This is part two of my days visiting a gorilla family in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda. If you haven’t heard part one, you should listen to that one first. Then you will know that I’ve just had lunch in the forest with the group, and we were reflecting on the unique experience.
But the day wasn’t over: we still had to get down to civilization. And the descent proved to be a bit of a challenge for your trusted vagabond.
After witnessing these magnificent creatures chow down on their leafy delicacies, it was time for us to refuel. So, in a cozy clearing right next to where we mingled with the gorillas, we sat down, ready to tackle the most important meal of the day – a good ol’ sandwich and a trusty bottle of water.
But hold on to your hats, dear listeners, because the day was far from over. We still had a mission ahead of us: the grand descent back to civilization. Now, you may think, “Oh, going downhill, that’s a piece of cake!” Well, let me tell you, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for this intrepid traveler.
PRIDE WOUNDED, BUT NOTHING ELSE
The descent turned out to be a bit of a challenge for me. It was like nature threw a curveball just to keep things interesting. Steep slopes, slippery terrain, and unexpected obstacles tested my balance and agility. It was an action-packed descent that would have made any adventure movie director proud.
Picture this: a not-so-rainy day in the muddy forest. Sure, it had poured the day before, transforming the tracks into a slippery mess. Now, here’s where the fun begins. The rest of the hiking group, oh so clever, pranced along with their sensible hiking shoes, with so much pattern on their outsoles that they could probably scale a vertical wall. And then there was me, the fashionably clueless one, strutting my stuff in regular sneakers that might as well have been made of banana peels.
With every step I took, it was like walking on a tightrope of terror. The mud clung to my shoe soles like a clingy ex, turning each step into a slippery slide of pure comedy. I was the star of my very own slapstick show, slipping and sliding like a cartoon character on a banana binge.
Don’t get me wrong – I had my two trusty walking sticks in my hands, ready to conquer the treacherous terrain. But even with those in my arsenal, I was no match for the slippery mud monster. It was like having roller skates with wheels that had minds of their own, doing pirouettes and cartwheels whenever they pleased. Who needs a theme park when you have Mother Nature’s amusement park right under your feet?
And let me tell you about my grand finale: In slip number fourteen, I went tumbling down the mountainside, a graceful descent worthy of a gymnastics routine. Well, not so much.
In the midst of an acrobatic extravaganza, executing somersaults, my glasses, those trusty companions, were rudely knocked off my muddy face. In a moment of sheer brilliance, as my spectacles soared through the air like a bird, I summoned my lightning-fast ninja reflexes and plucked them right out of thin air. With the grace of a swan, I snagged them mid-flight and twirled around for a few additional elegant turns.
Luckily, no rocks were waiting to give me a big, bruised surprise. Nope, just a bed of soft vegetation, nature’s way of saying,
“Hey buddy, don’t take yourself too seriously.”
As the two guides rushed to my rescue, I couldn’t help but chuckle. Pride wounded, but nothing else. It was a laughter-filled reunion as they pulled me back up onto the slippery track, like the heroes of a B-grade comedy.
And when we finally reached the bottom, my transformation was complete. I was a masterpiece of mud, a walking canvas of earthy tones. I tell you, mud on my shoes, mud on my jeans, mud even on my face – fashion statement of the century. Ridiculous? Absolutely. But hey, who needs a day at the spa when you can have a mud makeover in the great outdoors?
So there you have it, my misadventures in the muddy forest. Lessons learned: invest in some sensible shoes and always be ready for a comedy routine when nature decides to play a little joke on you. Life’s a stage, my friends, and I’m just the clumsiest actor in the cast.
WE DID IT
After the trek, we returned to the starting point to pick up our certificates as a sign of the successful tracking of mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. This encounter with the mountain gorillas was nothing short of transformative and a reminder of the connection between humans and apes.
If you go, consider contacting my friends at Eco Adventures Safari. And please tell them I sent you.
CROSSING THE EQUATOR
On the way back, we cross the equator and make a stop. I can get the typical picture of standing with one foot in the Northern Hemisphere and the other foot in the Southern Hemisphere, a unique experience that captures the essence of being at the center of the Earth. It’s like standing in two places at once without moving a muscle.
But wait, there’s more! They’ve got these quirky demonstrations that mess with your mind. Water swirls in different directions just because you’re a few meters on one side or the other. It’s like the equator has its own magical water show.
Something not so good happened on this trip. Something that would affect my life as a digital nomad for months. At the end of this episode, I tell you what this is all about and what happened after that. But you have to listen if you want to know.
My name is Palle Bo, and I gotta keep moving. See you.
Either way, I would love to hear from you. It’s so nice to know who’s on the other end of this.
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