Cheap thrills

Saturday, September 18th, 2021 00:00 |
Some swimming to warm the body at Cold Springs.

Every time life gets overwhelming, I travel. There is something cathartic about leaving one place for another, even though you are probably going to travel with all your problems firmly intact.

When there was no Covid and I had a bit more cash, I would book a flight out and go think about life in another country. But now, times are lean and border walls are sky-high. So I did the next best thing.

I went to a few Kenyan towns that I read about in school but never had the chance to visit.

A road trip to Lake Victoria sounded like the perfect way to take stock of the first three quarters, recentre and attack the last quarter of 2021. 

My first stop was Kericho town. I would stay at a quaint little hotel called Crown Place that had great, yummy, and fresh food all at an affordable price.

I would stay here for two days, going for runs in the nearby tea plantations and breathing in the cold pure countryside air.

Board and breakfast was less than Sh1,000 a day. Who said unwinding and travelling had to be expensive. I will get my thrills any way I can.

Fresh tripe, cabbage and chapati.

I would then proceed to Kisumu town. Being my first time in Kisumu, I was wowed by how welcoming and friendly the people are. There were endless recommendations on the best places to stay, have a meal or have a drink.

I would end up staying at Le Pearl Hotel on Harambee Avenue, where the highlight was the great African food served and eaten while overlooking the lake. After a day here, I decided to go to Homabay.

This is how I ended up at Cold Springs, a four-star hotel complete with a swimming pool and great service.

I would hire a taxi which would take me to Kit Mikayi where I got to see the famous rock formation and got to dance with a few of the local women who stand at the gate looking for tourists to dance with and for.

If you decide to visit Kit Mikayi, please carry a few loose notes to give them. I could not get any information on the local myth around the rock formation so I refused to Google the information.

Seems like I might have to come back to get the story at a later date. The entrance fee to see the stones is Sh150.

Visit on weekdays as the place is full of worshippers during the weekend. Many come to pray on Friday night and stay till Sunday night.

The rocks are dotted with melted candle wax as testament to the numerous vigils that have been held here.

On my second day in Homabay, I opted to visit Rusinga Island. I would take a bus to Mbita from where I took a taxi to the island where I had lunch overlooking the lake.

One can go for day visits to Rusinga Island Lodge like I did or choose to stay overnight as they offer accommodation at an additional cost.

From the island, one can see Mfangano Island and the waterbus that ferries people there.

A boat ride around the lake is Sh4,000, a bargain if you are several people but quite hefty if you are alone.

I would take the boat ride anyway. I would come back in time for supper and some wine as the sun set across the lake.

I was ready to go back to Homabay and take the next bus to the city, primed to sink back into the routine that is my day-to-day life.

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