Life continues on after safari…Tom gets a haircut…What is making noise upstairs in the house?…

This is what I heard flying around in the 2nd story of the house, hard to access with a narrow steep winding staircase.

The afternoon after returning from safari, I told Tom I heard a peculiar noise emanating from the second floor of our Diani Beach house. Going partway up the steps he looked around, dismissing my concern, saying “I don’t see anything.”

A short time later, I heard it again, insisting we climb the treacherous stairs and check it out, taking the camera with me. Little did I suspect, we’d get this shot of an owl which could easily have been trapped since we’d been on safari.

Hesborn managed to steer it outdoors much to our relief. Who knows how long this owl had gone without food or water?  In any case, we were thrilled to be able to capture its beautiful plumage that looked like a short sleeve shirt Tom used to have in his closet.

The moon is a crescent on the bottom portion when this close to the equator. Who would have ever thought of this?  No, so far we haven’t seen the toilet flush in the opposite direction as it does in the US.  We took this photo on October 9th.

It’s a tough act to follow, those 13 posts with photos of our safari. In a funny way, writing about it all these days seemed to extend the safari time for us as, day after day, as we relived our varied experiences.

Diners at Madafoo, as well as most other resort properties are welcomed to sit outside, near the beach and in some cases at their pool. 

After considerable feedback from email and comments, we are filled with joy for the experience we’ve been able to share. Thanks to all of our friends, family, and readers from all over the world for “traveling along with us” adding to this special experience.

While we sat near the ocean at Madafoo’s a few vendors approached us, relentlessly trying to encourage us to make a purchase. Watching the windsurfers was fun but seemed more befitting the younger crowd. We only observed one person possibly over 40 partaking in this activity.

The story of life in Kenya continues on…

It’s Spring in Kenya now with the seasons the opposite of that in the US.  The subtle increase in temperature each day, oddly, is obvious to us, as we continue to live outdoors for 16 hours a day.  The rainy season has passed. Hopefully, a dryer climate will bring less humidity and fewer bugs.

We can see Tom’s head right after his haircut when I cut his head off in this shot.

Returning to our house in Diani Beach gave us a renewed sense of how much we need to get out more often during our remaining 6 weeks until leaving for South Africa.  With few nearby activities suitable for use with our bad shoulders, our obvious choice is to get as close to the beach as often as possible, which is literally across the street from our compound, albeit a long walk down a long narrow path we’d shown in an earlier post.

Madafoo’s is known for what they call “Kite Surfing.”  In checking out a nearby sign, it appeared the cost to rent the equipment was approximate, US $100 per hour. Lessons were less.

We decided that the solution is to visit the many fabulous resorts on the ocean earlier in the daylight hours rather than wait until darkness while still booking a reservation for 7:00 or 7:30 pm.  Hanging out for a few hours, taking photos, relaxing in their lounge chairs is exactly what we need. 

Reviewing our budget we’ve determined that we can easily visit three or four times per week. The cost of the cab plus food, drinks, and tips rarely exceed US$60 when ordering any main course off the menu. With our remaining budget of US$200 per week for entertainment and dining out, this is a no brainer.

Most of the resorts have resident dogs that keep an eye out for strangers approaching. The more upscale resorts/restaurants we’ve been visiting also have guards on the beach day and night.  These dogs are well fed and friendly to customers.  This guy looks like he’s been getting plenty of bites of food from diners.

We’d hoped that Madafoo’s bar and restaurant would fill this bill. Although their prices are lowest in the area plus they have free WiFi, we’ve found their food not quite working for my restrictive diet and, compared to other resorts. During daylight hours they have almost as many flies as we found at the Kenya Tanzania border.

Oh, heck, I’ll admit it, as you know, I’m not big on any bugs. Who is? Flies bite me leaving a swollen itchy mess for days. Let’s face it, we’ve been chasing scary biting insects away since the “no-see-ums” when we lived in Belize starting at the end of last January. 

As the sun went down at Madafoo’s, we enjoyed the views.

After arriving at our house in South Africa, we’ll have a reprieve with screens on all the windows, an indoor living room, and air conditioning which we’ll use from time to time. Surely, we’ll lounge outdoors by the pool most days watching the animals that will visit the house. But, when we need a break we’ll have the option of cooling off indoors while escaping the flying, crawling, walking, and slithering things that are also in abundance in both Marloth and Kruger Parks.

The first night we returned from the safari, Alfred, our taxi guy, delivered us to Madafoo’s for a light dinner and WiFi around 6:00 pm. Still wearing my now clean BugsAway clothing and hat, literally not a fly or mosquito bothered me as the sun soon went down.

The sunbathers left as the sun began to set and we moved to the restaurant for dinner,

After that positive experience, we decided to try it again this past week, this time wearing shorts and tee shirts, with me covered in repellent only to be bombarded with flies during the daylight.  The ocean was exquisite.  Watching the windsurfing was mesmerizing but batting off the flies caused us to decide we couldn’t return during daylight hours.  Once it was dark, the flies disappeared while the mosquitoes replaced them.

This adorable guy, a part-time resort resident belonging to one of the windsurfing trainers, hung around with us during our dinner looking for morsels.  Once we gave him several bites and he saw our plates were clean, he moved over to the table of other diners with full plates. 

Madafoo’s serves food all day as well as in the evenings. The constant flow of food attracts flies and mosquitoes. Many of the finer resorts only serve meals at certain times perhaps reducing the fly and mosquito population. Considering this fact,  plus my food issues, we don’t plan to return to Madafoo’s, although it’s a great spot for many tourists as both a resort and a restaurant.

With all of our clothes washed and neatly folded by the Olonana staff, we quickly unpacked upon returning from Madafoo’s that evening. We were anxious to grocery shop the next day and, to begin the process of telling our safari story online as we began sorting through over 600 photos.

The moon at Madafoo’s second night we visited upon returning from the safari, then on October 15th, was almost full.

The next morning, on October 9th, I walked onto the grass to the clothesline in the back yard to hang up a few items. Apparently, during that short walk, something (which I didn’t see) crawled up the leg of my shorts, biting the upper inner part of my thigh, leaving a stinger in place.

After sterilizing our tweezers in boiling water, I was able to remove the stinger. Luckily, I didn’t have an allergic reaction requiring the use of the EpiPen or further medical care. It was hot, red, and swollen for a week during which time I iced it several times a day. Finally, the pain stopped leaving an ugly bruise which is still visible 10 days later. I would have taken a photo but most girls wouldn’t like to take a photo of their upper inner thigh and post it online.  Right?

There’s something magical about the moon. 

Tomorrow, we’ll explain why we returned the XCom Global Mifi to the US on Tuesday this week, and the WiFi system we’ve implemented savings us $100’s per month that may work for you also when traveling. Also, what was in the box of supplies that resulted in our paying DHL a US$458 shipping fee? Please stop back!

Here’s Tom Kenya haircut at US $19.98 including tax and tip.

Tom, before the haircut.
Ibrahim is chatting with Tom during the haircut.
The business card from the salon.
Josephine chatted with me while we waited.  Alfred, our cab driver, waited in a salon chair reading a magazine waiting for Ibrahim to finish so we could be on our way. 
 Tom’s final result.  Now he doesn’t have to think about a haircut again until we’re living in South Africa.