Avaes Mohammad

Kenya: NAIROBI TO MOMBASA (080409)

In Uncategorized on April 9, 2009 at 4:38 pm



While this stretch of the Nairobi to Mombasa road is smooth, I may as well put fingertips to keypads.

I feel like a proper travel writer peeps! I’ve got the best seat on the bus (like all good travel writers have), right next to the driver. I’m in a great leather seat with arm rest, head rest and recliner and my feet are outstretched onto the leather dashboard. It’s like an afternoon at my mate Clives’ house. Except I’m looking straight out onto the Nairobi to Mombasa road and Kenyan countryside surrounds me.

Endless sand stretches out reddish in the distance but…bright burnt orange by the roadside. Intense, like orange powder paint’s been spilt everywhere. Although there’s no grass, there are loads of trees and bushes. Trees just like you’d expect from an African vista. Quite small with the leaves all at the top of the branches…like a slab. Leaving the branches exposed. Perfect for a leopard to hide in. The uber-cool driver next to me has been singing along (quite well) to a mix of Kool and the Gang, Spandau Ballet and Dancehall wonders…versatile!

By the side of the road I’ve already seen antelope, wildebeast and giraffes. The driver pointed out zebra but I ain’t sure I actually saw them.

I’ve just looked up from the computer screen and now we’re in the middle of a range of hills. Hazy purple, burnt blue hills.

Road’s rough again. We’re driving through a cloud of dust.


A cluster of round mud huts just passed on my left.

A beautiful man wearing a bright yellow/green shirt just passed on my right.

The road is very rough now.

[Longer Pause]

We’ve only been on the road two hours. Another 5 or six to go I think. Its early afternoon still. Hot. Sticky. I have a window though.

The colours are so bright vanity has taken a back seat, for a moment, and my sunglasses have had to come off. On this bed of bright orange and reddish brown powder paint, there’s the occasional tree with bright yellow flowers. A bush with purple flowers so intense its like an explosion. Bang!..there you go…Purple!! another bush with …Bang!! ‘ave it! Red!!

The colours alone have me paralysed in my seat. It’s like the first time you’ve ever put on glasses. The world is so much brighter, sharper, so much more beautiful.

This really is beautiful. I really am lucky.

Fuck! It’s raining.

[5-10 mins later]

And now it’s stopped.

A young boy’s chasing his goats by the side of the road.

[around 30 mins later]

A family of Baboons trying to cross the road.

[5-10 minutes later]

Baboon roadkill.

[around 30 minutes later]

Pit Stop. I have sandwiches and a cold Coke while Vultures perch on the trees around us…

Vulture 1: Ehhh…Whadda-you wanna-do?

Vulture 2: Ehhh I dunno…

Whadda-you wanna-do?


Vulture 1: I dunno…

[Longer Pause]

Vulture 1: So Ehhh…Whadda-you wanna-do?……………………………

Back on the road now…the heat is increasing and I swapped my great front seat with my ‘cousin’ for a lesser back one.

Those leopard hide-out trees are less now and Baobab’s have sprung from the ground.

They’re huge…there’s a tradition of them housing spirits.

[An hour later]

All colour’s been wiped out …we can’t even see an inch out of the window. Out of nowhere It’s raining like there’s no tomorrow. We’re in a storm. Thunder, lightning and the bus is leaking…don’t know where from…all the windows are shut but there’s water pissing through and spraying the entire right side of the bus (my side).

As we drive a crack of blue can be seen in the distance.

[10-15 long minutes later]

We’re out of the storm and comforted by a warm sunset.

There haven’t been any hills for a while now…just expanse. And vast sky. The occasional palm tree now guarding Baobabs.

[About half an hour later I think …i’ve been asleep]

It’s Night. But not dark. Huge clouds in the sky are backlit by the moon in its full-edition-glory. You can see out just as far as before…just more silver-blue. Fires by the roadside…palm trees and humid heat completely take over now as Mombasa Island finally approaches. Mum’s Hometown.

  1. Hey avaes! sounds like you’re having an amazing time, reading through your descriptions makes me feel like i’m right there with you. made mum read it too, brought a teat to her eye! hope you and your mum are doing well and really good to know she having a brilliant time! see you when you get back and keep us updated! xx

  2. Oh ho bhai…sounds so amazing. You truly are very lucky however I feel I’m luckier to have you to create the images in my mind with your words. Beautiful man you are wonderful human being sending you my love and prayers.


  3. Hi Avaes! I’m really enjoying the blog so far. The ride sounds fantastic. I hope you’re having a great time in Mombasa and look forward to more!

    – Rachel

    • rachel i’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog and flattered at the heads up you’ve given towards it on your own blog site.

      hope all’s well for you at owlstone and beyond


  4. April in Africa! mmmmmmmmm so much sight and sound sensation. enjoying reading. wanna eat deep fried doughy bread…apparantly its an addiction! where were you when this got uploaded? in your family’s houses or in an internet cafe in mombasa?

  5. Lad, I’ve just read your blog and the last entry in particular was bloody brilliant! Hilarious + very expressive and enticing to a recovering travel junkie like myself. Keep it up!

  6. home town taking up your attentionm for a while?

  7. i didn’t know you could speak ‘vulture’….. a man of many talents and constantly revealing new ones.

  8. Wow, what a road trip!

  9. Yo bro

    when can we expect your next instalment!

  10. Lol Avaes keep these coming…that was such a good read…wish I was there with you.xxx

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