I’ve always had the feeling that Kilifi as a holiday destination is under explored, under mentioned, under advertised. Maybe because I’m guilty of relegating it to the back of my mind, always zooming past it on my way to other destinations further North. The beautiful town comes off as unfairly drowned in the hype of Mombasa, Malindi and Diani as coastal holiday destinations.
But its a beach town like any other and is well represented when it comes to beautiful hide aways. Tucked just 6 Km from Kilifi bridge for example is the comely Bofa Beach Resort. Set within a small grove of indigenous trees, the resort offers a new kind of experience with spacious walk-in canvas tents with twin/queen-size beds, private bathrooms, overhead cooling fans and private verandas.
You might be under whelmed when you arrive at the Bofa Beach Resort’s parking lot because its all gravel with little else in sight. But once you make your way past the reception, a lush green area hosting 12 tents and 2 fully furnished self catering studio apartments awaits you.
Though parts of the resort are still under construction, its fully functional and one can already see how spectacular the end result will be. The owner cleverly opted to kill two birds with one stone by having tents as guest quarters. One, the canvas tents are a unique and welcome experience. You simply zip up your house and sleep. Two, he has not distressed the property with the rigours of heavy construction, therefore leaving the trees and greenery mostly untouched. Other than giving the place an outdoorsy feel, this has the distinct effect of toning down the sweltering heat of the Coast.
The resort does not operate a beach bar but with the beach just 5 minutes away by foot, it (beach bar) can be created on request. What they do have however are submerged bar stools at the swimming pool which is close to the main bar, restaurant, conference room and kitchen. For your sipping pleasure as you swim.
For those who are into small intimate outdoor events, there is an excellent event venue on one side of the resort. A nice little garden with well tended grass and beautiful flowers.
When I visited Bofa, lunch was a platter of smoked pork, deep friend potatoes and assorted julienne vegetables. Simple and really delicious.
Pocket friendly is Bofa Beach Resort. Kshs.3,500/- per day for a studio apartment and Kshs.2,000/- for a tent.
See Also: Rays Place Kericho
My name is urm…. Shiko and I’m a recovering kitchen gadget freak. I’m that girl with a butcher knife and a heavy duty 8 inch behemoth of a meat cleaver in her kitchen drawers. I seem to have learnt well from some of my older sisters. I won’t say I’ve wasted but I did spend my hard earned cash on gadgets whose frequency of use comes nowhere near justification for the money spent and the space they occupy.
Looking back, I’ll admit that in some cases, to a large extent I was driven more by aesthetics and rave than functionality. The mental picture of a kitchen counter with a sparkling clean array of gadgetry was a constant in my mind since young days. And buy I did. I spent more time and money actualizing my dream than I spent being a girl! Yes I see the irony in there somewhere.
Alas! Buying and using are two different things! Otherwise explain why I use a mortar and pestle while I have a gadget to pulverize garlic and ginger in seconds? Explain why I would manually chop onions right next to an electronic chopper? Or next to the 40 function thingamabob that was all the rave some time back? The one that chopped, diced and julienned your onions, cabbages, beets, carrots and finger tips to perfection? The one that gained you time in chopping and lost you double time in cleaning tightly packed blades and crevices?
It didn’t take me too long or too much financial damage to realize that I’m no gourmet chef after all and that a good all rounder knife or two would do. That even without scales and numerous measuring cups, I can just eye ball my cooking ingredients and still come up with good food.
Not too long ago I went on a mad back to basics de-cluttering offensive and offloaded a lot of gadgetry to another unfortunate but only too happy victim of my kitchenalia. But I kept a few gems. In the end the most useful companions in my kitchen are nifty little pieces some of which cost less than 200 bob.
I kept a tea bag squeezer. Flashback, the day I came across it in a shop I almost squealed in delight. Not that I’m a commercial tea bag squeezer but I partake of herbal infusions here and there and squeezing tea bags (untagged especially) is such a chore! For the first few days I did get a little over enthusiastic with the squeezing yes. I almost had a teeth gritted squeeze fest for all the antics I’d been to to squeeze scalding tea bags.
