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Lamu

Lamu Travel Blog

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Dhows at Lamu Town
 

The five-mile crossing on deep-blue waters to Lamu passed smoothly in spite of a northern breeze. Its small harbor was busy as that of any port. A bulky wooden sailing ship with a forward-tilted mast creaked at the dock while being loaded with cargo. The dhow maintained the same design as when it brought Arabs to the region in the 1200's. Dhows of all sizes dotted the harbor with billowing sails while others anchored along the Lamu Town waterfront. While police and ambulance boats moored in front of the police station, other motorboats shuttled people, freight, or cargo. A freighter sat anchored in the bay, waiting to load stacks of lumber destined for Iran.

 

The dock area bustled with workers loading cargo, shuffling passengers, and peddlers selling fresh fruit.

Man with elephantitis
Others offered fish, fried or dried. Muslim women strolled about draped in black with only their dark eyes exposed. A man with elephantitis slowly trudged the dock, his lower legs the size and texture of a full grown elephant's. Hawkers touted cheap places to stay. Scott and I selected the Bahati Lodge.

 

Our simple room at the Bahati (the Swahili word for lucky) cost about $1.50 per day. The guesthouse was located on a hillside and its rooftop patio provided a fresh breeze  and commanding view of the town. Other travelers staying there included Norm and Marge, a middle-aged British couple on a six month world tour. They planned to sail to Mombasa on the large cargo dhow. George, a Swedish Sociology teacher hoarded food, resulting in his room having the only rat. Ken, an American scientist-mathematician contemplated which continent to wander next.

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Dhows at Lamu Town
Dhows at Lamu Town
Man with elephantitis
Man with elephantitis
Boats at the Lamu dock
Boats at the Lamu dock
Goin to town
Goin' to town
Dhow on windy seas
Dhow on windy seas
Off-loading a dhow
Off-loading a dhow
Arriving passengers
Arriving passengers
Lamu
photo by: AgniAgni