Beach weekend

Three day weekends are great.  Especially when you can get a round trip ticket to a beautiful, mostly empty, white-sands beach for $100.  Add in the taxi, hotel, and food … another $220 (total!) … and you get three days and two nights of bliss that looks like this:

Galu beach at almost high tide.  The sand is very white and fine when it’s low.

I did not go alone.  It was one of those great ‘friends-of-friends-of-friends’ trips.  Where one or two people have a good idea and then others join in, whether or not they all knew each other to begin with.  Fun to meet new people.  Fun to be in a new place.  Fun to just be.  The hotel where we stayed was a small, cozy place – more relaxed than a regular hotel, but a couple steps up from a hostel.  Good food.  Clean and interesting rooms.  Excellent view.  Especially from the hammock.

If only the view was always so lovely.

More lazy toes.  The surfboard on the side of the tree makes it look like I just got back from a hard morning catching waves.  Which could have been true since the hotel where we stayed is actually THE kite-surfing hot spot on the whole Kenyan coast.  However … I was actually just being lazy.  And the board is actually the kite-surfing sign that faces the beach so that beach-walkers know where to come for the real thing.

Diving of course was extra … but it was worth it.

Breathing underwater is an amazing sensation.  Not to mention getting to see all the really cool fish.  My instructor seemed to have eagle eyes – he could spot a stone fish on any color of reef.  I would have glided right over the thing, but he would pause, swish some water at it and help me see it was there.  Quite cool.  If you’ve never spotted a stone fish yourself, here’s a pic that I did not take:  (Thanks amazing-pictures.blogspot.com)

Imagine this guy on a coral reef that looks almost exacly the same shade as him.  Hard to see.  Stonefish apparently are one of the most poisonous animals in the world.  Good thing I didn’t touch any of the nine or ten that my instructor managed to see.  Other stuff we saw: Green sea-turtles, lobster, morey eels, red lionfish, lots of cool coral and anemones, and of course most of the reef fish from Finding Nemo … not that I know all their real names yet.  Someday I’ll get a waterproof camera so I’ll be able to document and identify the things I see.

Here was the view this morning as I woke up and got ready to go.  Thankfully, this is not the last time this year … or even month … that I’ll be tasting the Indian Ocean.  Next week Monday I leave with the 7th grade class to Malindi.  We are taking 80 7th-graders to the coast … where they will reinforce what they’ve been learning in Science and History.  And I’m the lucky music teacher that gets to tag along as a chaperone.  Maybe someone here will lend me their waterproof camera for the snorkeling piece of the trip.

Sunrise on the Indian Ocean.

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