Watamu is the one place where you always feel so relaxed and at peace with the world. The white, pristine beaches, sunny days and a relaxing ambience hanging in the air, instantly puts you into the holiday mood. As you drive down the road, heading to Watamu, you see the beautiful flowers blooming along the road, the bright drapes covering the little restaurants and shops; you can clearly see the artistic influence the residents in Watamu, have of this little paradise. I decided to take a tour with a few friends to get to see the other side of Watamu, apart from the usual beaches and restaurants.
It could be the heavy Italian influence in Watamu, but everywhere we drove, we spotted so many beautiful carvings and paintings along the streets. It was such a beautiful sight getting absorbed in all the art pieces showcased along the humble shops of the locals here; I was particularly drawn to one artist’s shop. His name is Edo, a cheerful young man, who decided to harness his skills and make a living out of his talents.
There was something about his paintings that were quite unique and they all seemed to have a story to tell. You could tell by how he would take his time to explain to you each and every detail of one of his pieces that he really loves what he does.
Not only does he paint on canvas, but he recycles wine bottles and compact disks, that make for unique fridge decoration, gifts for your loved ones. In a town that has quite a number of young men and women addicted to drugs, it is very heartwarming to see the likes of Edo, not giving in to the easy way out, but trying to create employment and make a living out of it!
We slowly drove down into Old town and got to see where the beautiful beaded sandals are made. The way they pay attention to detail and give each sandal some form of life with the colorful beads and intricate designs, we had to restrain ourselves so as not to end up spending all our money on sandals! Time wasn’t on our side, so we didn’t get to take a proper tour of the town itself, but I vowed to come back and get to explore and learn more about the heritage that Watamu has to offer.
On our way back to our resort, I spotted a Masai man, with beautiful ornaments adorned around his neck and shop, and I couldn’t help but admire the lovely neck pieces that he was selling. I made a mental note to come back and get a few pieces from him the next time I came back to Watamu.
Apart from the artsy life that Watamu has to offer, the Italian pizza restaurants had amazing décor from the outside, that made me feel like I was somewhere in Rome. I loved that most restaurants have the verandah setup which gave them a homely feel to it, yet made me get immersed in the beautiful surroundings that they had to offer.
Watamu definitely holds a special place in my heart, and for sure I will be back soon to explore and get to learn more about this beautiful place. I managed to capture some more beautiful pieces in Malindi as well. I loved how they brought some life to the walls along the road.