Friday, October 09, 2009

Africa was Awesome!

This is Guhonda, a huge silverback in RwandaAfter 3 countries, 5 flights, 8 lodges, dozens of gorillas, and a whole lot of fun, our African odyssey ended a couple weeks ago. The trip was a blast but it did feel long and it took many days to recover from once we were back home. We thoroughly enjoyed our three gorilla tracking days - which was the primary reason for the trip. The big surprise to me, was the beauty of the Ugandan and Rwandan landscape and people. Everybody was so outgoing and friendly, this is such a great time to be an American visiting Africa. They just love the US now.
I had so much fun just driving through Uganda and Rwanda waving at kids. They were all so thrilled to get a wave back. I've never seen so many smiles. It was such a treat to see so much joy and happiness in people that you might judge have nothing.
Other highlights; spotting a leopard on our very first game drive, two rare sightings of hippos out of the water, and a tree climbing lion.
Also met some fantastic fellow travellers along the way, which we've always been so fortunate to do, and had outstanding guides and service at every stop. Can't recommend Volcanoes Safaris enough if you want to visit the mountain gorillas yourself.
With over 2,000 photos and hours of video, it could be quite awhile before I get details posted. For now, here is an online album Lori put together and a smaller collection I put up on Facebook.

This is not a zoo

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Back to Africa

This year has been so busy; Germany in May, LA in June, San Diego in July for the James Ray event... our trip to Africa totally snuck up on us. We leave today!! I haven't even posted my photos from Germany yet. Where does the time go?

Ten years ago, we visited Kenya for my first international vacation. Wow, that was also the first time I travelled with Larry The Lizard. Since then, we've been to a lot of truly amazing places like Tikal, Machu Picchu and Easter Island to name just a few, but Kenya has always been my favorite. Something about seeing so many animals in their natural home... I can't describe the serenity and beauty of that. And the people - they were all so friendly, open, proud and happy. Even if they had nothing - they were proud and happy. It is simply how things should be. That was the trip we learned to give away as much as we travelled with as possible - something I'm glad to say we've done on all our trips (well not all, nobody in London or Germany really cared about our hand-me-downs).

This Africa trip takes us to Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania, and it is all about seeing the mountain gorillas. We'll be doing treks into the jungle to see the gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda, three times total. I've heard so many raves about seeing the gorillas from other travelers we've met around the globe - this trip truly is a dream come true. Then on all the other days, we'll have traditional safari game drives and all sorts of adventures I hadn't even considered till I read the itinerary just a couple days ago. This is the first trip we haven't read up on or bought guide books for. We're just going.

Of course not being aware of this trip and digging into the preparation is all on me. The past month has been such a bizarre roller coaster for my thoughts and feelings. Ever since I got back from the James Ray event in San Diego at the end of July -- I've been out of sorts. I learned a lot about myself at the event. A lot that I don't like. Some days I've been fired up to take on the world and create the life I want - then the next day I'll just want to hide in bed. Lots of old patterns came back, hard. I already don't want to come home from this vacation. Part of me is hoping something goes wrong so I can't come home. Friends wishing me "safe travels" sort of piss me off. I'd rather be wished a gorilla ripping me apart or a plane crash on our last day. God, have I always been this morbid? Will be interesting to see what being disconnected from everything does to my mindset. I plan on doing a lot of writing.

Anyway, I doubt there will be updates till we are back home. You can visit some of the lodges we'll be staying at, and see some of the sites we'll see at the Volcanoes Safaris site.

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