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African   Histories

The   African   Sickness

Queen Elizabeth National Park

To the following morning, with the full deposits, we start ourselves very early because we have had ourselves to turn aside of the route to find the water, but seems that these days the misfortunes are fattened in us because to 7 a.m we punctured, and to change the wheel of one of these trucks takes a good short while, almost 45 minutes. We have done ours already the phrase in Swahili " Akuna Matata ", " is no problem ", reason why calmly we hoped that the wheel is fixed, while all the children of the zone approach peculiar to see that we do; its glances, its eyes as plates and their timid smiles subjugate to me and I take advantage of to make photos in which with a single one watched many can be understood of the things that happen in Africa. Arrival to Queen Elizabeth National Park, whose name is dedicated to who we imagined, is spectacular, because its heart is the channel that unites 2 called lakes Edward and George (more real family), and reunites the greater concentration of hipopótamos of the world, we see them in the distance, but even so their immense masses make an impression to us; we mounted the camping and in 10 days profit for the first time to hang the hammock that I have been engaged in to rest and to relax awhile; the rate that we took is infernal, and although all we accepted it willingly because it is the only way to be able to see so many interesting sites, this moment of " relax and pax " thrown in a hammock with the Vista from the lake to the bottom is one of the most special moments of this trip. We cross the park with the truck and finally we see elephants, until now had resisted to us, because they are quite independent and they move away of the ways to avoid the human contact; you know that they are there not very far but you do not get them to descry; here we have had luck because we have crossed ourselves a group of 6 or 7 that crossed the way, and before losing them of Vista we can observe its enormous size and weight, that it opens an enormous oquedad in the way when is above; the male is higher than our truck and I think what we would do if he went towards us with his tube in stop and began to distribute trompazos; but like always, and he is something that one learns immediately, the fierce savages are not it as much, they only attack if they feel of course cornered or hungry, but usually they avoid the human contact because the concept that they have of us does not have to be very high. Long ago heat for the first time in all the trip, and seems that the Earth is disturbed in particles that float in the air, that becomes very heavy and irrespirable. We returned to the camping and to the dusk we go away to crosses the channel in boat. The sun declines and the heat becomes smoother; in addition the proximity to the water refreshes the atmosphere; the margins of the river are full of rushes that form an impenetrable wall, and we do not see no animal, until when giving the return to a bend we were with the greater imaginable concentration of hipopótamos, not only by which they leave to the surface to breathe, but by which must remain under the water, since minutes leave once each 5-10, they are seconds in the surface, and return to the coolness of the bottom. It seems that the channel jumping of back in back of hipopótamo could be crossed, but I do not think it to prove, I do not believe that they liked much; we slid with our small boat to little meters of the group smoothly, and once in a while, resoplido warns us of the appearance, first of the eyes and soon of the nose of hipopótamos to 1 meter of the boat; if to some it gave him to emerge his 3,000 kg from weight under our boat, we would take a quite great scare; in the border of the lake great amounts to pelicans and other more outlandish birds can be seen in addition everyone; it seems Picadilly Circus at the time of punkis, because a bird takes a red crest, with the legs of yellow color, another one it has the neck to dots, really is a spectacle multicolor. Also several buffalos in perfect harmony with the hipopótamos and the birds doze in the edge of the channel; protégés by meters of water and our boat, we observed with detail the buffalos thinking as it can hurt the impact of those horns twisted, hairdos with ray to means and impelled by 1500 kg of muscle; it is a question from which I hope to never obtain answer. When the sun has been put, our great enemy begins to make his appearance of that night, that is not a fierce savage, but can be enough more dangerous: the mosquito. The smooth temperatures and the altitude of great part of the zones that we have crossed, since the mosquito always lives below the 2,000 meters, have protected to us, and now, with the strong heat and the proximity of the water, we see in histérica dance million mosquitos crowded around around any light; from return to the camping, all we put trousers and jackets of long sleeve in spite of the heat, and the few exposed surfaces of skin we bathed in extra cream anti-mosquitos hard; it is going to be one night very olorosa, as if all we had perfumed ourselves for a supper in full dress. An expedition companion has an incident when he is going to throw the sweepings to a near garbage dump with a wild boar that roamed that way; they are much more small that the Spanish wild boars but seems that they have very bad milk, because it persecuted to our companion during several meters, who ran as if he persecuted the devil to him, and the lividez of its face took several hours in disappearing. With great sadness we left to the Queen Elizabeth National Park in our trip from return to Kenya, the night has been a symphony of resoplidos of hipopótamos in the water, and when raising we have discovered the tracks to us of