I kept a pineapple corer. No I do not eat pineapples for a living. Infact I do not eat them much. My justification for having one is directly proportional to my abhorrence for peeling and coring pineapples. Petty you think? Listen, cored pineapple rings are really cool. And how else do you core a pineapple?
I kept my pizza cutter because I’ve never mastered the art of making thin pizza. My home made pizza is usually piled so high with toppings that it needs a new name. Now try cutting through a mountain of lose corn, mushrooms and such with a regular knife. Once in a blue moon.
I kept an egg slicer because I use it a lot.
I kept my egg separator because its cute and yellow and is so rarely used its still new.
I’m not done kitchen shopping. I can’t promise that if I come across a recipe that calls for cubed eggs I’ll not rush to the shops for an egg cuber. Also, I could do with something that can vacuum zap seeds out of water melons.
There is such a thing as a butter spreader. No, that I won’t be buying.
Whether you’re commuting to work or going to visit family, the time that you spend traveling racks up over the years. This is an unavoidable way that your time gets taken up and therefore I believe that you should make the most of it. After all, its the time when you are free to think about things, or to work on projects, as long as they are small and portable. The way that you take advantage of this time is up to you, as it really depends on what interest you and what is going on in your life. If you are traveling by yourself, you can even simply spend some time alone with your thoughts, which can be a very fulfilling experience.
It is also a good idea to bring something to keep you busy, especially on long journeys. While on many forms of transportation, you won’t be able to take part in a lot of your hobbies like playing partypoker or painting. However, there are many other things that you can do. Bring that book you have always been meaning to read and somewhere within the eight or nine hour journey, you will find the time to make a significant dent in the pages. Or, you could simply listen to some great music that you have been wanting to devote a good amount of time to.
Traveling also gives you a great opportunity to catch up on work you have been meaning to do. It can be hard to use a laptop in a cramped seat but there is no reason why you can’t bring a notepad and just start scribbling down ideas. You have time free anyway, so why not take advantage of it and be productive, and you will reach your destination feeling productive and positive.
1. The day my sister learnt that the reverse of an ointment cap is used to pierce the seal. Close to a week later she was still shaking her head. She vowed to purchase 100 ointments and have a teeth-gritted puncture fest for all her 30 years and 3 kids of using all manner of crude weapons. Including twigs.
2. The day someone, a manual car driver tried out an automatic for the first time, balancing non existent levers and wondering what the heck.
3. The day my Mum first saw, nay, experienced Google earth and transformed before my very eyes into this excited little girl. We ‘visited’ homesteads in the neighborhood plus schools and shopping centers further afield. The new road right up to the point where it’s yet to be completed, the new block of classrooms in the nearby school, the Catholic Church academy under construction, and look! Wakinyua’s new tank! Wakinyua’s new tank! All this was before street view where she flipped on arrival. Needless to say.
4. The day this otherwise very out there chap in the office was frantically looking for a camera to photograph his computer screen, to capture an error message for when IT arrived from lunch. I was witness to his face palm moment when he learnt of prt scr. He has never heard the end of it because he has since accepted his new nick name. Print Screen.
5. The jubilant day I completed a two thousand piece jigsaw puzzle. It took me about a month of near complete obsession and hawk eyed vigilance on my little nephew whose sole purpose at that point in life was to misplace a piece here and chew on a piece there. Begging, cajoling and outright bribing was already half the challenge! He danced about and lifted his little hands with me when ‘we’ finally made it.
6. This article right here: This is a comp and this is a mouse. Especially the comment about moving the monitor to center the cursor.
7. Back in the day well before vibrating phones were the norm, a friend’s vibrated in her pocket in a packed matatu – pressed against some guy’s thigh. He contorted this frightened bewildered face, stopped the matatu in a panic, alighted and literally ran away very fast. We were unable to guess what might have gone through his poor head. Dude must have thought it was a bomb about to go off.
