Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Vacation in Freetown!
Hello everybody! After about two months of hospital work we decided it was time to take a vacation. We travelled with two people from France down to Freetown to enjoy the city and today will go south to the beach for a week of swimming and relaxing. Next weekend we will make the long journey back up country to Kamakwie. We are staying with our same friends in Freetown on the busiest street we have ever seen. The sounds and action of the street start very early in the morning and carry throughout the day. We can walk on the balcony and look down at people doing business of buying and selling everything you can imagine. Since we last communicated we have had several adventures...near Kamakwie we finally managed to go to the local wildlife preserve called Otumba Kilimi. It is fairly close by distance but the road is very rough. Our first plan was to ride our bicycles there (we bought 4 old mountain bikes!) We tried but it is very hilly and the roads have mud and rocks ( Rex and Grant would be in heaven) but we traveled slowly in the heat. Enjoyed a beautiful ride through many villages but at the end of the day had only made it part way to the ferry. The next week we stepped up our efforts and hired two drivers and motorbikes to travel "small small" (very slowly) to the park. The guys were great drivers and the boys enjoyed the ride! When we got to the river a barge like ferry moved our bikes across then more driving. At last we arrived at the park. Due to all of the rains the river through the park was high but we still took a canoe upriver and saw birds and wild hippos! They were great snouts and eyes out of the water looking at us as we watched them. We also saw some monkeys. We have been doing a lot of local birding in Kamakwie and have seen some amazing birds! Even Peter has been birding as the ones we see are so spectacular--! Jordan and Philip have identified several species completely on their own! The only other animals around Kamakwie are of the legless slithering variety. We are trying not to see them (except for Jordan of course). We have black cobras (one very large one who apparently lives near the garbage area-as yet unsighted). In the close by villages they have the "Red Snake" which is actually green and yellow called a Green Mamba. Very dangerous and we have had several patients with snakebites in the hospital. I am getting to be an expert at them. These snakes I think tend to be out in the jungle more but we are watching our steps on our beautiful afternoon birding adventures~! We will write more about the beach later!