wind... It's New Years Eve 2016. I'm on my bicycle, cycling to the train station in Utrecht. Me and my friend are heading to Amsterdam for a party. We had some champagne before we left the house, but it didn't help anything for the fact that it is too freaking cold to be cycling in a cute short party dress with tighs and heels... My nose and fingers are numb and my ears are actually hurting... that kinda cold. We park our bikes and I open my phone while we wait for the train to arrive at the platform. There they are: the snaps and Insta stories of my friends back in Kenya. Celebrating New Years dancing around in their t-shirts, shorts, bikinis because it must be at least 25 degrees over there and they are on the coast. Thats when I made up my mind: if the universe allows it, I'm spending next years NYE there where all the snaps and magical stories are from: Kilifi.
Fast forward to end of 2017. I guess the universe heard last years wish and I'm still living in Kenya. For Christmas I go to back to the Netherlands to spend time with my family and friends, but on 29nd of December I made sure to make my way to Kenya: leaving the snow and time for some celebrations in the sun!
I arrived the 30st, had a few hours to swap the content of my suitcase from jeans and sweaters into croptops and skirts, catch some sleep and fly down to Mombasa on Sunday morning the 31st. I totally made my friends wait to grab some lunch at Forodhani Restaurant in Old Town (whoops, their biryani and tamarind juice thooo!) before we shared a taxi down to Kilifi.
Seeing the palms and sunshine from the car already totally convinced me coming down here was the best decision ever. We had a cold beer while we tried to sort out our accomodation. Since it was a bit of a last minute plan and we couldn't find any group accomodation online, we got a tip from a friend (shout-out to Silvia!) about a place that was yet to be opened but probably would have some beds for us. However, we weren't able to reach any of the people from the place that day plus nobody had heard of it since it wasn't even opened yet... So we decided to crash at Distant Relatives, a very cool backpacker place and have a cold beer on the poolside to see if someone was ever gonna pick up so we actually had a place to stay that night.
A little later someone did pick up, and we took bodas to the place. Just before you cross the bridge to Kilifi, you take a junction left and than right, on a rough road into a neighborhood. You keep driving all the way down until you reach a place thats almost at the waterfront: The Balcony.
So yeah... this place was definitely not ready. But at least the owners were super friendly and offered us cold beers while we waited for them to clean up the room (in which they half succeeded) and find us some mattresses haha. Anyway, it wasn't perfect but we knew it wouldn't be and we just needed a place to leave our stuff and a place to sleep a little once we would get back from partying.
What AB-SO-LUTELY made up for that part, was the location and the view from the place! The Balcony has an amazing view over the Kilifi Creek, especially at sunset. They told us there was gonna be a bar where you could have drinks and food once it was done, and I could totally see that working out. In addition, it is just a 2 minute walk down some small stairs and you're standing on one of those pristine little beaches with white sand, blue water and only a few local kids hanging out and swimming. The next day I found out that taking a swim in the morning was such a perfect way to start the day, especially after a lot of partying.
After the mattresses was found, we dropped our stuff in the rooms and got into our party outfits... Time to do what we came for: head to the Kilifi NYE Festival! We had to take tuk-tuks into some field /plantation which seemed super dodgy until you see the colorful lights in the distance coming up. The festival looked incredible with art, light installations, chill zones with hay stacks, waterpistols, bean bags under a massive baobab tree, different stages, amazing people, glow in the dark stuff, wet swings, a slip n slide track, a massive 'burning man' aka a burning bird and the best fresh coconut cocktails I have ever tasted in my life. It was a great place to party hard and that is exactly what we did. Absolutely worth it. Since I lost my phone a few months later, I also lost most pics from that weekend. So I'll just have to go with the videos and pics that I somehow still had:
A d v e n t u r e s o f
a D u t c h g i r l
i n E a s t - A f r i c a.