Mombasa and Fort Jesus

Mombasa is hot – dripping sweat hot. We sweated our way to the train station (a 30 min walk) and drank a litre of water each. We then sweated our way to Fort Jesus (a Portuguese fort built way back when and now mostly ruined) where we worked our way around the exhibits until we couldn’t stand the heat any more. The fort is a bit disappointing – it looks like they started to make it into a nice historical site and then just ran out of money or enthusiasm for the project. The museum has some interesting artefacts, but we felt that we couldn’t really get our money’s worth. We tried to walk though the old town, but this crazy guy kept following us. The rage these days is to ask if we want to trade our sunglasses for a curio – no thanks! We then sweated our way past a guy making fresh potato chips (delicious) to find a blackcurrant Fanta. Feeling rather tired, we hit up and airconditioned ATM machine and then moved onto the market for some basket buying. Mombasa is a pretty nice city (especially after Dar) and we loved it that most people just left us alone, or only wanted to talk. It has a pretty modern feel to it, and was safe and clean after the rather dingy streets in Dar.

Our main reason for being in Mombasa was to try and catch the overnight train to Nairobi. Its a pretty cheap adventure – $50 US each got us first class bunks in our own cabin, a three course dinner in the dining car, transport all the way to Nairobi and a hot breakfast. I was excited as a small kid at Christmas – as soon as we borded the train I had to go explore all the cars, and check out all the features of the old train. My enthusiasm waned during the night as starting and stopping of the train kept me awake, but opening my curtain in the morning and seeing the dusty red plains of Kenya out of the train window was pretty good. The trip took about 15 hours, which is twice as long as the bus, but way more comfortable. An excellent last trip in Kenya!

*Due to the train being a night time event, we didn’t actually take any pictures. You’ll have to use your imagination as to what it must have looked like.

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