On The Reef ~ Tiwi Beach

Sq Tiwi 1201

In bygone days of Nairobi living we often made the long-haul drive down the old Mombasa Highway to the south Kenya coast. After 300 miles and six and more hours of judder and roar in the Land Rover, humping in out of potholes, getting covered in dust and smothered by truck fumes, being broiled in the queue for the Likoni Ferry, which once boarded you could never feel quite sure of making touch down, to arrive at last on Tiwi Beach felt like stepping into heaven. There were rarely many people there, not even in the Christmas high season, just a couple of beach cottage enclaves, the  local farmers calling round with fruit and vegetables for sale, the Digo fishermen bringing parrot fish and lobsters, and the unbroken soundscape of ocean pounding on reef, fluting notes of the water bottle bird, soft ting-ting of a bicycle bell when the vegetable seller came calling, the breeze in the coconut palms.

Sq flame tree 2

Madagascar Flame Tree and beach cottage


Life in Colour: greener shades of blue

Tree Square #11

31 thoughts on “On The Reef ~ Tiwi Beach

    1. At times it was hard to know if one was really there, Flower. Though a few hairy moments tended to make one wish one wasn’t. Perhaps put another way, we tended to live in ‘the now’. Which was actually rather tiring full time. We were there during the Moi era and there were periods of great insecurity – top down generated.

      1. Whoa. When I am in a new country, I catch myself walking around with my eyes wide open. I bet that’s how you were. Alert to every movement or noise.

  1. This might be some of the finest writing, I have ever read. I was there with you.
    I need to know more about water bottle birds. I googled but only found bird feeders made of water bottles. Enquiring minds want to know.

    1. That is so lovely of you, Thom, to be such an appreciative travelling comrade. I can tell you that a water bottle bird is a white browed coucal – a bit like a large tawny cuckoo. It is shy, bumbling about in the undergrowth and so rarely spotted, but you can’t miss the call. It’s a tumbling (as in descending scale) doo-doo-doo-doo that (with a poetic ear) sounds like water being emptied from a flask.

    1. It was! Though there was a bit of teeth-gritting when it came to facing the drive. One year, north of Mombasa the road had almost completely disappeared in mud slide.

      1. I just went with he who had lived on his own in Tabora for two years, and assumed that whatever happened, he would probably be able to sort it. Which he usually did. Land Rovers are v. handy vehicles, though, in unpredictable territories.

      2. also pre computers in cars so much easier to fix if they do go wrong.Our youngest has just got a Tesla, and it is controlled by her phone!!

      3. I didn’t dare ask her that! I did though check in to see what happens if she loses her phone, and apparently there is a ‘credit card’ that you can use as an alternative.

      4. All seems designed to relieve us autonomy and increase dependence on the tech-providers. It’s interesting that the tendency is to assume that this relationship will always remain benign or is only in one’s interests rather than ‘theirs’.

      5. I know 😦 all i can ever think of is a DrWho episode where you were controlled by the machines after putting an ear piece in your ear!

  2. Oh, goodness, I’m not sure I would have survived that drive, but it sure looks like an idyllic setting. I hope you stayed there long enough to make it worthwhile.

    1. The simple lo-tech beach cottages we stayed at Maweni and Capricho Cove don’t seem to be there now. There’s some kind of hotel-conference centre there instead – complete with unneccessary swimming pool. The beach still looks lovely though. Ah well.

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