8. When my village thought I had joined the army. They didn’t ask, just assumed that anyone who wears military looking garb is in the army and then kept the rumour going. It has since been dispelled I believe.
9. The day they, family, took away my rubiks apparently because the sheer obsession was threatening to interfere with my mental faculties. Ok, homework and household chores too but that is not what they said. They said “it will drive her nuts”
Someone asked me where we people living in the holiday destination that is Mombasa take our breaks. Personally, sometimes I stick to the coast but mostly I go to the hills and green of upcountry. This time round, my good friend Travel Guru pointed me to Ray’s Place in Kericho. As far as simple get aways go, this place ranks tops for me.
Ray’s is all that. Serene, enchanting, quaint. The view from the terrace is an entrancing panorama of Tinderet and Nandi Hills in the far horizon. To the East is magnificent South West Mau, and closer home are disciplines upon disciplines of tea bushes. The air is fresh and crisp.
Ray’s is about 265 Kms from Nairobi. Part of the road branching off to Kericho from the Nakuru-Eldoret highway is currently under construction and at some point there’s a torturous one hour drive through a diversion but that should be no dampener. It snakes through beautiful countryside and other than get all grumpy about it, one can opt to take it as part of the adventure.
I’m a no frills person and simplicity was my first attraction on arrival at Ray’s. There’s nothing cushy or glamorous about the place. It’s a 1948 built country house that has mostly been left unmodified. With wooden floors, basic furniture, barely there decor and a log fireplace beside which I started scribbling this article, I felt totally at peace.
Ray’s has just 5 rooms to its name, hence service so casual and so demystified that you can walk up to the chef and ask for a pot of tea. Guests and staff, including the Manager and said Chef are pretty much family. In the evenings it’s not unusual to see them congregate around the common fireplace in the living room to watch TV and sip on what Kericho produces best – Kenyan tea.
It’s not all about tea though. For those who prefer other beverages, there is a well and fully stocked bar.
The vast well manicured gardens and surrounding green and scenery makes Ray’s a perfect location for weddings, after which you could very well have your honeymoon right there and spend your wedding evening gazing at your lover’s eyes at the fireplace.
Being a cold area, it’s just the place for those curled up with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate moments. And much more depending.
I love long distance day bus travels. It means stopping and having a moment, nay, having upwards of 8 hours of uninterrupted me time to read, sleep, wake up, moot ideas, ruminate over then, sleep, wake up, read some more and ruminate some more. It means taking time to come back to basics, appreciate nature and country, spot a few trees and shrubs and try to remember their names from Science and Agriculture class. I might even pleasantly catch myself staring in awe at the clouds and noticing that alas! there have been cute, fluffy, and sometimes mysterious formations in the sky all these years!
Seriously though, I get to get completely spaced out, or give enough brain time to issues past and present and I like that. Ether way it helps clear my mind even more than is the case at the beach which I tend to take completely for granted. The only other place I’m able to space out like that is upcountry in the village.
I guard my me time jealously and this is the one time I allow myself to be a snob. In most cases, and without having to utter a word past greetings, my neighbor knows that we shall not be discussing the Middle East, the rise and fall of the Kenyan shilling, or calculating how much the bus company makes per trip. When they that met their best friends and future husbands in the bus are counted, my hand will most likely be down. But that does not mean I cannot help a child struggling with a seat belt! Or anyone else for that matter.
So many hours with a clear mind and nowhere to go cements my patience. I could very well listen to Celine Dione’s heart go ooooooon and oooooooooon. I might even sing along who knows.
I’ll not be the one struggling to scribble or balance a laptop to type in a moving bus but a few of my blog posts have taken shape and been given enough brain time during some of these travels. Funny therefore, unfortunate even, that it has taken so long to do this article.
Too long a bus ride though and I could start swatting at imaginary flies.
The answer will come in the morning. Or after a long bus ride.