Given all the bikes are poorly maintained, but the selection is particularly shite if you show up later in the day because you drove from
Still it is hard to describe the feeling of just tooling around on a bike with no one to tell you that you can’t ride into the middle of the zebra herd. Or that you are getting too close to the giraffe. Or to explain just what one should do when barreling down a hill with no brakes dead at a warthog hog that thinks you are going to blink first in this bizarre-o game of chicken. (Should this ever come up for anyone reading this, I don’t know what the optimal solution is, but yelling like a lion seems to be sufficiently effective.) Let me sum it up as Really Bloody Cool.
At the end of the standard five mile trail ride is Hell’s Gate Gorge. It is a narrow chasm cut into the rock which eventually winds down to a slippery channel to a billowing sulfur pit and even narrower passage out of the gorge. How did I know it was slippery? Because, for just a bargain $8 more, you can hire a guide to lead you down the road to Hell. It starts out easy enough, but towards the end you get to hear such memorable phrases as “here you should be flexible” (referring to dexterity not disposition), “it is best to put a leg on each side of the rock,” and, my personal favorite while toting around my new Nikon, “oh yes, here you get the small shower.” He was right. It was only a little waterfall that one had to jump through. Plus, the wool sweater I am wearing because it is the dead middle of winter here in
My group and I spent the night at the Crater Lake Campground, on the shores of
After a peaceful night in my tent, we set out on our morning walking safari and crater climb. The walking safari involved wandering into the next-door natural sanctuary and trying to sneak up on giraffes. And zebras. And warthogs. And Thompson’s gazelles. And Waterbock. Nothing was afraid of us at all because there were no natural predators in the sanctuary.
I also now have a new favorite shrub, the whistling acacia. It has these weird bulby things on it when it is young, which provide the perfect home for biting red ants. When the giraffe comes to nibble the leaves around the bulbs, the red ants come out to defend their turf. They bite the giraffe’s tongue and the giraffe goes away. Brilliant!
After the walking safari, it was back to