Extracts from a volunteer` diary – Part 6

Discover Africa: Bike the Coast

If I had time to do just one thing in Mombasa, I will choose Bike the Coast. It is wonderful. The people are truly interested in you having a nice time.  Your happiness is their #1 priority.

On Sunday morning after an interesting matatu ride we met up with Rolf the owner of Bike the Coast. We were planning to do the 40 Km ride along the coast. Wow what fun.

But no sooner had I got on my bike when Rolf in all his wisdom suggested ” Maybe 40 km ride is very ambitious. Why don`t we try a different one. The 24 km ride?”

Rolf and his crew were helpful in choosing our bikes.

And we were ready! Scared but ready for the 24 km ride.

Scared but excited!

All set!

Off we go

Scarcely had we gone 100 mts when I crashed into a gate I was  trying very hard to go in between.  Taeko was like ” Oh my God , You already crashed!”. I don`t think she had much hope of us reaching our destination.

That was the first of many more crashes and soon Taeko stopped being surprised. She learnt to live with it!

Our ride was most enjoyable. We passed villages, met people , had kids yelling “Mambo” and running behind our bikes. A smart boy even carried my bike uphill and even taught Taeko how to make a wind pipe from coconut leaves.


Taeko learning from the children

It was a learning experience for all of us. Taeko saw a manual water pump for the first , ate Cassava for the first time. As for me, well I finally learnt to ride a bike on level ground. Have not mastered the art of negotiating trees and riding uphill or on the path.

Quenching the thirst of a poor cow

Eating Cassava

We passed a river bed with a hundreds of red crabs.  They scuttled away when we got close. I think Taeko took an hour to photograph one!

The river bed

Little red crabs

The creek surrounded by mangrove trees

When we had reached about 12km Benson asked if we wanted to take a short cut to the top of the hill which was our destination. The long way was 3 km. ” I was like just 3 km, why is he asking about a short cut”.

I found out the hard way. The 3 km took us an hour. It was steep uphill and downhill and the cruel African sun. For most part I was pushing my bike uphill with help from Julius and with plenty of stops.

Our destination: The Antenna hill

Stops: Too many to count!

Well we did get there but that was not the end of the story; there was a getting back part too that was like 9 km.

Our way back was mainly downhill and we did it in good time. All the way I kept asking Julius ” Are we there yet?”!

The last one Km!

I could not believe it when we made it back in one piece. We had biked 24 Km, we did not take nay short cuts , we took 5 hours ( double the normal time) ;we had done it and we were well pleased.



2 thoughts on “Extracts from a volunteer` diary – Part 6

  1. Wow, nice blog, and who is that cute Japanese girl? Taeko? She looks like my wife! ….oh, wait, that IS my wife! lol. Thks for being her friend in Mombasa, she speaks very highly of you! Enjoy your travels.


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