Sometimes you hear of a place and watch videos and photos of these places and they seem out of this world and unreal. Truth is these places exist, thanks to God who knows human beings love beautiful places (even though sometimes we tend to destroy) and created this beautiful universe. I think it is not too much on us if the request is that we take care of it and leave it better so that those who come after us will enjoy this beauty.
My second trip to Mombasa was both leisure and business. I initially traveled to attend the yearly magical Kenya travel expo and stayed extra days to explore a bit of this beauty. My plan is to visit again this time on a purely leisure and indulge more in the different activities available by the Indian Ocean.
I love the relaxed spirit of Mombasa…the people are ‘forever’ in a holiday mood and whatever you do, they will not be rushed. There is a joke that unlike other African cities and towns, in Mombasa the cars actually stop because the people have to cross the road in such a relaxed way. This will make sense to you if you have traveled to other cities and seen how we have to run across the streets, because for some reason the traffic laws in many African cities forgot the pedestrians and if they exist, they rarely observed.
I recommend Mombasa as a great relaxing holiday destination. There are affordable domestic flights out of Nairobi if you fly into Nairobi and quite a number of flights directly to Mombasa. If you are in East Africa, there are several bus companies plying the route from major cities to Mombasa. If you go, I recommend at least 5 days experiencing the beach and history of the place.
Time check is 3am, we are seated in the bus ready to travel 5 hours to Barrick, and Newmont mines from Reno – Nevada. Even I the enthusiastic traveler who loves all things travel was in no way enthusiastic with the ungodly time especially that I had a deadline before the trip. Thankful I was to able to send it through about mid night with no time to sleep but rather transition into the next activity – Travel to Barrick and Newmont mines.
The journey was not dramatic as everyone slept off after a short while and until our first stop, a drive in store to quickly buy a hot beverage and proceed. The road was through a deserted Nevada with scattered houses in only a few of the places. I was particularly thankful for the stopover to grab a hot beverage to catch up with the insane low temperatures of air conditioning in the bus. I failed to understand the obsession with low temperatures of air condition by Americans in offices forcing some to wear sweaters in the middle of summer.
We arrive at the mines and the experience is very different from what I expected. I thought I would find a buzz of activities all over the place but was surprised with how organized the place was. We crowned it off with a tour of the actual mine underground – wow! It’s a whole life down there on its own, I left with much respect for all those who work in the mines – far away from family and have to stay in tunnels for hours in a day without seeing the light of day.
The tour to the offices, learning best practices, and how the communities benefit was eye opening. Seeing that there was a proper plan on ensuring the environment was restored to as close as it was before the mining was exceptional.
Virginia City reminded me of the rolling hills of Kigezi in southwestern Uganda as we drove across the different hills.
This small town currently depends on tourism with efforts to keep it intact showing off its lost mining glory. What a joy it was when we finally arrived, learning more about the town. I highly recommend a trip to this place while in Reno, Nevada.