hipopótamo that has taken a walk by our camping; if it had raised to me as many nights to orinar and I am front with hipopótamo, I believe that still it would be running now. The rest of the day we passed it in the truck saluting to the people who circulate or are hoping you do not know what on the brink of madness the highway, and to cyclists who circulate with bicis type Chinese, but with many extras, lights, mirrors, colors, seems that the economy goes well when those luxuries can be allowed; in addition the bicycles go reinforced with iron bars in their later part, and the reason is that they load them until impossible limits, with 2 or 3 enormous clusters of bananas that must weigh about 100 kg, and calmly pedalean by the highway raising hills with that weight; it is happened to me to think what could do if it give a bicycle them of races of 5 kg and you put to them to run a Tour of France, because in athletics the black already have demonstrated that they are the best ones in almost all the athletic tests. The arrival to the camping of Kampala, which or we had visited in our outward journey, supposes the encounter with other 2 expeditions which they make an itinerary similar to ours, but the more wild, because their cross-country vehicles the more are prepared to go off-the-road, outside highway, that we, who or we had enough with the experience of the mud. We shared experiences and anecdotes and a few beers you cold. The following morning we followed in the direction of Kenya and we passed the border with enough rapidity. For the first time since we began the trip begins to rain, reason why we must lower canvases, and the atmosphere becomes enough irrespirable, I suppose that the dust accumulation of highway in our bodies is the reason; in order to forget to us the subject and to enter heat, because the cold is strained by the cracks of the canvases, they begin to appear in the corners bottles of licores, the last concerned provisions of Europe, that we expressed until the last drop, singing hit of the African summer, a called song " Healthy Thief ", and that has one melodía so pegadiza that it serves like accelerated course of learning as swahili. The arrival to the camping allows us to break all the records of speed of assembly of stores, since tonight we will have a celebration in the pub of the camping; it is a delirious site, with animal heads dissected in the walls, canvases painted with a indescriptible style, and throughout drawings of all the referring styles to expeditions; they tell us that it is custom that each expedition is expressed freely drawing what you want on your experiences and the result very is disinhibited. We go more far and decided to decorate a jacket in white origin of color that after receiving our artistic inspiration is a rainbow of colors, and we offer it like gift to Kate, our English guide, who once surpassed the British coldness of the first days, had gotten up itself to the group like a plus. Matt, an Australian of the group that is beginning periplo of 4 months by Africa, Europe and Alaska, has composed one oda to the expedition in which all we are reflected, and that it demonstrates that its aspect of damn poet is than just more. The night is well-off with happy Birthday in more than 10 different languages that we dedicated to him to Manuel, a canary of the Palms who feels in Africa like in house, with that I relax that it characterizes to them. The celebration extends In the morning we discovered that the tents of our guide and driver are empty, and when the hour arrives to leave do not appear by no part, surely they have prolonged the celebration too much and they are in favor lost of some site; with our calm African we hoped them wire drawings on grass observing horses that trotan by prairie, persecuted by cow, this one safe that yes this crazy person, because must think that it is a horse, jumps and trota exactly just as they. 1 hour later they appear the 2 missing ones with aspect of indeed to have prolonged the celebration enough. We put ourselves in way and by the aspect worldwide note that is going to be a very calm day in the truck, is not going to have sessions of songs, nor " truck-robic ", a gymnastics that we have invented ourselves not to be paralysed in the truck. The day passes with a total placidness, and in average afternoon we stop in a lake of Elmenteita name, that is full of flamenco; we descend walking until the border, and children offer themselves by currencies to make fly the flocks of birds to be able to photograph better them; thus they do it running from all directions by the lake shouting towards the flocks with theatricalities of the arms; the spectacle is unique, thousands of flamenco raise its flight with its long pink bodies and the sky changes suddenly of color, as if outside the dusk becomes rose. We returned to the truck and the sun putting of that day will remain in my memory like one of but the beautiful one that I have seen; it seemed that to the Great Hacedor their painting boats, because the sky was a mixture of blue, dwelled, red, pink ready in long pinceladas had been spilled him impresionist that until Van Gogh had considered excessive. With that printed image of indelible form in our retinas, we arrived at the lake Naivasha, our last camping before returning to Nairobi. He is practically empty, reason why we can mount the stores where we want, and seems that after so many days people want a little privacy already, because everybody disperses and places its store to several meters of the others; of all ways, not yet I can be thought that in all this time in which we have shared a vital space so reduced with a group of so different people not it has generated no conflict between us, I believe that it is a miracle, and it cheers much to me that thus has happened.

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