As we wandered along the jungle trail passing exotic fruit trees and herbal leaves, we heard the strange sound. It was like a man straining to do hefty work, only not a normal man, a monster man.
“Uggghhhhh!” the thing groaned before becoming silent for a few seconds. Angela I stopped and looked at each other, wondering what it could be.
“Uggghhhhh!” it went again, a reverberating sound straight from hell. It was louder this time. We moved onwards, careful in case the beast heard us.
“What is it..?” I whispered as we passed underneath a bread fruit tree. It was a wonder the massive fruit weren’t shaking from all the noise. “And where’s it coming from? It sounds like a dragon giving birth.”
We were in a large herbal garden that advertised itself as a small jungle park. Along its many trails, a tourist could stop and stare at the many different plants and indigenous creatures native to the Seychelles. But what else lurked in the forest, we wondered?
As we edged through the jungle we listened out for any sounds that the creature might be nearing, but thick
green foliage blocked any view beyond a few feet. Up in the canopy a couple of fruit bats were flapping their large leathery wings, and lower down, vivid red finches and squawking mynah birds paraded themselves, but at ground level, we had no choice but to continue along the trail. “UGGGGHHHH!” it suddenly roared. It sounded like it was just across from us. We stopped walking again.
"Is it a person?" whispered Angela, looking furtively through the thick undergrowth.
I shrugged, listening out for whatever the thing was. "I don't know, but if it is, then I think he needs medical assistance."
We carried on walking and then, quite suddenly, we came to a clearing and could see the source of the terrible sound. Immediately the straining moans made perfect sense. It was a giant tortoise on top of another giant tortoise and both were engaged in an act of pure reptile coitus. Every time the male heaved forwards, he made the tortured sound; mouth agape, eyes half-closed and tongue lolling over the side of his chops.
“Jesus bloody Christ!” I said, staring at the sordid scene. The female
tortoise looked ambivalent to the whole proceedings, as did the other tortoises in the enclosure, but the male on top was heaving like an old man doing a press-up.
“UGGGGGGHHHHH!” it bellowed again, hoisting itself forward. Beside me Angela was laughing while the deep resonant sound cascaded through the rainforest.
“I’ll tell you something,” I sniggered as we walked to the edge of the enclosure. “This bugger has got some stamina. He’s been going at it for ages. He looks like he’s about to pass out.”
And then we noticed that things were not going according to plan for the randy reptile. His female companion had pressed her shell hard to the ground, effectively staunching his cold-blooded advances. After another couple of heaves he gave up and simply collapsed out on her back, neck pulsing and tongue flopping. The jungle returned to its normal state of chirping and wind rustling. The monster had been felled.
If you have enjoyed reading this small excerpt, then perhaps you will want to read more.
Flashpacking Through Africa: Travels Through 17 African Nations
to see Africa in style. Why camp out under mosquito-infested skies when there’s always a nice hotel somewhere to be found. Instead of enduring mini-van journeys through the wilds of the Sahara, Jason sips on wine from 30,000ft. Flashpacking is the way forward in Africa, he states, and plane travel is so much quicker. Comfort is paramount when everything outside is dusty and raw.
From the souqs of Marrakech to the red dust of Kampala, Jason witnesses first-hand what this mighty continent has to offer. From traffic cops in Swaziland, to singing schoolchildren in Senegal, Jason comes face to face with the Africa of his dreams. Find out how, in Zimbabwe, he becomes part of the Great Warthog chase, and in Zambia, he is startled by primates knocking on his door. Discover how it feels to be propositioned by a prostitute in Mombasa and how he almost perished on the slopes of Table Mountain. But it’s not all fun and laughter in the Dark Continent, because Jason’s endless battles with shysters make his blood boil. And finding a non-flushing toilet in the Comoros almost sends him into deep despair. But onwards he travels, buoyed by the thought of a
Join Jason as he flashpacks his way through this amazing continent. His journey begins in Morocco, and takes him to The Gambia, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Seychelles, Egypt, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and the Comoros.
My aim was to visit at least 100 countries, and with Brazil, I finally did it. I'm now loitering at 104. Or is it 105, I lose count...
Unlike a lot of fellow travellers, I tend to only dip my feet into a country, quite often only staying a day or two before heading off somewhere else.
Country numbers 54 and 55 were my first trips alone - something I never thought I'd do.
In 2013 I published an e-book entitled The Red Quest, detailing my mission to visit each and every country of the former Soviet Union. Along the way I sa... full info
A lengthy struggle between France and Great Britain for the islands ended in 1814, when they were ceded to the latter. Independence came in 1976. Socialist rule was brought to a close with a new constitution and free elections in 1993. The most recen...more history