.HENNEKE'S BLOG 

Whatever ... 2011 ... this must be # six

 

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Coastweek -- Dhow safari from One Earth Safari's 'Shimoni Reef Lodge'.

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Road trip to Shimoni

As we get closer to Shimoni, on the way to
Tanzania, we begin to see how the countryside
used to look ten or fifteen years ago

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Coastweek -- A road trip with some friends to Shimoni, a chance for me to see some of the territory of Kenya.

The driving can best be described as impressive-gay-abandon, and we sail over immense pot holes like eagles on the wing, while the screech of our tyres makes people turn and stare.

"This all used to be bush," one friend tells me pointing at the roadside.

As we get closer to Shimoni, on the way to Tanzania, we begin to see how the countryside used to look ten or fifteen years ago.

But even here the trees are being cut down.

The Kenyan landscape is changing fast.

Most everyone I speak to will tell me how the coastline has changed beyond all recognition in just a few years, houses and apartments springing up everywhere, property prices going through the roof in a big fat bubble.

‘This must be unsustainable’, people say.

But then again a lot of it is rich money, pirate money, and so the dynamics are different from your regular market dynamics.

London is similar (less pirates, more Russians) with some places now so expensive that even the old aristocracy are being priced out. If I remember rightly, a year or so ago, the Goldsmiths were trying to build up a campaign to reduce foreign ownership in Kensington.

Nothing came of it: in the end, money is money.

We spend a night at the lovely Shimoni Reef Hotel gazing out to the sands and the moon and the stars and put the world to rights.

On the way back we stop for corn on the cob with chilli and lemon, and drink soda water in bottles with straws, while gazing out at the port.

I’m told this area is where Asian teenagers and families come to hang out on a Friday night.

It’s shaping up to be another hot day.

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Coastweek -- Sunset: in the other direction up the Mtwapa Creek.  PHOTO - C.M.G.

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