Leaving Lamu behind, I retraced my steps to Malindi and found the local restaurant broadcasting the new English Al-Jazeera channel (but alternating with the Arabic one in case there was more interesting coverage). With a day to spend, I took a bus out to Marafa (a three hour journey to cover just over 30 km) and the gorges of Hell’s Kitchen (locally called Nyari – The Place Broken By Itself). This is a huge red clay and sandstone cliff area that has been eroded over the years into a complex series of passages and pillars, not unlike Bryce Canyon in the USA. With the addition of a few English trees and brambles, it would be almost exactly like I imagine the Red Deeps.
On the road to Mombasa, the matatu I was travelling in stopped for petrol just outside Watamu and, a few minutes after zooming off again, was overtaken by a car with an askari (security guard) hanging out of the window, waving his gun and flagging us down. After a quick discussion with the driver, he had us turn around and gave him a lift back to the petrol station. As we pulled in, an enormous argument erupted between the matatu driver and conductor and the entire petrol station staff over some apparent non-payment. I’m not entirely sure how it was resolved, but we rocketed off at high speed after about five minutes and that was that.
I’m back in Nairobi for my final days in Kenya, doing the usual administrative tasks (market, laundry, post office) and playing Trivial Pursuit with the Peace Corps volunteers who’ve taken the weekend off for Thanksgiving. This afternoon I head out to the airport and my flight to Mumbai (I can already smell the food), heralding the end (for now, at least) of my adventures in Africa.