Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Day Three

We could sort of see the hillside last night until the power went out – in the whole town. Axle, hotel chef and chit-chatter said that happens all the time. So, the morning we finally get a sense of where we are – and it’s lovely.

When it comes to breakfast, I’m a cereal girl so I go right for the cornflakes. Just like Asia, the cornflakes are stale and they only have whole milk. Teri delights in Nutella.

Our guide, Joseph arrives and we’re off to the Tarangire National Park. I think that's a mosquito giving me malaria on my forehead.

We start to see animals right away. It’s really hard to remember that this is the real deal. I have to remind myself that I am not at the North Carolina Zoo (even though at times, it felt a bit like I was – props to the NC zoo for that). I’ll let the pictures (and videos) speak for themselves. Teri is likely going to post the full collection on Facebook or something so for those of you who really want to pore over every last snap, get with it and get on Facebook.
Wildebeasts just make me laugh

Before I left, I went to an event called Bull City Stompede. If we did this event in Tanzania it would have to be Wildebeast Stompede.

Live action.

We stop and have our lunch. There are baboons. You’re not supposed to feed the animals, but some tourists can’t help themselves.

I get great amusement being the voice of the park animals.

Even more amusement

The baboons are so playful

And cute

Baboon Drink time

Elephants. I think about Dumbo.

Now, in the spirit of being nothing but honest, I hate to admit, but I have to admit, that by about 3:00 in the afternoon, I’m totally over this. Teri is still marveling at every creature. I feel terrible saying that but how many times can I marvel over the same animal? I have no idea how people do extended safaris. I really do feel terrible having these feelings. I’m so lucky, I’m on the other side of the world, among magnificent creatures but my ability to embrace and bask in the experience is limited. And, I wish I had a seatbelt.

For lodging, Teri and I were told that the regular option was a tent. For a variety of reasons, we decided to upgrade which we thought would simply be “not a tent.” Much to my delight, we end up in a Serena Lodge – a luxury hotel.

Our guide tells us that the Russian president had just stayed at this hotel. As we drive on the dirt, bumpy road I can’t imagine the Russian president being thrown around in the back of a limo on this road.

Given that Teri and I expected to be roughing it, the issue of what to wear to dinner becomes just that, an issue, because neither of us brought anything remotely nice (granted, Teri has mascara, which she is never without). We agree to just go in our safari clothes. As I unpack, I realize that my nightgown can probably pass for a dress and I decide to wear that. Teri is pissed. She doesn’t want to look dumpy while I look nice. I joke that my better clothes will elevate her look. She doesn’t think this is funny and since I know that she cares more about how she looks than I do I offer her the dress/nightgown. She doesn’t take it which surprises me. So, then I decide to wear it. Which upsets her. I can’t win!

We knew that we would bicker with each other – I mean, it’s just she and I for three weeks together. But this is early in the trip and silly. We act made for a little bit and then get over it.

We also learn that Teri is an expert in terms of dealing with plumbing and toilets in Africa. I can’t get the toilet to flush but Teri has the perfect touch. I anoint her official toilet flusher on this trip.

Loving sisters at Serena.

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