Thursday, July 19, 2012

Camping Trip-Day 3

Sunrise across the dry riverbed by our camp
We started out Wednesday morning bright and early with the sunrise.

I was amazed at how well I slept! No bump-bump-bumping of the neighborhood duka sampling the music of CDs they sell. No cockle-doodle-do of the neighborhood roosters. No mosque calling Muslims to prayer. Over the past few months I've learned to sleep through all of these noises, but it was so nice to not have that! I didn't realize how much I've been missing quiet.

Mass with a guest
As the sun continued to rise we celebrated Mass together. Visitors started coming right away, so they sat down and joined in.

Making pancakes
We carbed it up on a pancake breakfast. It was so windy that as soon as I'd put the batter into the pan it'd be covered in a layer of dust. I kept saying that as new residents in TZ we needed to breath, eat and taste the country.

After breakfast we headed out on what we thought was going to be a 1 mile hike. We wanted to visit what we affectionately referred to as "the baboon pools." They are a series of pools with cool mountain water where herders bring their cattle to drink and baboons sometimes sit on the edges. We had different intentions, though. We wanted to swim! We'd gone a few dusty days without showers, so even a cattle trough sounded good to me.

Baboons by our campground
As soon as we set out we saw these guys by our campsite. Maybe they were headed to the pools themselves!

It was a hot, dry, dusty walk. And it ended up being more like 3 miles instead of 1 mile, which was tough because we'd not brought enough water. We also had an older MK priest with us and there was some concern about whether he'd make it. But I'll tell you what, those MK priests are the real deal! John hung in there like a champ and even lead the pack at times. One of our visitors from the morning, a young man named Thomas, took it upon himself to be our guide. I was grateful for his guidance because on the way back he took a shortcut through the plains and it shaved off about 20 minutes off our 2 hour walk!

Walking to find the "baboon pools"
Headed to the mountains in the distance. We should've known it was more than 1 mile!

Along the walk we saw lots of cattle being corralled by their herders. We also saw 2 snakes, a huge jackrabbit and a dik-dik.

Finally reached the pools.
We finally reached the pools, hot and sweaty. I was ready for a swim!

You can get a scale of the pools and rockface surrounding it
We walked along the rock-face to get to the highest pool. It was a little cleaner than the others and we the cattle couldn't get up there, so we wouldn't have to worry about them coming up while we were swimming.

Only me, Liz, Caitlin and Mike took the opportunity to swim. The water was freezing cold, but after the hot walk it felt great. Liz even thought to bring soap so I could get a little sudzed up!

It was a long walk back but it was great to see how everyone helped each other out, slowing down when someone was falling behind. We had plans to do some more hiking around afterwards, but by the time we got back to camp it was mid-afternoon and everyone was spent. So we just napped, chilled and got a bite to eat.

That night we had another great meal on the fire, told stories, and helped pop each other's blisters.

Liz doing "surgery" on my blisters after a 3 mile "1 mile" walk

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