A Day Spent At the Beach
Most people prefer spending their free Sunday afternoons at the beach and I am no exception to that. That day, after attending a boring church service at Mikindani, my cousin and I decided to visit the popular “Pirates Beach” as it is commonly known situated next to the Indian Ocean. We boarded a matatu straight away and arrived there in no time. It was a stone’s throw distance from where we lived and that was one of its great advantages. We only had to part with twenty shillings each and this was pocket-friendly to us considering the countries recession levels.
When we arrived, the place was already flooding with both local and international tourists and hawkers had already put up stands at the sides of the road leading to the beach and they were busy haggling with customers for the best prices. There were various kinds of goods up on display ranging from swimming costumes, sandals, caps, Masaai bracelets, Kanzus, sun glasses, life saver jackets and floaters just to mention but a few.
As we moved closer and closer to the beach, we came across food vendors selling Swahili delicacies that included: dip-fried cassava, fish, chopped sugar cane, chips, coconuts and drinks. Being a December holiday, business was at its peak and the hawkers were making a kill for themselves. My cousin Reagan and I had time to grab a bite as we were seriously starving. Moreover, the sweet aroma wafting in the air was only making matters worse. We were treated to assumptions meal of coconut rice with beef stew in one of the Kibandas temporarily set up by the vendors.
At the beach, the shore was filled to the brim. People of diverse cultures and origin had come in great numbers clad in different attires and regalia. It was a sight to behold. Some of the women wore bikinis while others preferred tight pants with a t-shirt on top that exposed their curved feminine looks much to our dismay. I could not help but stare at the beautiful women every now and then. As for the men, they wore khaki shorts with the rest of their bodies left bare to expose their chests and muscles. A good number of them had finished swimming and were basking in the sun. Beach boys were busy running up and down the place either selling or helping stranded tourists. At the sea, we could see Panga boats and Cost Guards ferrying tourists to view sea mammals.
Reagan, being a good swimmer, decided to join the rest of the swimmers. I remained at the shores and watched him dive into the rough waters of the sea to fight against the waves. On that day, I preferred to just sit at the shore and digest on the beautiful scenery as I enjoyed the amazing sea breeze. Not that I had no clue in swimming. Rather, the salty water was quite irritating whenever it entered my eyes and I could hardly sleep at night. The tides were still low and only came back at the shores at twilight. Next to me, some people had formed into groups and were playing volleyball. I had never before paid keen attention to volleyball but at one moment, I felt drawn deep into it. I could not help myself smiling at the swift movements of the players and their agility in the air like monkeys. It was a nice game to watch.
As the evening wore on and darkness crept in like a thief, I signalled Reagan to call it a day. He was still passionately swimming and unrelenting to the cold waters. Most of the tourists had quickly disappeared one by one as they had come and the beach had quickly become isolated and deserted. Only a few beach boys and vendors could be seen packing their belongings. We left the place a happy lot. The earlier church sermon by our pastor on eschatology which had inflicted fear upon the congregation was quickly forgotten. In addition, it had helped wash away all the week’s setbacks and disappointments. We were now ready to start the new week on a high note come Monday.