April 11, 2011
So Marsha and I were to get up at 6:30am to leave at 7:30am to go for a 2 hr hike in the rainforest. I accidentally set the alarm for 6:30PM!!! Instead of panicking, which is a normal response for me, I decided to just go with the flow and let God “worry” about it.
We ended up not leaving until 8:15am. By this time the hope of hearing the Indri Indri sing to claim their territory was gone. Disappointing but, as we learned from yesterday, God seems to have different plans and lessons for us than we plan for ourselves. We were able to get an English speaking guide which was a huge blessing. He explained to us that with the two hour tour (is anyone else now singing the Gilligan's Island theme song?) we would only see the one type of lemur, the Indri Indri. And that's if we were “lucky” as all the groups who have gone before us were unable to spot them that morning!
Now, before we left for the hike Randy and I were telling Marsha how the hike through the forest was not rigorous at all and that is was more like a stroll through the forest and very enjoyable. Once we got there we saw some dancing lemurs within the first five minutes of our hike which was an unexpected joy! They are a beautiful golden color. (picture to the right). After seeing the dancing lemur our tour guide decided to take us off the beaten trail and right INTO the forest! We're talking holding on to the vines and moss covered trees for dear life as we slide on mud and wet leaves. We soon came to the understanding, as sweat beaded up on our foreheads and spider webs danced right above our heads, and mud, dirt, and leaves were being flung everywhere, that this was NOT going to be a nice stroll through the forest but a workout that we'll NEVER forget!
Within about 15 minutes of tramping through the forest (quietly, mind you, as we don't want to scare away the lemurs).....(I guess it's possible to slide and fall quietly)...we started hearing the Indri Indri! UNBELIEVABLE!!! Well, our guide takes off like he's in a horse race sliding down slippery slopes, stooping under vines, leaping over fallen logs...and I'm saying (Afaka mandeha miadana azafady! “Can you walk slowly please!”) while gasping for air!
After about 5 minutes there they were! The Indri Indri. (picture to the right) Beautiful creatures hanging out in the trees eating berries. They looked so peaceful and ….well....National Geographic-like.... They then looked down at us and saw two white women with twigs and leaves and spider web residue hair, mud on pants and dirt spewed on shirts, panting for oxygen and desperately holding on to vines - as we were standing on a steep incline! I can just imagine what was going through those lemurs' heads!
We then had to hike back UP all that we had just “fallen” down. Great....I can feel that chocolate bar falling right of my hips with this work out! We finally got back to level ground and were making our way back to the parking lot when our guide stopped abruptly and there, right before us, were the bamboo lemurs! They are the tiniest lemur! Now, talk about a blessing. We were only supposed to see 1 kind of lemur and after a bunch of sweat and mud and falling we were able to see 3 kinds of lemurs! The guide said we must have had a lucky day. I responded with, “No, God just wanted to bless us....over and over and over again”
So after that we went back to Vakuna and found the boys playing and relaxing by the pool. We packed up and had lunch and set off back to Tana. What a great and UNFORGETABLE trip....oh yeah....and we passed another pig on a motorcycle!