Michael and I woke up at 5:00 and were in the pavilion by 5:30. IF we had stayed in bed, tea and coffee would be delivered to our tent at 6:00. I think that we will test out that service in the morning.
We embraced a fresh-brewed press pot of coffee for Michael and a full teapot for me. The caffeine quickly quelled the headache that I woke with.
We headed out on our first adventure about 9:30, accompanied by Julian (our guide) and two trackers named Francisco and Dolish, both part of the local “Sena” tribe.
In case you are wondering about the names of the locals, remember that Mozambique was settled by the Portuguese and the Spanish-sounding names are a carryover of that!!
Since there were only two seats in the Land Cruiser cab, and Michael needed to be able to talk to Julian as we traveled, I had the privilege of sitting on the elevated bench seat in the back with the trackers….
It was a superb position to be in!! I had the best views of the vistas, foliage, and animals. Of course, I could never see the animals, but Francisco would tap me on the arm, point and say “Nyala” or “Red Diker” or “Suni”.
If there was an animal in the bush that Julian needed to see, Francisco would quietly snap his fingers beside Julian’s open window. I never figured out how Julian could hear it over the diesel engine’s rumble, but he never failed to stop.
I loved seeing the vines hanging from the trees….
…and these amazing entangled vines….
These trees were incredible…..
…and I wondered if they were a type of fig. I wasn’t able to ever confirm that!!
I quickly learned that one hazard of sitting in the back was low-hanging branches and leaves. For a while, I was ducking and weaving with every overhanging branch, but then slowly learned exactly how high I was and was able to relax a bit. Of course, if I relaxed too much, I would miss one and it would slap me in the face!!! One choice bit hit me on the arm, and I muttered “ow” under my breath and I looked to my right to see Dolish having a laugh. I joined in!!
Julian was an amazing driver and I wondered how he kept his eye on the road, looked for animals, and watched for hazards all at the same time!! He hit one bump really hard and I flew about a foot into the air…..WHERE ARE THE SEAT BELTS!!!
The other annoyance of sitting in the back came when it started raining!! While we were in the wooded areas, the tree canopy sheltered us, with only a gentle mist hitting my face. But, when we were heading back to camp at lunchtime, it was really pelting down. I put my floppy hat on to keep my head dry and bent my body over to protect the camera. Fortunately, it didn’t rain long, and I was soon sitting up again allowing the wind to dry out my clothes. I climbed down from the truck feeling windblown!!
Lunch was another feast featuring Hartebeest Stir-fry, green salad, and coleslaw. It was to die for!! Also, each meal includes amazing fresh baked bread!!!
It was a great start to our Mozambique adventure!!!