Email from Coley just after flying to Nairobi, Kenya on October 5 2001, plus great pictures of the Masai ..
Hi mum and dad and family!!
Where are all my emails! Logging on with no word from home is very unusual!!Just a quicknote to let you know that I have arrived safe and sound in Africa and am having a blast! Didnt do much in Nairobi, thought better of exploring when we were on our way and the hotel staff told us to leave our bags behind as we were likely to be mugged!
Have headed out on our big truck and done one nightsbush camping in tents with the masai tribe warriors protecting us from the night! We had a very insightful tour of a masai village and their way of life, and then traditional dancing from the warriors around the campfire last night. This morning it was off to watch spear and club throwing (Which we had a turn of). Oh and on the masai village tour, Suz and I got to help renovate the houses....by mushing up cow poo with our hands and smearing it on the roof!! Havent seen any wild animals yet, but tomorrow am off to the serengeti on a three day game park tour, expecting to see loads!
The group is going well, and everyone seems to get onwell so far. Enjoying the (semi) hot weather, although not liking the fact that I am already covered in three layers of dirt, havent showered for two days and smelly!!!!
Our guides said phones are hard to come by and veryexpensive to call reverse charges (ie. 20 USD for 5 mins!) and internet is not so frequent, so dont worry if you dont hear from me fora while!
I am having a great time and will get in touch againsoon as I can!
Lots of love
And now off to the Serengeti, October 12 2001 ....
I have been a very busy girl in the last week and abit, now that I am on my African Safari! We have been so busy with not much relaxing, and more 6am starts than I care to remember. I am now getting used to not showering for three days, being covered in ten layers of dirt and grime, and peeing in the bush trying to dodge the locals who are milling about! Camping is lots of fun, and I am now used to my thermorest and listening out for nocturnal animals! We did a bush camp in the middle of the serengeti and our guides scared the living crap out of us telling us not to have smelly shoes in our tent as the lions are attracted to them (who doesnt have smelly shoes when you havent washed for three days!!). And sure enough we did hear the lions around and the water buffalo, but all was fine! The same camp site though, I did have another fright when I was squatting over the hole in the ground, in the dark with my head torch on when a bat flew up my bum mid-poo from the hole!! There was about ten people around cracking up at me screaming and telling me to come out of the loo, and me explaining that I couldnt because I was mid-poo!
So as I was mid-poo I obviously had to do somethingabout it, only to have the bat fly up my bum again! So out of the loo I went and three of us girls all lined up outside in the bush to finish the job, as no-one wanted to use the loo anymore! You can see how quickly you get to know your tour group and needless to say I am now known as 'batgirl' and am quite famous for that story!!
Since I arrived in Nairobi, we have spent a night in amasai village, and Suz and I helped to renovate the mud brick houses by mushing up wet cow poo and smearing it on the roof! We also did some traditional dancing with the warriors and had a go at club throwing. From there we headed into the Serengeti for some of the most amazing times I think I will ever have. Did we see some animals or what! It is quite surreal seeing all these animals in the flesh that you have seen on documentaries and pictures. We saw the 'Big Five' - elephant (had a heard of about 16 cross the road about 10 metres behind us), leopard, water buffalo, lion ( a male lion posing for our camera about 10 metres away!), and rhinocerus!! We have also seen more giselle than you can poke a stick at, hippos, crocs, baboons, maonkeys, a sabre cat, flamingo, more lions, antelope, giraffe and zebra. We were even lucky enough to see a lion on the side of the road completely knackered after finishing off a zebra kill right next to it
From the serengeti we headed in to the mountains to Loshoto (??) and spent two nights at one of the most amazing campsites I have ever seen. We were camping on little platforms that were literally on the edge of a mountain waking up in the clouds! Spent a nice couple of days relaxing, playing with the local children, visiting an orphanage and a blind school. And now I am in Zanzibar looking forward to a couple of relaxing days, and hopefully find some sun to relax by the beach!
The tour group is great, we are all having heaps of fun! I think that is about all I can remember to tell you for now.
Hope everyone is well and those that are travelling are enjoying themselves as much as me!!!!!
Antelope Park, Zimbabwe
Email from Coley at Victoria Falls, Zimabawe, November 4 2001
Caution : censored M (mature readers only!)
