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Published: August 23rd 2018
Wake early and see that our porters are waiting for our bags. We weren’t late, they just knew our bags had to go. It is amazing watching some of these people, some women, carry our bags. We feel embarrassed but they are happy to be helping us. Even had one woman throws a 22kg suitcase on her head and walks unassisted (not our bag....).
Into the breakfast room, as we watch monkeys clambering all over the place. Even had one sneak through a side door to steal a muffin from the table.
We sit with others who are grumbling about their breakfast. We order ours, comes as ordered and very nice. They must have ordered badly or got the dodgy wait staff.
Settle our account for 1 beer (USD $3) - not bad for a bigger than usual beer. Tour director and drivers arrive and bags are carried to 4 wheel drives. We are ushered into one by one of the group who has selected her “elite group”. Hmm, long time since I have been hand picked in the elite group........
Never mind, the group is good and we have some fun while driving through the countryside. Eventually we turn off the main road and stop for a toilet break and to pick up our Maasai guide. Little did I know that the dude in a dress type uniform directing the boys to toilets was our Maasai guide (Charles). The toilet was in a bedroom which then made us all feel a bit awkward, but we were assured by our guide that he covered tips, etc. so relax......
Get to the Maasai village and are Re-introduced to Charles. He remembers my name - oh oh. Really nice guy. As we walk in, we are greeted by the men singing and dancing, and young girls accompanying them. The village is pristine, considering the area they live in. Dirt, dust and more dust. The sheep and goats live on a compound just near the huts.
We are treated to a traditional Maasai welcome and dance. The men perform by singing and then doing their jumps. Boy, could Melbourne do with some of the vertical leaps these guys can do. I am invited to join in. Not much vertical height but boy can I make the earth shift when I land. Good fun and watching them enjoy us trying was great. I gave Anne for high fives form the elders (with real toothy grins) and the very young who were hesitant at first but got In the spirit soon.
We then saw a traditional house made of sticks, cow dung, water and mud. Pristine inside and while tiny had all they needed to live. The women were extremely beautiful in their traditional dress, earrings and other jewellery. Chris got into the dance moves again and ended up in the middle of the men asking questions, being asked questions and needing Charles for lots of help translating. The Maasai were very interested in our culture as well as giving info on theirs. Funny part was watching one of the warriors doing his stuff with a Bluetooth earpiece in. And then Charles’s phone went off. Ironic how the the wild can be mixed with the western world, sadly.....
We finally leave, dragging Chris away from her entourage of new Maasai warrior friends. Only to drive a short distance for a picnic lunch under the shade of an Acacia umbrella tree (BBQ lamb or goat, chicken, chips, rice, and lots of other stuff I wasn’t that interested in - read salad). Nice finish to the Maasai experience.
We drive back to town and drop Charles off. I can’t wait any longer and connect to the outside world to find out the footy results. Yay, Melbourne thrashed WCE (well from Africa any win is great).the rest of the truck wonder why o am getting a tad excited. OK, back to the animals.....
Eventually turn off the main road for our national park - Tarengire. Now we are on dirt roads again - African massage.... Lots of kids asking for sweets and money our guide won’t stop or entertain their behaviour. Says they are essentially losing their culture by begging - fair enough.
Finally get to the park entry. Do our sign in bit then start the game drive.eventually find lots of animals. Zebra, impala, Wilderbeast and elephants. The w Estée more elephants and more elephants..
Our newbies are having a ball, we are excited by seeing baby elephants and young Wilderbeast. Lots of animals, but we are all getting tired and need a toilet break. We aren’t far fro the lodge do,off we go. On the way we meet a solitary giraffe eating from a sausage tree (another story). Big boy who could reach most of the green branches, but gave a spectacular show of his black tongue, but also his ability to reach the taller branches of this tree.
Arrive at the lodge, greets with the standard towels and a drink. Given our induction, then led to our rooms. Again, after dusk we have to be escorted. Th s time by Maasai warriors. Our guard is Paul. He has a very sharp looking knife/sword on his hip so we fell quite safe.
We sit around a huge fire then up to dinner. Good food and chat. End up talking about our gorilla tour wit our tour guide (Moses 3) who says we have chosen the better option of Rwanda. We quiz him for more info. He says the Rwandan gorillas are tracked better and you essentially know how far you have to go each day. He also said that Kigali, our stopover is a beautiful town and the locals are very proud of the city.
OK, tick for that. Off to bed, our Maasai, Paul is waiting for us. We are escorted back to our tent. Chris asks if he would perform a leap for us. Bingo bango, up he goes. Stunning athleticism. Into the tent, mozzie nets around the bed and away into the land of zzzzzzzzzz
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