Watamu is a beautiful serene beach town, found in Kilifi county. It is greatly celebrated for its long stretches of alluring white sandy beaches and calm nature of the environment. I had been exploring Mombasa and Wasini Island, solo, for several days and my body was starting to throw a tantrum. It seemed overwhelmed by the activities I had engaged it in (blog posts to follow soon), and Watamu seemed like the ideal location for it to rest and relax quietly. I planned to sit by the ocean, soak up the sun, eat, drink and while away the days, only moving when proceeding to their swimming pool or to my room to sleep. Turtle Bay Resort, a beach front property was my accommodation of choice, a decision I am very happy I made.
Turtle Bay unknowingly, disarranged all my well laid plans due to the seductive activities on offer. As I lazed around, sandwiched between watching people engage in water sports on the Indian ocean and gazing at the shimmering suns rays on the pool waters, my resolve was broken. I was seduced by the various sports and thus hurriedly went and upgraded myself from an All Inclusive 2, which was a non water sports package, to All Inclusive one which includes water sports. My tantrum throwing body would have to deal with the change, I was going out to play.
My appointed watersport guide was Zia, who did an exceptional job in being my teacher. My all time highlight and favourite was learning how to wind surf for the first time ever. I was introduced to terms like mast, boom, rig, sail, board among others, as he pointed to different parts of the contraption before me. He gave me verbal instructions of how to balance on the board, how to then lift the sail from the waters, how to steer it and then enjoy sailing into the horizon like him, with no worries at all. I soon felt confident enough to start my practicals, it seemed somewhat straight forward-WRONG.
First try, I sat on the board, stood up, managed to stumble a bit but not fall and soon I was enjoying the feel of the water beneath me flowing. In an instance, all semblance of the minuscule peace was shattered, I fell head first into the ocean. I re-emerged, sputtering water from my mouth, my eyes stinging from the salty water but still determined. Second try, I managed to get my balance, managed to stay atop it as the water flowed beneath me, then I stretched out my hands to collect the sail from the water . Never had my hands felt so weak, the sail refused to rise and instead, I again found myself dunked in the water, this time, with the rig of the sail getting a good punch into my hip. I came up sputtering, in pain and now even more determined. If it was going to take all day to get it right, including some minor injuries, so be it-Challenge accepted.
I continued to submerge for umpteenth times, everytime I tried to lift the sail, learning that my arms are actually not as powerful as I thought. I was given more tips on what approach to change, how to move my feet, how to shift my hands, how to relax and eventually, I WANGECHI GITAHI was officially wind surfing without falling. Success has never tasted sweeter and now it is official, I am now a member of the exclusive wind surfers club. Check out our social media pages for videos and more pictures of this experience.
The next activity I was able to enjoy was the kayaking. It seems like I should soon compete in a kayaking marathon with how often I am engaging in it. The highlight of this kayaking experience was the actual destination, a sand bank in the Indian ocean. We had only kayaked for about 20 minutes before we arrived at it. The sand bank is a dry patch of rock or sand, found exposed for a limited amount of time, in the Indian ocean as a result of low tide. Imagine this, a small patch, that is on low level, having no water on it for a limited amount of time, yet, surrounded by water all round. This completely boggles my mind to date.
Here, I had an up close engagement with various life forms from watching a crab migration, to watching several aquatic animals like the water spider and sea urchin, to this beautiful rock outcrop that continues to make me think of a rodent. The place is also ideal for taking some beautiful, scenic pictures of yourself, like I did 🙂
Even though there were other sports available, I opted out after the above, as the best way to appease my very happy, satiated but “battered” body. The rest of my time was spent enjoying a relaxing swim at one of their pools, eating and drinking from their vast selection of food and drinks, to enjoying traditional music and dance in the evening. The staff were super friendly, warm and engaging, that I hardly had an inkling of lonesomeness. Their service was awesome and I totally loved the fact that one was served snacks and drinks wherever one was, whether at the pool or by the beach. Their rooms are also very cozy and I really liked that they incorporated the local Kikoy fabric as a bed spread and as curtains. My room had a balcony that allowed me the opportunity to star gaze at night while relaxing. I will definitely be back to engage more with the hotel and its offerings.
Turtle Bay Resort officially enters the limited edition of hotel/resort properties list, that have held me as a happy hostage. If you have followed my travel stories on this site and my social media pages, most accommodation facilities are normally a place for me to lay my head and tired body at the end of a fun filled day, outside of their compound.. Here, they had me never leaving their gates until departure date, as they had various activity options for one to engage in, including just lazing around, eating sumptuous meals and drinking from a wide selection. Thank You Turtle Bay.
Watamu, I will soon be back, as I am now indebted to you, not having explored you to my satisfaction. I already have many ideas as to what I want our second date to include, starting off with Gedi Ruins and everything else you will wish to show me of yourself. I was pleasantly surprised that my PSV matatu/minivan from Mombasa to you only took two hours and my flight from Malindi airport which is 30 minutes away, only took 1 hour to land in Nairobi. See you again Watamu, see you soon. If you would like to experience this and more in Watamu, contact us and we will make it happen for you.