Its no secret that I love beach holidays. I love the feeling being at the coast gives me. Absolutely fantastic weather which calls for sundresses and sunglasses, lazy beach days drinking madafu, the sand between my toes, and the feeling of warm salty water caressing my skin. There’s something about the air that makes you want to take things slowly, have absolutely no care in the world and launch yourself into a state of perpetual bliss. Nothing speaks to my heart like a beach holiday. So when my forever friends (who happen to be twins) told me they were planning a road trip to Diani, I quickly jumped on board- never mind that I had been to Diani twice before.
Diani is a small beach town in the Southern coast of Kenya. One of the things I adore about this little town is that it has resiliently held on to most of its charm and character despite being invaded by foreign influences over the years. It is the perfect combination of deep canopy forming mangrove forests that harbour wild monkeys and native shrines while gently easing out into beaches with endless expanses of powder white sands and warm crystal blue waters.The locals are some of the friendliest people I have encountered, who quickly fall into deep conversations as soon as they are comfortable. While most of Diani beach road is lined with exclusive beach hotels and rentals, it is quite possible to find a number of budget accommodation villas, particularly on the side of the road that doesn’t border the beach.My friend and I spent close to a whole week in Diani, staying at a private villa which is about 10 min from the beach. The space was really nice, fully furnished with a pool, garden area and can comfortably host 10 people. I will write more about it in a different post.
CYCLING IN DIANI
Once in Diani, our only dilemma was how to spend our days beyond bumming in the pool and at the beach, which we obviously did plenty of. See the thing about staying in your own space away from a hotel scene is the freedom to do whatever you please. Midnight pool parties with unregulated loud music? Yes please. Once we got over bumming, we decided to spend our time a bit more constructively in the outdoors. On one of those days, after spending the morning by the beach, the guys came up with the brilliant idea that we should go cycling. A couple of outfit changes and we were soon on our way.
What I had inadvertently underestimated was my fitness levels, or lack thereof. 15 min into the ride and I was ready to call it quits, obviously yoga had lied to me that I was getting my cardio on. Turns out my bike was on a weird gear that made the ride all the more difficult. Thankfully one of the guys was willing to switch bikes with me. The obvious assault on my physical capabilities aside, the ride turned out to be worth every aching muscle.
Cycling gave us a chance to explore the town a bit more intimately, something you certainly miss when you are constantly moving about in cars. Locals going about their daily business, tourists fully immersed into the life of the town, the lush greenery alongside the well tarmacked roads lined with colourful open air curio shops on one side and rows of beach resorts on the other. Every once in a while we would encounter mischievous monkeys dangling on electricity poles that run across the streets.
There are certain delights to cycling, such as happening upon an abandoned building off the side of the road, leading us to stop for a break and wander around. Despite being in a bad state, the building appeared to have so much life and character, from the elephant structure near the entrance and the intricate designs and animal carvings on its walls to the well we discovered out back. It was all so beautiful.
Cycling is really tiring, that I must say. Once our exploits for the day were done, some of us decided to ride back to the villa while a friend of mine (who took most of these pictures of me in this post-Joy hey! She is also an amazing music blogger, you can check out her blog here) opted to take a tuktuk ride back. We were not mentally prepared to cycle all the way back!
*Cycling– Ksh. 500 for 24 hours. You can find companies offering this service along any beach in Diani.
Like I mentioned, I have been to Diani quite a number of times before, visited a number of places in Diani and its surrounding towns and I am excited to be heading back there next week with a friend. It is my absolute favourite place in Kenya, possibly in the world. However, I cant say for sure until I visit Cape Town. So, I figured I would do a Diani series that will feature a bunch of places that I have been to, activities to engage in and places to eat at while at Diani, hope I will sufficiently cover these areas. You can let me know what you want highlighted in the comments below.
Look out for my post on snorkeling in Diani, it shall be up tomorrow 🙂
Thanks for stopping by!