This week was a roller-coaster of trees, trekking and deafening trumpets.
Let me tell you why…
We stayed in a camp on a creek/ half dried riverbed which we nicknamed Ambush Alley as it’s an area known to attract wildlife to drink … and to kill. Our camp was much less fancy this time: regular tents, sleeping on mattresses on the ground etc, but our incredible chef from last week joined us again and that meant homemade choco muffins for breakkie, homemade burgers for lunch and even homemade pasta at night! yasss!
But it wasn’t all fun and yummies… I had to try mopane (fried worms) for the camera. Won’t lie- was not impressed. But might give it another go in a few weeks so no conclusions just yet!
Every afternoon we’d see animals coming to drink right outside our tents. Families of elephants, monkeys, buffalo etc… So cool!
Actually, it seems that I always have some wacky elephant-related story to tell here. Well, my friends, you won’t be disappointed…
You see, when you get close to an elephant on foot you ALWAYS need a barrier: a log, a hole in the ground, a tent.. anything! Elephants hate obstacles and will abandon their chase if it becomes complicated. Walking in this creek, it’s kinda hard to find that…
So when an elephant appears from around the corner and is quickly approaching you with a DEAFENING trumpet, you gotta get creative. Go uphill? Nope. Too steep and 60 ft high. Hide in rock cracks? Won’t fit and too risky. Climb a weird tree that grows from out of nowhere? Bingo. Now, if you knew me as a kid- you would know that I was NOT a tree climber. I was more of the listening-to-Britney-Spears-whilst-painting-in-the-corner girl or the making-up-an-elaborate-secret-language-with-my-best-friend kinda kid. And here I am, needing to climb a freaking ancient spiral tree to save my life from a huge thirsty elephant. OH DEAR LAWWWWD! Fortunately (or unfortunately), the moment of me channelling my inner Tarzan for the first time ever was caught on camera:
Developments: I am alive. Woooot!
Another (more pleasant) tree experience was when we found a 2,000 year old baobab that had recently collapsed. We got to rummage around and found pottery bits from hundreds of years ago that people brought as ‘gifts’ for their loved ones that were buried there. COOL OR WHAT??
And if you think THAT’S old, check out these 60 MILLION YEAR OLD dinosaur fossils, embedded in the sandstone along the valley. It was a long(ish) trek to see them, but totally worth it! Imagine touching something that old!! Mind=BLOWN.
Shortly after, we also came across some awesome skulls (my favourites were the impala and elephant skulls…notice the teeth on the elephant one!). Is it weird I’m so obsessed with skulls? I feel bad being so excited on camera because the animal died and everything, but honestly- how cool is it to study its anatomy so close… especially if the animal died of natural causes??
Of course we would have loved to see a kill in the Ambush Alley, so some mornings we went up to the viewpoint and waited for the action to happen. We waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited…. And weren’t lucky.
But that’s okay, because we had scrabble, backgammon, muffins and tea. And what more could you need in life? (I’m desperately trying to beat the genius producer at scrabble and it’s proving rather useless for now, so that’s def another serious aim for the next few months).
One day, on our way up there, we found a pack of Wild Dog! Very rare creatures and some of the best hunters. They were calling out for pups they had lost the night before (their calls go something like ‘wooo… wooooo‘. Very owl-like). We got close (using the bum shuffle technique to stay low.. which I did NOT look graceful doing) and then came back later and followed them into the GLORIOUS sunset as they went out to continue their hunt: both for their lost pups and for new prey.
And to finish off, here is a picture of an orgasmic cheese soufflé the chef made a few nights ago. Still cannot deal:
I am BEYOND excited for next week! Activities will include flying over the Victoria Falls in a heli, staying in a luxurious lodge with the most incredible views (omgggg finally don’t have to share a bathroom or wear 7 layers to bed! #score), zip-lining, learning to play traditional drums and a few other goodies! See y’all in a week! xxx