Saturday, June 6, 2009


Just got back from Rocklands. Which is by far the best bouldering I have ever experienced. I will have to post photos and epic tales later when I have more energy. The internet at De Pakhuys did not like Macs. So this has been my first opportunity to update in about a week. Which will undoubtedly mess with the timeline of these entries. Oh well.....

Getting as close to dangerous animals as possible being a valid form of recreation is, I suppose, incredibly debatable. Kruger National Park is insane. We have somehow figured out a way to experience wildlife using the equation of: "Figure out what will kill us, and then, back it off just a little bit. I WANT THE THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE DOSE OF DANGER." Either way, Kruger National Park is a total mind-fuck. By all means, let me explain:

In the last two days I have been charged by an elephant (which nearly made me crap my pants, no joke.), woken up to the sound of lions growling on the other side of the fence behind my tent, chased apes away from food stashed at the camp site (They chase back. they are not afraid of people. AT ALL. I have video evidence to be posted later.), fallen asleep to the sound of hyenas outside the tent, watched in horror as I viewed some incomprehensibly stupid woman hang out of her window to take pictures of a lion-a lion that could have and probably should have killed her just to prove a point-a mere 4 or 5 feet away, stood and watched packs of SCARY looking hyenas patrol the campsite just on the other side of the electrified chickenwire fence, and seen animals that I assure you are MUCH more impressive, majestic, and intimidating in their natural habitat than they are at a zoo. Watching the African sunset behind a family of giraffes as they cross the street RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR CAR is-I promise you-a much more intense experience.

Roadside Zebra

A brief list of the animals we saw: elephants, lions, hippos, rhinos, water buffalo, kudu, impala, hyena, warthogs, monitor lizards, birds of paradise, mongoose, baboons, blue apes, giraffe, secretary birds, crocodile, bats and more. It's important to note that by "saw", I mean:they were so close that more than once we were quite nervous about whether or not we would survive the encounter unscathed. There is something un-nerving about coming over a hill and seeing two huge rhino in the road. And, um, they don't like being surprised.

Fruit Bats under the canopy where we ate lunch.

However, the most fascinating animal I witnessed was the South African Camper. A rare breed of mammal that brings utterly exorbitant and egregious amounts of low-end camping gear for a two day trip. Multi-tiered gas stoves, huge rolling campers with convoluted aluminum pole set ups with gazebos, add-on rooms, extra tents, drying racks for clothes, plug-in freezers and fridges, mess kits, dish soap and folding tables, lawn chairs, mattresses, lamps, stools, and even salt and pepper shakers.

In one day I went from avoiding 20 lb. piles of elephant dung and watching warthogs root around in the grass to sprinkling pepper on my veggie burger. Like I said, a total mind-fuck.

Sunset in Kruger

Lots more to talk about. Miles and Cornelia got stranded in Clanwilliam when they tried to drive their rental car through an overflowing stream at 6am this morning. Oof. Lots of climbing pictures and photos of "The Great Elephant Encounter of 2009" are on his camera.

One final note: Did you know South African rest stops are equipped with fucking TRAMPOLINES???? Come on America. This is probably the best idea of all fucking time, why are we not in on this? First thing to do upon return home: Craft a strongly worded letter to Obama re: USA road travel and trampolines-how together they can save the economy.

No comments:

Post a Comment