Saturday, June 8, 2013
A Day of Adventure
Well, today was a day of adventure. After waking up to rain, I worried about my plans for the day. I was picked up by my guide and we headed off. Because of the rain potential, we were not able to go to Tarangire the back way through Lolkisale, plus Crispin found out that the market is a different day. Luckily, he found that there was another local market at Kigongoni towards Mto wa Mbu, so we headed there. The rain stopped and it became a beautiful day.
The market was fascinating. There were cattle and goat auctions, and many things for sale. Two of the local guys gave me a tour showing me the homemade beer area (from bananas, millet, or maize), as well as the shed where they bleed and butcher the goats. I got in trouble for taking pictures there as it is culturally sensitive. I thanked the guys by buying an item from each. It was a great adventure.
From there, we went to Tarangire National Park. We saw so many animals, it was remarkable. We saw giraffes, impala, bushbucks, vervet monkeys, elephants, and many birds. My apologies to birders, as I am not knowledgable about birds. I did keep a checklist, but I could not match them to their pictures. The most exciting encounter was a group of elephants, who started circling around their babies, and we saw the grasses moving from the passage of a large cat (lion?leopard?). The cat finally gave up.
Our second adventure happened as we tried to find a shortcut to the Whistling Thorn
Tented Camp. We were following a barely-seen rut through the tall grasses for a long time. After 2 wrong turns, we finally made it. The camp was great. I stayed in a basic large tent, but it had beds and a flush toilet. The water for the shower is brought by hand and put in your bucket-wash fast or you have to ask them to do it again! We had a great dinner under the dining canopy, then Maasai warriors showed up. The local Maasai tribe owns the camp, and proceeds go to them. They come to put on a song and dance show each night. As I was the only guest, I got to dance with them. Pictures will be added later! I had to go to bed early, as the generator is turned off at 10:00 . I highly recommend this camp, as I was made to feel at home. I was told that they recently opened a new school for Maasai children nearby, so I knew this was a good place to leave many of the school supplies I brought.