Malindi is famous for a lot of things, one of them being that more Italian is spoken there than Swahili. Slight exxageration. There are other things too, like Hell’s kitchen. Travel is mostly about disappearing, well at least not literally. The 9-5, the filing of reports, the numerous meetings to attend, the run ins with the landlord and other day to day routines. To ‘disappear’ and going places could even be equated as one and the same thing. In one of my escapades I stumbled upon a town that disappeared into the nothing.
Sounds like something we’ve encountered before; only this time one woman refused to go with the flow.
Unlike Jumba ruins, there is a legend – a really interesting folklore – that has been passed down by generations. Sadly, in Jumba there is nothing to tell.
Hell’s Kitchen – Of folklores and myths
According to the story, there was once a town – that is currently the Marafa Depression in Malindi. The locals refer the place as “Nyari” which is Giriama (a native language at the coastal region of Kenya) for ‘the place broken by itself’. Remember that time you got the vision to just quit your boring desk job and embark on an expedition to rediscover yourself? Is vision the right word here though :O
Well. the locals got a vision that needed them to move from that place to another location – to where, no one knows, a miracle was to happen soon. The old woman I mentioned earlier did not take heed of the vision and she refused to move; what did an old woman have to lose anyway, so she took her chances. The mysterious event came to be, the town vanished; barely anything is known about the woman after the said “miracle”. That is how the depressions at Hell’s Kitchen were formed.
It is an incredible place. I personally think it is one of the most breathtaking places I have been to so far in Kenya. According to undocumented scientific research, the place could have been a sandstone ridge that has been worn out by rain, floods, and wind over the years. Hence the jagged gorges.
I prefer to go with the legend. You do too, right?
Hell’s Kitchen is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places in Kenya that is yet to receive the attention it deserves. During my visit there, there was sadly just a handful of other explorers. Well, excluding high school children from Malindi town that were leaving as we arrived.
The roads are not as terrible as the insinuations on the internet portray. The place is accessible by public transport at very affordable prices. However, as a precaution, do not stay beyond 6 in the evening as very few matatus, if any, are available to Malindi past that time.
There are a variety of rocks in the gorges. These are differently colored depending on the sun’s position. While it is much of a spectacular view at sunset, it is bound to awe you at any time of day. The ribbed sandstone gullies are guaranteed to dwarf you.
While it may be an underrated site, Hell’s Kitchen is worth your time, and is a guardian of so many lessons depending on one’s perception of nature.
Thanks as always for stopping by 🙂
Again, Cheers to Disappearing!