Letters to Nia – Scenes from Nomad Beach Restaurant, Diani

Diani Beach Turquoise waters
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Nia,

So I took a leap and traveled. Solo! To Diani.

***

So I’m seated at Nomad ‘s Beach Bar and Restaurant in Diani, with my hair blowing all over my face from the breeze. I’m in the shade, and my face is shining from all the Baobab oil and sunscreen I generously put on.  There’s music playing – some old tunes that sound like country music, but I’m really bad at music so I could be wrong. 

Nomad is as colourful as it gets. There are leso prints on the cushions and the shades, and it’s so cozy I might easily fall asleep. I keep staring as the waves come to shore, move back, and then forward  again with a little more agitation each time. The ocean’s clearly angry at something, I’m just not sure what. 

There’s a little of everything going on around me. There are people walking across the beach in either direction, like you usually do. There’s a girl in a hot pink top riding a camel – and it looks like she’s enjoying it. There are some acrobats entertaining a seemingly uninterested audience. A few people are windsurfing and they don’t seem to be doing too badly, actually.

I’m having a chef’s recommended water melon and ginger lassi, waiting to get hungry so that I can order the pizza I said I’d order. The lassi tasted weird at the start, which for me means that it wasn’t as sweet as I expected. But I sneaked in a spoon of Stracciatella ice cream into the lassi, and it is definitely much better. The Stracciatella ice cream was amazing! It was milk ice cream with chocolate chips, and I’ve been a little crazy over chocolate chips recently. So much so that I actually have a half eaten pack of choco chip biscuits in my bag right now. 

The acrobats seem to have attracted some attention now, and some children have joined the show. Five camels are sat a few feet from my table, waiting to make their owners some money. The breeze is a little rough, and there’s a little girl running after a note that keeps getting blown away from her. The note lands in the middle of the camels, and the camel owners then help her get the money. 

As I write this, the wait staff ask me if everything is okay. 2 of them. I’m fine, I say. Maybe it’s because I’ve only had about a third of my Lassi. I’m still full from the breakfast I had, but I still want to sample food at Nomad. So I’ll wait a little longer or maybe order to go. 

I was very scared about travelling solo actually, but it has sort of grown on me. I’m filling up my time doing things that I love to do. I’m swimming and taking tuktuks to random places on Google maps. I’m sampling restaurants like Nomad and eating familiar foods. I had amazing baby pork Ribs at Piri Pirie’s yesterday and I’ve just ordered some chicken here. Finally. And maybe I’ll have Italian pizza from the Pizzeria down the street from the hotel I’m staying in. 

Last night, I played pool with staff at my hotel. My game is pretty shabby, but I’m happy to learn. There’s an ache in my elbow, and it’s likely from all the angling and aiming at balls. I’m alright though. I’m hoping birthdays for me will be jolts to learn new skills or games, and I’m happy I get to play pool with people who don’t judge how bad my game is. 

I traveled because I felt the need to do some thinking and get my life together. I haven’t done much of that, and honestly, it may be a lot to ask of a 3 day holiday. But I’m happy, and calm, and peaceful – and very grateful for life and everything I have. I got an oceanfront room, where I saw the sun rise from my bed, with half shut eyes, then slept another 2 hours. 

My chicken is here, in a take away box, but I’ve decided to have some of it here, as I finish writing this. Ghafla bin vuu, a monkey pounces on the basket of bread on my table and I’m too confused to stop it. The monkey takes all the bread sticks and rushes away, pretty pleased with itself. I wasn’t going to have the bread anyway. 

***

You know I’ve always been scared of traveling solo, but with this new age, I keep asking myself what I’d do if I wasn’t afraid.

Find a review of Nomad and other top rated restaurants in Diani here


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Annette Mumbi has written about Food and Travel on various platforms over the last 5 years. She enjoys describing people and places, and photographing places and food. Annette's absolutely loves the beach and has an insatiable liking for chicken wings.

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