Jeanette and I went into Mombasa on the shuttle , looked around for a Tuk tuk…. (those three wheeled vehicles that you see in all the poorer countries), after walking for less than3 minutes. Reason being it was so, so,sooooo very hot and steamy. OMG the thought of walking around in it was unbearable. Anyway we bartered with a young man to take us around the city for an hour for 20USD for the two of us. He wanted 50 to start. We have found in previous places, that they expect to be paid for each passenger….different than at home. There were lots of “security” on the street (but with no guns that I saw). The place was crawling with people,people eking out a living with fruit and vegetable stall(tin shacks), some clothes stalls too but the streets were piled with garbage wherever you looked. It was disgusting! There was nothing worth seeing that I could see….. no redeeming qualities whatsoever. A couple of times while on the tuk tuk, I had some temporary scary thoughts. Once was when he ran out of gas. I thought maybe this is where he demands more money or he wouldn’t take us back to where he had picked us up. No…… but he had to push it a ways to the gas station to fill up. The other time I had the thought that he was take us to god knows where and then would be demanding more money to take us back. “Same same but only different”. We did do an excursion in the afternoon to Haller Park….. previously a quarry turned into a nature park. On the way there our guide pointed out the area that we drove through, describing it as the area that the “capitalist” live in, having their own shops, grocery stores, schools, yadda, yadda. That, I am sure because their own residences are shamefully disgusting. Oh yes, the streets have speed bumps every 100 feet or so. Incredibly annoying and jarring. First animal we saw after arriving at the park, was a hippo named Leo that the guide called. He came from across the pond but not really close. There where was a huge tortoise about 150 yrs old, we saw couple of elands, several oryx (beautiful colouring), water buffalo, herds of giraffes that I/we fed (they have 18 inch tongues)and at 4 pm, the hippos came out of the water and waddled across the field to be fed. Huge,huge, fat bodies on stubby legs….. you got to wonder how they manage to hold themselves up. The water buffalos, Eland’s, oryx’ and monkeys all ate together with them. Very cool! Well I guess Mombasa does have one plus.
Once back to the pier there were men and women selling handcrafts. Beautiful work, wood… giraffes, elephants. Should have bought but I’m not sure we could carrying them in our luggage. Maybe later we’ll get another chance.