Spring Break: African Style
Trip Start Jul 10, 2010
37Trip End Ongoing
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From there we headed to the ostrich farm. I still have mixed feelings on these creatures. They did allow some people to ride them here, and I figured I'd scope it out before stepping up the plate. Although my initial goal when coming to Africa was to ride an ostrich, I had heard that it was questionable how ethical a practice this is
We then headed to Buffalo Bay, and after a few hours arrived at our Backpackers Hostel, right on a gorgeous beach! The hostel had such a cool vibe to it, very “beachy” and relaxed. We strolled the sandy beach, picked up shells, watched the sun set, and dipped our toes in the Indian Ocean. We also explored the many inlets and little coves, and my friend found a star fish, a sea anemone, sea urchins and all kinds of treasures, many of which I was able to identify thanks to my summer working at the touch tank at the Children’s Museum!
Sunday morning we woke up early to go “kloofing”, something I had signed up for without being very clear on exactly what it is. We drove to the edge of the woods, where our guide handed out wet suits before we hiked through the woods and down a very steep trail
We swam down the river, stopping every few minutes to scramble (barefooted and soaking wet) up the side of cliffs, where we would then jump off of ledges dozens of feet up and land in the freezing water below, hopefully avoiding the rocks that jetted out on the way down. It was freezing, exhilarating, and scary! We had one particular scare when a girl in my group fell off a cliff and slid for about 10 feet or so before landing in the water. We all held our breaths as we anticipated lots of blood and screaming. Miraculously she was just a bit banged up and we continued on
On Monday we woke up to a rainy day, but still decided we were up for an adventure of horseback riding on the beach. This is something I’ve always wanted to do. I was picturing a slow stroll down the beach on an old pony, as my last time on a horse I think was at the May Fair at Lake Street School (I was 7). But these were no ponies- I think they were race horses. I had no idea animals could move this quickly, and soon my horse and I were off and running down the beach, at a pace that that scared the living daylights out of me. The rain made it all mystical and magical, especially the absence of waterfront development. It was just me, my horse, the waves, the sand, and the torrential downpour. I had a hard time staying on my horse and holding on, and although I learned to relax a bit I think I would have been more comfortable on a pony like the one from the May Fair. The picture I posted is not actually of the horse I rode, as he was far too grumpy to pose for a photo.
After that we went to a Rastafarian settlement. Now, contrary to popular belief, this is not something solely associated with Jamaica but rather has its origins in Ethiopia
We also went to an elephant sanctuary, which was amazing. We actually got to walk around with the elephants, to pet them, and feed them. I wasn’t at all afraid of these gentle giants, as they move slowly and deliberately. We saw baby elephants as well as older ones. They were beautiful, and it was so cool to walk among them, to feel their bumpy, leathery skin, and be able to look into the eyes. We also went to monkey land (I think I can widen my fear of baboons to a fear of all primates) where monkeys just roam free, climb all over things, scream loudly, and pee on you.
On Tuesday we headed to bungee jump at the HIGHEST BUNGEE JUMP IN THE WORLD! I decided not to jump but paid to walk out on the bridge with the jumpers and watch them jump. The walk out there was scary enough, on a suspension bridge that had a little too much give to it for my liking
From there we headed to a tree top canopy tour. They set up a series of cables and platforms high up in the trees and you glide down the cables in a harness from one tree to another. It was beautiful and seemed very peaceful (especially compared to the adrenaline of bungee jumping) In order to stop yourself as you slid into the next platform, you would “break” by pushing down on the cord behind you as you glided through the trees. Our guide would point out where on the course to start to break by telling us helpful thing such as “start to break when you get to the tree branch”. Hahah no problem, there’s only about 6 million tree branches around us!
It was a very busy week and was draining in just about every way. Lots of adventures and lots of fun overall, and a lot that I didn’t manage to fit into this entry. And now it’s back to homework, errands, and getting ready for another school week. I have 2 presentations and a paper due this coming week!