height.
Yata's also been writing music. He has a new hit based on something Humphrey said: fish swim three times.....
I've been drawing and painting with watercolor; flowers, landscapes and people.
This resort, a little rustic place called Swahili House, is so wonderful. Reminds us a bit of our favorite spot in Mexico, Villa Los Mapaches, in Holbox, only it's actually even more relaxing and more pampering. Temperature is even comfortable in short sleeves out door at night, with a light sea breeze. Very few mosquitos due to the dry weather.
We are so priveleged, it's good to remember this.
Our last day at Swahili House. After a light breakfast we went with our guide Evanß to swim in the big tide pool that is shaped like the map of Africa. It's about as big as the Durand swimming pool. It had a few types of coral'a brain coral and another a pinkish brown crenelated wit lighter tips. It was a habitat new to us, but similar to Hawaii's tide pools.
We came back hungrey and Humphrey did not disappoint us. Cold Avocado lemon soup, prawns and fish in coconut cream sauce with a salad,rice and veggies.