Had a great week with excited anticipation of a safari with George and Brett getting Monday through. Tuesday, I met up with the two Aussie explorers who had just made it to the top of Kilamanjaro with not much more than a bit of chaffing and it being 'a bit chilly and too much egg'. Our tour guides, Humundo and Happy (the chef) drove us to Tarangire National Park where we got our first taste of safari. Instantly we saw giraffes, zebras, wilderbeast and lots of big elephants. Highlights of first day were just poking heads through sun roof and being on safari - plus a Leopard we saw briefly.
After a hot night and cold breakfast, we went back into Tarangire to do a quick lap. Not many new sights apart from some baboons who reminded me of someone. (Nath, while I'm thinking of it, thanks for that email!!).
Off we drove to Ngorongoro Crater. Up a big hill, stop at the top (or rim) and down the steep hill to the park. First afternoon we don't see any Simba's, but we did glimpse black rhinos and saw lots of hippos. The 100's of animals in this crater was amazing.
Home to a nice hot meal and a very cold night. Also some frisbee with the French team. The view from the rim was amazing and an elephant walked up and started drinking from a tank. Very cool.
Next day we eventually got into the crater and immediately saw hyenas, which was cool. Then we got a real treat by seeing lions 50 metres away. And then.... they got up, walked right towards us and made mad, passionate, brief, lion love about 10 metres in front of us. It was amazing. Then they did it again - briefly. The female would snap, seemingly saying "King of the jungle, but joker in the sack!!". Then she would roll over. I got it on film, which i'm not sure is a good thing....
That day we say 4 more lions, which was great and then headed back to Arusha.
A really great time for my first safari, and I hope to put up some pics soon.
So I arrived in Arusha Tanzania, safe (just). The place is blowing me away every minute. It is amazingly dangerous and scary, as well as refreshingly wonderful and fantastic. I'm enjoying the food and my body is not reacting too badly (yet - touch wood!). I'm getting used to getting around in daladala's which seat about 12, but squeeze in more than 20. I'm also getting used to preparing my security each day with money to use, emergency money in my waist belt and emergency emergency money and phone in my shoulder holster type purse.
Home life is great with Mama Happy, her kids and her other lodgers. I played Connect for with Happiness (youngest daughter) and lost 5 times in a row - lucky I didn't take the bet she was offering. Everyone is helping me learn the language - last night Happiness (after kicking my arse) taught me colours through Uno.
Work is picking up after 3 days. I am actually finding it hard to buckle down after 3 months off. I'm doing finance and web site content - Nath and Rowan will laugh!
Anyway, I'm off to get the daladala back to Kijenge Mwana - I Hope i'm not hanging out the window this time.
A couple more photos from my recent European adwentures.
Sam, Ness and I just before we went kayaking. Ness had the 'Titanic' and Sam and I had lock in super kayaks, which combined with more than 3 minutes of hard core training meant that we spent some time upside down in the river thinking "OK, upside down in the river, running out of air, better find that release cord..." The brilliant blue of the water was amazing.
This is the view from the pass from Bovec towards Bled. Amazing.
Jules, Al and I overlooking Salzburg from the fortress.
The gazebo from the sound of music. "I am 29, going on 30....." It was closed due to injury of an old lady. It is also not in its original position, so it's in the middle of a paddock somewhere. And our guide made us say "Schnitzel" after he said "Wiener" to smile for the pic.
This is the bridge near the gorge outside of Bled. It was lovely and the trip on the way back was exciting due to impending darkness. "We must turn back, the hobbits will die!!!"
I'm getting ready to head to Tanzania via Kenya. Today I had a successful shopping day with the following items added to my inventory;
1 pair of binoculars.
1 pair of trousers (from Oxfam)
1 old collared shirt (from Oxfam)
1 security bag
2 extra pad locks
1 mosquito net
1 book - Dark Sun Safari by Paul Theroux
1 bottle of multivitamins
1 box of throat lozengers
1 bottle of sunscreen
I have also started taking my malaria drugs. Not the ones that make you crazy, the one that makes you more sunburned (not much of a choice.....).
>You may not know that many non-living things have a
> 1) Ziploc Bags -- They are Male, because they hold
>everything in, but you can see right through them.
> 2) Copiers -- They are Female, because once turned
>off, it takes a while to warm them up again. It's an
>effective reproductive device if the right buttons are
>pushed, but can wreak havoc if the wrong buttons are
> 3) Tire -- Male, because it goes bald and it's often
> 4) Hot Air Balloon -- Male, because, to get it to go
>anywhere, you have to light a fire under it and, of
>course, there's the hot air component.
> 5) Sponges -- Female, because they're soft,
>squeezable and retain water.
> 6) Web Page -- Female, because it's always getting
> 7) Subway -- Male, because it uses the same old lines
>to pick people up.
> 8) Hourglass -- Female, because over time, the weight
>can shift to the bottom.
> 9) Hammer -- Male, because it hasn't changed much
>over the last 5,000 years, but it's handy to have
> 10) Remote Control -- Female. Ha! You thought it'd be
>male. But consider this -- it gives a man pleasure,
>he'd be lost without it, and while he doesn't always
>know the right buttons to push, he keeps trying.
Here are a couple of pics from Croatia and Slovenia.
Big thanks the Inessa and the McElligott's for sharing the joy and the pivo!
Just some of the waterfalls (or Splats) at Plitvica national park in Croatia. Beautiful and well worth the trip. Stay nearby in the many zimmers for 10-15 euros.
The view from the top of the mast. Yes, it sounded like fun. Yes, I was crapping myself when I got that high.
Sam and I halfway around lake Bled with the church island in the middle. This was the second photo, the first lady took an average one, but you get that with volunteers....
Cap'n Mick with a grin on his face. Yep, I turned the wheel a bit. I think the real skipper was happier with me pulling ropes and scrubbing the decks than finding the right 'aparent wind angle'. Amazing.
Sam, Ness and I with big Pivo grins on our faces. I will always smile this much when I think of Sam doing an impression of the Slovenian cave guide lady "OK, ha, ha. Very funny. Please turn the lights back on. I know who it is. OK, ha, ha. Jokes over."