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Old 08-02-2011, 03:53 PM   #59 (permalink)
effin' ineffable

In the Paint
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 30,070

Originally Posted by Mr. Mxyzptlk View Post
back in 89, i remember setting up camp in Botswana one night

there was a BBC documentary crew in the area and they came around just before dusk and warned us of a lot of Hyenas in the area (that's what they were filming)...they told us to be careful and not to worry if we spot 2 or 3 together..but if we saw 5 or 6 in a group hanging around then we should get back in our truck immediatley
we spotted quite a few during dinner but they were in small numbers...they would walk around the outer edges of our campsite
later that night i was sitting by the fire (rest of the group had called it a night) and had quite a few of them walk right thru the campsite...i was sitting about 20 feet from the fire and actually had a number of them walk between me and the fire
kept relaxed and continued to read my book and drink my Tusker lager...it was pretty amazing experience !

on another occasion we were camped in the Serengeti...all of the group jumped into the truck to visit a local watering hole for a few beers and i decided to stay back on this particular night...was sitting out in the middle of nowhere by a roaring fire with nothing but a dull machete and a case of Tusker
could see animals circling the perimeter of the campsite (eyes reflecting from fire-light), could hear lions grunting out in the plains and there was THE most incredible blanket of stars overhead
one of the most memorable moments of my life
That sounds amazing. The moment that I had that comes closest to that was in a Sri Lankan park where some amazing guides know all the ins and outs and how to approach areas so that animals are not alerted to your presence. We saw some elephants at dusk, when they are generally not seen, and were able to make out this amazing dance-like interaction between them. We slept under the stars as well.

The interconnectedness that you can find in places like that is getting harder to find. I remember being able to get a little of that sense in microcosms that were just a short bike ride away. There were ponds, open fields, and creeks filled with beavers and deer right in my neighborhood growing up in Calgary. Those smallest of refuges are in pretty short supply now.
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