Saturday, 16 July 2011

Random camping

After an incredible day of lion and elephant safari with a Kazak couple we picked up the night before, an evening camping inside Queen Elizabeth National Park seemed a wonderful way to finish the day.

The guidebook says something like 'be careful where you walk around the campsite'. Never mind around, are you safe in your tent? Warthogs seemed pretty interested in our dinner. Distinctly cat-like calls echoed through the area and snuffles and grunts convinced Lucy that the only way to overcome her Hyena/ snake/ hippo/ crocodile fears was to carry out her midnight pee in a tupperware pot without leaving the canvas.

I slept soundly.

A few days later and after a dusty ride up and down the road from Kyambura Gorge a local mentioned a hot spring near the rural settlement of Kitigata just 20km ahead. Getting a second wind, we pushed on and even a Lucy tyre puncture delayed us no more than a Ferrari pit stop in our quest for serene hot bathing.

Not quite as anticipated, the spring was packed with over a hundred locals. Our arrival provided mirth, but mainly the 'you ain't from around here' staring session akin to entering a pub in East Belfast. Unfazed, we erected the tent and ploughed, tripping and stumbling through bodies for a bathe. Lucy received much attention from the local men - interested in her production capabilities. I got gravel down my shorts.

Our sensational ability to cook and eat also gathered a crowd of kids.

Folk continued to arrive and bathe long into the night and the place was full again before we woke up. Great to see it being used, but perhaps not the idyllic peaceful night of our dreams...

Again I slept soundly, thanks for asking.


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