Finally found an internet cafe, they are few and far between and when we do find them we arealways so rushed for time that I cant write, so apologies for the lack of communication over the last few weeks!
Since I last wrote we have had loads happening fromtrucks breaking down, a girl being rushed to the doctor at midnight, the same girl fracturing her writst playing polo cross, getting 1m away from a lion with no protection around us, me nearly passing out from dehydration, the truck breaking down, swimming bare back on elephants, white water rafting down the Zambezi, river boarding and helicopter flying! Not a bad life for some is it!! So, at the risk of boring you I will now go into details, for those of you who are happy for the summary, press delete now!
We have had a fair bit of relaxing on beaches of Lake Malawi, which was where one of my travel buddies had to be rushed to the doctor with a long standing medical problem, resulting in the rest of us being stuck and having to squash on to another truck for a very cramped 6 hour ride to the next place. Very soon after that our truck broke down taking us 16 hours to reach our destination and again having to be resuced by another truck and towed in the dark to our campsite!
We stayed in an awesome campsite soon after that where there were hippos about 20m from our tents and elephants grazing during the night 2m away from the tents!! And let me tell you, hippos make really loud noises shich make it very difficult to get any sleep!!! We did a night game drive here when we were in 4x4 vehicles with no doors and roofs, so you can imagine how terrified I was when we got within 1m of a female lioness (hungry one too!) which of course was on my side of the truck (I would like to now tell you how brave I was but suz will quickly tell you that I was basically sitting on her lap and shaking with fear!).
From here we headed to Lake Kariba for a fantastic two days on a houseboat with a pool and far to much beer, red wine and punch (not of the fruity variety) which leads me to my dehydration story. Now I know most of you know that my hangovers have got much better in recent months....well. Lets just say that they are returning to normal on this trip!! A recipe for disaster is this.....
1. Not eating
2. Drinking far too many beers
3. Then deciding that I am having a great time so yes, I will drink my one pound bottle of red wine
4. The boat running out of drinking water at 10pm
5. Unable to drink water till it was refilled at 6am
6. By which stage it is too late as with 40 degree heat coming up, I start to vomit and cant keep it down anyway
7. After 5 vomits I start hyperventilating in the shower and decide I need help.
8. Unable to keep rehydration salts down and my feet and hands start to tingle and then spasm
9. then start to go all loopy
10. But dont worry after 5 more vomits I start to feel much better (which is lucky as my crew was going to take me back to shore!), even managed to have a late lunch and more beer at night!!!
11. Dont worry mum, I am fine and was in no dnager what so ever! Needless to say, I have now truly learnt the benefits of drinking water before going to bed!!!!
Then went to Antelope Park and had one of the best days of my trip! I got to hand feed 2 month old baby lion cubs (so cute till they do a running jump and bit me right on the boob!), we walked with 14 month old lions (very big!) and not so easy to play with. One of our guys didnt obey the rules and crouched down to take a photo, ended up being jumped on to play with one of the lions and scratches all over him and 5 holes in his T-Shirt! I also went on a game ride on a horse and got 2 metres away from giraffes,
played polo cross very badly!) in the afternoon, did an elephant ride and was then lucky enough to get a turn at jumping on bareback and going swimming with the elephants (quite scary I must say when the elephant was being really cheeeky and trying to throw me and the guide off her!!).
Now I am in Vic Falls and have successfully rafted the mighty Zambezi. Even tried my luck at River Boarding (ie. going down grade 5 rapids on a boogy board.).
Very scary stuff I must say, particularly when you get washed into whirl pools, face plant into two metre deep waves, and run out or breath because you cant stay on the damned board!. Particularly fun when you are so knackered that you cant avoid the rocks so run into them and surf right up them, so I was 1m above the river looking like a stranded turtle!!!!
So, that is the highlights of my trip so far! Sorry if I bored you!
Off to go get some more sunshine and hopefully have my first day for a while relaxing by the pool!!
p.s. Forgot to tell you that I had a maggot in my foot!!!!!! It was BIG and UGLY and WHITE and GROSS and took along time to dig out of my foot!! Even more fun getting it out when I discovered on the day of the afore mentioned hangover and had to have breaks from surgery to go vomit!!! I just hope he didnt have time to lay any eggs.........
Victoria Falls - Rock Pool on the edge - 111 metre drop over that ledge!!
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