Being married to a man with a travel company means I'm lucky enough to hitch a ride on many of his work trips and no matter where we end up, I'm always on the look out for local treasures. An empty suitcase is an absolute no negotiable MUST on my journeys as I invariably come home laden with rocks and stones (which I can never resist collecting) as well as all the glorious bits and bobs I find. One of my greatest pleasures is sharing these hauls with my customers who seem to share my love of the locally made, the tactile, the unusual and exotic things I seem to find.
Our latest trip was to the Samburu in Kenya, which stunned me with it's crystalline landscape of shimmering mica pinks and silvers and it's shrubby trees. The heat was intense and the sun baked landscape was parched due to the late rains. Luckily it did rain whilst we were there, in short violent bursts but turn your head for a second, look back and watch in wonder as the thirsty trees and bushes seemed to revive in all their fleshy greens almost in front of your eyes. Elephants were a plenty and were happy in the rain, as we travelled down to the waterholes to watch the creatures gather, darkened skin gleaming with wet mud.
Lamu on the coast is a short hop from the mainland and a beautiful way to end a trip on safari. The local community heavily depends on tourism and has had a rocky time recently and I was overwhelmed by the welcome we received. Losing myself in the sandy alleyways and twisted backstreets felt like going back in time, in fact you get the sense it's been the same for centuries. I met so many wonderful, friendly locals, all inquisitive, so proud of their town and many makers of exquiste treasures, from fabrics, to baskets and beads. All made it home with me and, hopefully, home to you. Happy browsing xxx