Wow, bit of a delay in posting, but I determined to finish documenting this trip to prove to myself that I can finish things that I start! I was talkin about “the highlight of the whole trip…” that awaited us on the other bank of the river. Well, this was it:
We wanted to stay there all afternoon with our new friend, alas, we had a jeep safari lined up later that afternoon and we were wet, sweaty and covering mud and sand. After a quick shower, lunch and (very) brief sit down we were off into the jungle once again. This time we would be heading deep into the jungle by jeep. This turned out to be a bit of a disaster.
For a start, the jeeps were not run by our lodge, but instead by a far less organised outfit. Every jeep was overloaded and desperately in need of repair. As each seat in the car was taken, the guide took to standing on the back bumper as we trundled off noisily into the jungle. When this eventually broke off the back of the car mid drive, nearlly killing him, the rain decided to make it’s first appearance of the last few weeks. The dilapidated rain cover was in as good condition as the jeep, which meant it was full of holes and everybody in the jeep had to physically hold it up with one hand above their head whilst the guide, devoid of places to stand, relocated to the roof of the jeep. Then the 4WD became a 0WD as some rusty part inside the engine decided to give up the ghost. After hitting a few thing with a hammer we were back on the road (but only driving with 2WD) and we in the jeep decided our best bet would be to abandon anger and just enjoy laughing at the situation and mocking our guide. Our positive energy must have had an affect as, eventually, the rain subsided and we managed to get a glimpse of the back ends of a few animals as they ran in fear from our roaring (disabled) hulk of a machine.
By the time we got in we were about ready to head back to the lodge. From the child-like joy of bathing elephants to the grumpy grumbling of our ill-fated jeep ride, today, like all of the best days, was a day of extremes.