.@ Tony Finch – blog

The people here (in the hotel) are friendly, quick to smile and greet you. The porters have a slightly queer habit of leading people to their rooms by the hand.

There are some characteristic local dishes: one that turns up in the hotel buffets quite frequently is mostly shredded spinachy greens, lightly cooked - actually all the veg here is nicely crunchy. There’s also a stodge that looks like mashed potato, but which is made from cornflour, and a green beany stodge. The meat is traditionally overcooked and badly butchered, and frequently goat.

Last Friday we went to a local eatery which did the local food in the local way, with local timing. We left the hotel at 20:00ish and ate at about 22:00ish… According to one of the African instructors, “the Europeans have the clocks but the Africans have the time.” The meal there started with a fairly simple soup, which was described as “bone soup”, i.e. it was essentially just stock. Later on I tried the goat. It was OK, compared to the beef and chicken.

Yesterday we went to a tourist trap called “Carnivore”. The meal was almost entirely barbequeued meat. (I am consequently even more vegetarian than usual for the next few days…) I ate lamb, pork, beef, chicken, ostrich (which was the best by a long way), crocodile, and camel (nasty). They also served us a cocktail called “dawa” which is apparently Swahili for “medicine”. It was lime, vodka, and honey, with ice - so not that different from the whiskey, lemon, and honey that we drink hot.

I still haven’t seen very much of the place. However we are going out tomorrow morning at 06:30 for a quick safari, which I am looking forward to. I am currently having a wee dram with the other whisky drinkers before an early-ish bed.