What a wonderfully successful morning!! We have 450 trees lined up to plant at Mkuzi School in the Usambara Mountains, Tanzania this morning, but many hands make light work. We think we had the entire school role of 554 kids helping Mike, KB, Harper, Ali, Becs and Jen! A wonderfully noisy and dirty activity to fill the morning and help protect the beautiful watersheds here in the mountains. Hopefully this locally inspired project can grow and plant seeds in many ways... Back on the bikes tomorrow!!
Harper & Alice were definitely the most enthusiastic kissers of the Rothchilds giraffes we visited at the Giraffe Sanctuary yesterday, and Becs preferred Ajabu - the 3 month old elephant orphan that Escape are helping to foster. No smooch 200kg infants though!! Ajabu and her new brothers & sisters are looking healthy and happy putting away enough milk to keep Jenny's farm in business for a while yet. Off into the acacia bush on the bikes today with Mike and KB leading the stereo singalong and the USA vs NZ daily tent folding competition 1-0.
We biked across the dry bed of Lake Amboseli yesterday and made our way into Amboseli National Park. Wow! Close (very close) ups with giraffe and elephants, and a lion chasing gazelle less successfully... A beautiful night and back into the park for another look this morning... before getting back on our bikes and cycling north towards Nairobi.
We enjoyed a stunning view of Mt Kilimanjaro from Solomon's Rock last night, with the sun dropping into the dust on the other side of the horizon. This morning there are 41 Maasai Mamas (and counting) with their blankets and wares spread out. We are heading into Solomon's village this morning and then back on our bikes to Amboseli National Park.
Our first group of excited bikers have arrived safely in Nairobi! We kicked off with a lovely first dinner altogether last night, and this morning the wet season ended as if on cue for the start of the trip. We are all looking forward to getting on our bikes and heading out into Africa.
YES!! Finally here after three months of waiting!! Gemma, John and I are sitting under a dark red African sky, enjoying an end of day cold Tusker (beer), after unpacking and assembling the new fleet of bikes that arrived today. The three months of waiting was for both Gem and I itching to get out here after meeting John and Mandy in February, and the amount of time it took to get the new bikes through customs!!!! John looks a lot more relieved now they're here!
The lights around the water we can see from the deck at the Wildebeest Eco Camp are just enough to frame the flat topped Acacia trees but everything looks different here to home; the evening animal songs are new too - everywhere you look or listen there are new sounds and sights, but a lot seems familiar too, like from books I read as a kid. Even the camels that we passed being herded down the red dirt road that leads to our lodge yesterday seemed both unusual yet normal!!
John's an old hand at this but Gem and I have been really excited about getting out here to start into our new adventure, and everything in the last three days since we arrived has lived up to our anticipation. Only three days ... already seems like much longer!! Today we're off to Rongai to finish the final touches to our big blue beast of a bus Joseph has been busy customising, and whatever new surprises the day has in store for us. We'll keep you updated (-:
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