Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Brushfire Fairytales

I was heading back to my hut at the safari lodge we were staying at on Sunday night. It was very dark but as I left the main lodge, I was sure of where I was going and was a little startled when an elderly man dressed in the lodge employee outfit came out of the shadow, pointing away from us and looking at me. He was calm but saying something in a low and forceful voice. "Bathroom," it sounded like he said. I paused... "No, no I'm going to my hut," I said quietly back. He shook his head. I leaned in.

"Buffalo."

Oh.

About ten feet from the path that led to all the huts stood about six massive dark buffalo. We'd actually been told to expect this, and that it wasn't too dangerous but you should just be cautious. Hearing about it is of course quite different from encountering it. I walked slowly, reverently, past. And obviously, made it safely back to my place.
The next day we viewed dozens and dozens of them from the safe and assuring enclosure of a hardy safari van. Along with giraffes, bucks, a lion and her cubs, and a lot of other things. The feeling of standing in a vehicle, your upper body out through a hole in the top, racing past the landscape, wind on your face... doing that every day would most certainly be incredibly good for the soul.

Other highlights of the last two days out on the game reserve by the Nile...

* Our safari guide setting fire to the tall golden grass and then having us drive away. Um, aren't you about to burn up thousands of acres of African landscape? No, it's not dry enough here? Okay. Santa Barbara would light up like a Christmas tree in January, but we'll take your word for it.
* Watching the World Cup games with Ugandan locals and international lodge guests on a sweet flatscreen by the bar. Geckos crawling on the wall, bats flying by the ceiling, Ronaldo drilling the ball into the net after it bounces off his back. Epic.
* Scrambling around on the wet rocks surrounding Murchison Falls on the Nile. Hot air, cool water spray, rainbow over the gap... can't wait to share all the photos.
* Food from the street vendors while on the road... its official: Meat on a stick is fantastic no matter what corner of the world you're in. Thailand, Greece, Uganda, Sharkeez in Santa Barbara... All delicious.

Miss you all.

No comments: