Monday, July 9, 2012
Coming back to Eldoret feels like settling back into my new home. It's amazing how long a week can feel when you are in a new place, fully engaged, and out of your normal routine. It is one of the things I love most about traveling, that time seems to expand!
Kai, Chris, Katie, Rory, Dara, and I had an amazing weekend on safari. We stayed in a tent camp on the Maasai River, just a 2 minute walk from a hippo pool. The beasts are terrifying. Apparently, they are very territorial and aggressive. So although they are amusing, even enthralling to watch, the thought of them rushing ashore was enough to bring out our most skittish sides, as we compared our footprints to the massive ones on shore where we stood watching.
The way they peered directly at us and groaned,with just their eyes and ears above water, then suddenly submerged, had me imagining one suddenly surfacing 10 feet away, coming after us! When they come out of the water even slightly, you can see how massive they are, sometimes weighing up to 2 tons. Apparently they come out to explore our camp each night at around 1 a.m. Our Kenyan guide, Felix, later informs us that they would sever us into not two, but three pieces, if given the opportunity. He's overly informative at times.
The Masai Mara was incredible, and worth the bumpy 9 hour drive each way. We saw zebra, elephants, ostrich, crocodiles, storks, lions with their cubs, water buffalo, giraffe,warthog, cranes, hyenas, baboons... with a backdrop too vast to believe, complete with mirages, dust, cavernous valleys, and endless grassy plateaus.