Small beams of light lights up the muddy road. We can see evidence that the small rivers have sprung up overnight, flooded the entire road but left before we arrived. We’re sliding sideways into the savannah grass that’s licking the edges of the road, as I sit in the front seat, nervous, hating the fact I am trapped in a car, but happy I am not doing this on my motorcycle. I wonder what the park is going to be like today with these terrible muddy roads and streams of tourist buses turning up the soil.
It has been raining at lot last night. I had to get out of the tent in just my undies and singlet to try to pitch the tent slightly better as water was seeping in through tiny holes and had completely saturated one of the mattresses Mike was lying on. Mopping up the puddle that had developed at the end of the bed, we then unrolled the spare one and laid it down on top so Mike will get a good night sleep at least. However, the sound of the storm was enough to keep us wide-awake most of the night.
Hence why I now squint with sleep stained eyes through the muddy windscreen, yet another truck from our lodge screams past us with little regard to us or his vehicles shocks. We eventually arrive at the ferry office unscathed and join the long queue of vehicles. An elder man waves out and begs us forward. We can see there is space in front of the tour groups. Moving forward, on the opposite side of the road, the guy’s face changes and starts screaming angrily at us. Storming over to us, he speaks in a clear Swiss accent “I didn’t mean you, I meant for my friend to come forward”. Supressing a giggle, Mike replies “Sorry” and continues to move forward – stuff the old man and his playground antics!
Everyone here is trying be on the first ferry across the Nile to the National Park. Being on the first boat not only means you get to see the animals before they move away from the roads but also you get to spend an extra hour searching for animals before it becomes too hot and they have their afternoon siesta. However being last does not mean you have to wait until the next ferry is scheduled to leave. The ferry does return for the remainder of the cars and passengers. Now that we have purchased our tickets, we are moving further down the hill and queued once again. We peek at our grumpy friend and noticed smugly they are going to be like us and get on the second ferry and better yet, the last to exit the ferry too. I do have some competitiveness in me, but it is heightened by their lack of courteousness. Excuse the pun, but we are all in the same boat!
Yesterday we did an early morning safari, so we have some idea where we want to go and where we had luck at finding animals. However, the best thing about Safaris in a huge national park such as Murchison, is not actually knowing if you will see anything or not. But the chances of seeing a giraffe and an elephants are high, not to mention hippos and buffalos.
Since the ferry is on a schedule and it fits in with our lunch buffet that’s included in our accommodation fee, we had better leave the animals behind and catch our boat. With less than a kilometre to the ferry, we see a huge male elephant cross the road. Mike notices he looked wet behind one ear, which apparently means he is looking for a lady elephant and we best not get in his way. We wait for him to move on before moving past him, but he stands there looking back at us. “ Please Mr Elephant, we are not a lady, we are just three people in a car wanting to get home for some lunch” but the elephant isn’t listening and it becomes a Mexican standoff. Mike moves the car forward past the elephant, just as he raises his long trunk (the elephant, not Mike) and screams at us. I nearly peed my pants, since it was my Auntie Chriss and I closest to the elephant as we passed. But he didn’t move, he was just letting us know he was there – dude, you’re not exactly small…
The roads dry up over the course of the day. I’m not sure why I was so worried earlier in the morning. I am proud of our Rav 4. The only incident we had was when following another vehicle down a long narrow sandy path. A large safari 4×4 steamed through a puddle and then pulled off the main tracks to let both of us pass, but doing this, it got stuck in the soft sand. The car in front of us helped pull him out, but then the driver didn’t have any patience to let us pass him first and forced us to back up down the soft sandy tack for a couple of kilometres. As soon as he could pass, he did. I felt sorry for the passengers for putting up with a driver like that. We were able to continue back towards the puddle, only to find out if he had waited on his side of the puddle, he could have had avoided all this trouble!
We love the lodge we were staying in so much, we all agreed to spend yet another day just relaxing on the couches and enjoying the view of the Nile. I especially am looking forward to a sleep in and not having to get up at 5:30am!
There is a ton more photos on flikr – click here to visit the photostream
2013 Motomonkey Adventures Calendars
I am proud to announce that I have photography and a cartoon calendar available for pre-order. Just follow the link below to be taken to my website where you can purchase your very own copy! By pre-ordering you will ensure you receive it before Christmas.
Click HERE to view the calendar in more detail