Monkeys in the Bathroom
The holidays side-tracked the adventure in Africa. I posted about the holidays just like everyone else on the planet. I don’t know about you but by January I’m looking at the Hallmark Channel like it’s Satan spawn. Keep in mind this is coming from someone whose favorite Christmas movie is Die Hard with Bruce Willis. Sad but true.
Let’s get back to Africa. I left you in Botswana just after I’d gone on my first walking safari. Now as I look back on that I have to wonder what I was thinking. No gun. No way out. No common sense apparently. But the evening was spent in an open-air hut with lovely lights, a cobra skin on the wall (yes, that gave me some concern since it was like eight feet long), and people from around the world. There was two gentleman from Europe somewhere, another couple from Germany and a couple from Australia celebrating their anniversary.
Just a side note here: I don’t know about you, but when we celebrate our anniversary, I’m lucky to get a burger from McDs. A card is definitely out because it is “a waste of money.” But! He did take me to Africa. So, we’re good.
Afterwards we sat around the campfire and swapped stories, or listened to the noises of the bush. I was careful to record these for later reference which I did in Black Mamba. As in the book, our bathroom was open air (no roof). I’ll include a picture. One side was the toilet and the other a shower. Behind the facilities was some kind of kettle where the workers would fill with water and set a fire under it to heat. That way we had hot water for showers. Don’t try taking one in the morning. Remember it was winter there and you could see your breath. I learned pretty quick that water was like ice in the morning. And there is just something unsettling about using a toilet, looking up and seeing a monkey grinning at you, like “I thought you humans had evolved or something.”
The beds were really comfy with soft twin bed mattresses. At night before bedtime the workers would put hot water bottles under the covers to heat our tootsies. Fruit bats hung in the branches outside our tent and made their puppy-like sounds that I found comforting. The roar of lions in the distance and things moving in the darkness lulled me to sleep. For months I had put on sounds of the tropical rainforest on my CD player in another room and cranked that baby up to fill the house. When my head hit the pillow at Camp Okavango and I heard that familiar environmental lullaby, I was out like a light.
Morning came soon enough with two lovely workers bringing us a tray of hard biscuits and hot tea. The air crisp and clean, set the stage for a marvelous trip into the delta waters of the Okavango. Which brings me to another point. Hippopotamus. They are the most dangerous and deadly animal in Africa. No Fantasia dancing hippos with pink tutus. Those creatures are mean. More people die from hippo encounters each year than lions. So when you’re floating along in a canoe about 7.5 feet long and about 2.5 wide with your cheeks hanging over the side because your husband is taking up too much room, you think about these things.
Our guide stood on the back and poled us through the waters, pointing out various birds and other wildlife. (Still on the lookout for a notorious hippo named Amadeus.) The quiet, if you can imagine, was deafening. It was like being on another planet. The beauty of the wind still sings to me sometimes in my dreams. Some of the animals I mention in Black Mamba came from those early morning mokoro floats. At some point our guide would stop and offer us a cold drink. Every little movement sounded like an explosion in such a quiet place.
Lunch was served around noon then everyone was expected to take a nap. Tea would be served between 3:00 and 4:00. The camp was run by the British so this was no surprise.
I think you’re starting to get the picture of what my safari was like. There are more stories I’ll share with you. Stick around for some adventure. Just so you know this coming week the first three ebooks in the Enigma Series will be free. Tuesday – An Unlikely hero Wednesday – Winds of Deception Thursday – Rooftop Angels This is a great time to get to know Tessa Scott and Captain Chase Hunter.