“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” –Mark Jenkins

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Day 6 - Transfer from Acacia camp to Bush Camp

Pretty tough day really and not helped by my having stomach cramps and feeling like crap all day.
Morning game drive from Acacia camp was ok, (got soggy trousers taking images of Waste paper flowers which covered the grass) and arrival at Bush camp was fine. The tent is amazing – way better than Acacia, but the wildlife in the local area seems harder to come by. We did manage to see Serval cat during our stop for sundowners and I got some ok shots of Dik Diks, but no sign of leopard, and the Bee-eaters were simply out of reach for my lens.
We arrived at the same time as two birding women from Essex one of whom we now know has a stomach upset as she was not at lunch and neither of them turned up for dinner. Also met a couple of male teachers from an independent school in Berkshire who are here ahead of a teaching conference in Mombasa on Friday.
Today was hard. Both from a photography point of view and from a personal point of view. Medical and psychological issues have dominated the day for everyone; Sheila voiced everyone’s frustration at not having time to review our images and therefore correct any mistakes we are making. I got frustrated at having to configure my camera every time I turn it on, which meant the subject was usually long gone and poor Marian could only see out of one eye and had to wear her dark glasses all day in severe pain. So it was especially nice to get almost 2 hours to myself after lunch to sit, just me and my camera and the visiting birds at my tent. Ironically, I got two of the best shots of the trip so far for me!  One of a ‘Suberb Starling’ and the other a Silverbird with a caterpillar in its beak.
The afternoon drive was another long and hot affair, so I was looking forward to my shower when we got back to camp. We were late as usual and so I had assumed that the shower was ready with hot water. For this reason I was already naked and waiting for the water to run hot when I heard Joseph (my room attendant) arrive to fill my bucket! – this would have been fine except that only the bottom two-thirds of the tent are solid canvas and the top third is see-thru mosquito netting and Joseph has to climb a ladder to fill the bucket! At that point I could not have wished harder for the tent’s solar lighting to run out of power. I crouched down next to the floor frantically looking about for a towel at the same time as answering Joseph’s polite questions about how my day went and what I had seen!

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