I rallied north from Mombasa almost to the border with Somalia. At the end of the bus ride, I sailed by dhow on the final leg around the bend to Lamu Island. It seemed as if I had left an Indian island with no cars (Rameswaram) and arrived at another trafficless destination where mules were the only form of transport.

Lamu’s main drag

The main town consisted of narrow walkways weaving through stone buildings. Around the bend from Shela, stretched a pristine beach facing the ocean. There were empty buildings in the town to rent or shambas for next to nothing.

Deserted beach on Lamu

I ate mandazis for breakfast while sharing a house with other tourists. There weren’t many foreigners back then. This paradise was still off the radar so it was no wonder I stayed a month.

A shamba on Lamu