Safari Journal Part 16

Safari Journal – Part 16

Part 16

I was so cold that I rode in the truck cab with John on the way back to the campsite. That night we ate dinner and went straight to our tents. We will be packing up early in the morning and moving on to the Oldapi Gorge and the Ngorongoro crater tomorrow. I sleep more soundly on this night than I have the entire trip. I guess getting mad and pouting really wears a person out.

I am the first to unzip my tent and God gives me a bonus moment. There are four giraffe in my view. They are not right in front of our campsite but closer to me than they have been all trip. As I start to lift myself out of my tent they are startled, but they don’t move. They are taller than the tree’s and graceful like ballerinas. Chomping slowly like they taste every single vein in the leaves. I hear another tent unzip and the giraffe start to scatter. They look awkward and almost goofy when they run.

After eating breakfast we start to pack up. I have noticed that as the trip goes on I help more and more to help pack the truck and the others help less and less. I forget that the others will soon be turning 50 and 60 and I am just 31. I am the youngest of the group and you can tell by my moodiness and by my enthusiasm. We travel for about two hours when we stop for lunch at the Oldapi Gorge. The true name of the gorge is the Oldavai Gorge but somewhere in history a German explorer, Kattwinkel, got the name wrong and it has been wrong on every map ever since. Damn Germans! As you can tell by my last name I am partly German (more of a mutt), and you can probably also find some facts in my writing that are wrong so I say, Damn Germans! This place is where the oldest hominid fossils have been found. The Leakey’s were a couple who were able to fund some digs here. They found bones for almost every type of homo that we know today. You can’t tell by looking at the place. There is a visitor center with information but besides that all that you notice is the damn 500 birds flapping around while you are trying to eat. Some Frenchman thinks that he impresses the ladies by setting pieces of bread in front of us on the table. The birds flap and flap until I must get up and move. He obviously doesn’t know my bird caused distress.

We arrive at our campsite, which is on the rim of the Ngorongoro crater. We are told to set up our tents closer together than we have before and that we will need to have armed guards patrol our campsite at night. Lovely! Oh yeah, and watch out for the stinging nettle in the middle of the night while finding your way to the pot! The reason that we need the guards is because the male elephants, lions and boars stay on the rim of the crater. They only go down into the crater to mate. Sounds like some guys I know.

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