It's been a while since I last wrote to you all, so thought I might catch you all up on our adventures.
Mauritius was beautiful as the post cards/pictures normally show, however there is a whole other side to it too - the slums, to which we pretty much stayed around though our accommodation was alright. We were there for 4 days, and due to jet lag, we pretty much did nothing for the first 3. On our one active day, we went on a day tour down the west coast of Mauritius. We went to Bella Mare which is the place where a lot of expensive brand name clothes are manufactured, and they sell them for less than half the price there (though still too expensive for me to buy.) We then went on a speed boat to see a waterfall (I'm sure it had a name, but I can't remember!), and then onto the really famous Mauritius beach Aux Ille Crex which was amazingly beautiful, just like the pictures! After that we went on another boat to have a 3 course meal on another island which of course consisted of seafood, and to Clinton's delight, lobster and lovely unlimited Mauritian Rum.
We also had a chance to go to a market there and got our first taste of African buying/selling. EVERYONE rushes at you and tries to sell you something, especially if you look or pick up anything. You end up having to be very rude in some cases, which isn't too fun, but it's the only way. They all look so disappointed when you don't buy from them as well. And somehow you always seem to be their first customer, to which you'll get a discount because of this!
After Mauritius, we had one night in Nairobi, Kenya. We went on a hunt for shoes for Clinton (again, he didn't bring any suitable ones) and we ended up being taken around the city with these 2 guys who were taking us to the "best shoe place" which ended up being a little shack (which is very common) and he was referring to good ol' Blundstones (because we're Australian) We did explain to him that we needed it for hiking, which unfortunately Blundstones aren't too good for. He then took us into a restaurant, ordered us a traditional meal and then left. The meal was fish from Lake Nakuru, and traditional Kenyan cake, which is not cake as we know it.. it's more like.. I don't really know - it's to fill you up anyway, and is not sweet. We never ended up getting Clinton some shoes, but we had a chance to see around the place at least (the guys weren't dodgy.. though when we were following them I was a little nervous!)
The following day we were on our tour with Kumuka. We went to Lake Nakuru National Park which is famous for all the flamingoes that live on the lake. We have some amazing photos of them all. We also got to see Rhino's (including a baby one), Zebras, Giraffe, Wilderbeast, Hyenas, Colobus monkey, Antelope, Eland, Baboons, and others which I can't think of off the top of my head. We were on a search for lions and cheetahs, though we didn't get to see them this time. Plenty more Safari Parks to come though!
The next highlight of our trip has been in the last 2 days. We got to go white water rafting down the Nile. I think there were around 16 rapids, with 3-4 grade 5 rapids. Our raft flipped twice, I nearly drowned once and we went down one waterfall. All in all, it was a good day! The following day we volunteered with the 'Soft Power Project' which is an organisation that builds schools for the kids. We went to help out by painting. Before we did that, we visited a pre-school. The kids swarm you and are so excited that you'er there. They sing and dance for you and then play. They LOVE the camera and try and rip it out of your hands.. They stole Clinton's glasses which was pretty funny cos he couldn't see who had them and had to get me to get them off the kids. It was really a rewarding experience. When we get a chance to upload some photos I'll send some out.
Driving through Africa is really amazing. The young kids always run out and wave at you with big, big smiles. You get to see their work ethics and quality of living - it's so different to ours. A lot of them seem so happy inspite of this - they can teach us a few lessons I think!
We are currently in Kampala, Uganda. We'll be seeing the Gorillas in a few days! I can't wait.. it will be spectacular! We'll actually be going into Rwanda to do that which was unexpected. They couldnt get the permits for Uganda, so now I'll be adding another country onto my list.
Anyways, I hope everyone is doing fine! Besides my tent flooding one night, I'm having a great time! 😊
Love Clinton and Flipper
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