Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Murchison Falls - Day 2: The Nile

We indeed made it to the ferry in time, with minutes to spare. After lunch and a nap back at the Red Chilli, we drove back to the dock where we boarded a double-decker pleasure boat and floated off down the Nile. The Falls create a foam that looks like chunks of ice floating downriver, but these had mostly disappeared by the afternoon. The water is brown and murky and both banks are lined with thick forest. Whatever you picture when you read Heart of Darkness - that's exactly what it's like.

Right away we saw another family of elephants. Elephants seemed crop up every few hundred yards, making up for their absence on our morning drive. At one point we encountered a whole island of elephants. They were too far off for a good picture, but picture a small island with maybe 50 elephants wandering around on it, just off the bank of the river.

But nothing was more abundant than the hippos. At one point J said, “Hippo soup ahead,” and that’s exactly what it’s like: ten hippos all mashed together in the water with just their little ears and snouts and bums sticking out.

I was hoping for more crocodiles. This is the biggest one we saw, which was freaking humungous. Ten feet long? Twelve? Hard to tell from the boat and I didn’t want to get any closer.

The animals petered out the closer we came to the Falls. Foam reappeared. The current grew stronger and the driver had to pull the boat up against a rock outcropping to prevent us from getting too close.

At the very end of the boat ride, we pulled up to the bank and there was this hippo just hanging out. So fat, eating some grass. How do they get so fat eating grass? This picture looks fake, like this is some ceramic statue, but this is how close we were.

There’s a hippo that comes up to the Red Chilli campsite at night. Like their own little pet. N. and S. woke to its noises the first night and looked out their window and saw this ginormous dinosaur lumbering about in the moonlight. Awesome. I’m sure N. will write about it…

We took it a little easier that night and made sure to go to bed before midnight. It’s much nicer to pack and get ready for sleep when there’s light.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awww! You got to ride the NILE!!!
How amazing. That trip seems ridic and out of this world. So sorry to hear about stomach upsets though. It always takes away from the enjoyment of the moment when you're worried about how everything will affect your tum tum.
Keep up the good writing =)
Melonie D.