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Cultural Day At E Unoto (Day 6)

sunny 35 °C

We enjoyed a nice private breakfast. This was the first time we saw french toast and we all enjoyed it. Everywhere seems to serve pancakes but no syrup. Here was no different, french toast but no pancakes. We ate them with a bit of butter and a sprinkle of sugar, well kaleb had mounds of sugar, but the rest of us did the sprinkle of sugar.
After breakfast we get read for our "guided walk"
Remember this view? If you look just beyond the lake there is like a mini mountain between the two bigger looking mountians, we are going to hike somewhere beyond that to see a waterfall. Why I agreed to go on this hike I will never know, it even looked far! I didn't want to be a spoil sport, so I thought I would be a team player and join the family.
So off we go.
In front of us was our "guy" from the lodge. Not sure what to call him, I missed his name, but he was sort of assigned to us, he served us, went on outings with us, got things for our room, I just like to call him our "guy".
I dont' think he is really a Maasai, I think it is more of a uniform he wears for work, because later when we went to a real Maasai market he changed into shorts and a t-shirt. We were also joined by a REAL Maasai Warrior, he came with his walking stick, spear and machete. We didn't know he was coming with us, and he kind of just appeared be hind me. At first I didn't know if he was supposed to be with us or what. I think he was actually there for our protection.
As we walked we found some kind of large rat looking animal that was split right in two. We were told that a baboon would have done this. As we stood in baboon poop looking at these two parts of an animal, we are told that a baboon can rip a leopord in half. Fantastic, it was so comforting to hear the screams of baboons all around us. I sure hope that guy behind me can work that spear.
We walk a little further down what I think they call a path, more just openings in the jungle, when all of a sudden the guy in front stops. He has a bit of a worried look on his face, says something in swahili to guy Massai guy behind me, he runs into the forest with spear in hand. FANTASTIC, what added excitment to my little "guided walk". The maasai comes out fot he thick bush says something to "our guy" in swahili, and "our guy" says with a big smile, just a lizzard. Some how I am not comforted by that. A little ways past the "near lizzard attack" I am told this is a good place to take a picture of the view of the lodge.
At the top of the ridge you can sort of see the huts. As you can see we are just at the side of the lake we saw from the view from my room.
Here is a zoomed in picture of the lodge.
We continue our hike. We walk though a banana grove, where we run into a farmer or two, with little cut open jugs of water. I don't know what they do with these little jugs that hold no more then a few cups of water. I would love to ask, but actually I am too bloody hot, tired, sweaty and out of breath to really care. I sure hope they are not watering the banana trees with them, that might take a while! After the banana grove, we cut accross a corner of the rice patties, I have never seen a rice patty this close before. Too bad I was too hot and tired to care, it could have been interesting. We continue on our walk, feels more like the walk from "The Green Mile" because I am sure at the end I will die! Out here in the middle of nowhere, we find a hut with a mother and her two small children sitting outside. It seemed so weird for them to be living way out here, close to nothing. How different from our life. She would have to walk alot farther then I just did just to get to a village. The thought of that makes me suck up my pitty trip and walk on. We cross a few little streams, ah water! The waterfall must be close. Our path starts to get a little rockier, I am sure glad I wore runners today, not like when we went for our "hike" up Kilimanjaro. The rocks start to get bigger, and bigger. They then leave the rock stage and enter the boulder stage. Now I am no longer just walking up and down paths on the side of a mountian, now I am scaling bloody boulders. Fantastic! I am getting a hang of these boulders, my pace is picking up a bit. Then it happens, I was too confident. Over I went, right off the side of the boulder. Oh and of course the boulder was right beside a HUGE thron bush. Right away the two guides with us rush to my aid, as half my family was laughing. My dear sweet Hunters says, " I knew it was going to happen, I just wasn't sure when" Nice! The maasai warrior picked all the thorns out of me. My right side too all the damage. I actually had blood soaking through the sleave of my shirt!
This picture was actually taken 3 or 4 days later. I had a few punctures that really hurt, one in the base of my pinky and one at my wrist.
You would think this would stop me, but no I sucked it up and carried on. I whispered to Chris a few times "these better be one hell of a waterfall!" The boulders seem to be growing in size, and getting harder to get over. Not just because of the size of them, but because the Massai warrior would NOT let go of my hand. He insisted on holding my hand for the rest of the hike. It is very hard to climb a boulder when someone has a death grip on your wrist! After a ways "our guy" says not too much further (he has said this often) he pointed through some trees to the side of the mountain and said see there is the waterfall. Between me and the waterfall was a fair bit of distance with a hell of a lot of big boulders. That was it, my breaking point. I gave Chris my camera and said take pictures of the waterfall, if you need me I will be on this rock. I sat down and said I would take my chances with the baboons. My loving family said, "ok see ya" and off they went to the waterfall. As much as I was willing to take my chances with the baboons, I was glad when the Maasai warrior with the spear sat with me on my little rock. So there I was sitting with a man who can't speak any english in the middle of the jungle in the heart of Tanzania. Every so often the Maasai would say "sorry" in a very broken english. The only english words I heard him speak. I wish I could have told him it was ok, I always fall and hurt myself. He just kept on repeating "sorry" "sorry" "sorry".
After a while my family came back. I asked to see pictures of these wonderful waterfalls I nearly risked my life to see.
So here it is.
If you look really closely you might almost see the water! Good lord! I am glad I didn't go all the way. Can you see the boulders? That was the path, looks easy doesn't it? NOT!
This is the Maasai Warrior that stayed behind with me, we sat just facing where this picture was taken. That was the boulder I didn't want to climb to continue on, do you blame me?
Now the fun part, we walk back to the lodge. Oh of course, my new buddy insists on holding my hand. You would think at some point my husband would offer to take over, but nope, he sure didn't! For all I know holding hands for that long could be a Maasai marriage ceremony!
Here is a nice family picture.
oh wait I am not in it, I am off taking a picture while holding a mans hand!

Once we get back to the lodge we all head to the pool. We spend a few hours here just floating around, after lunch we will go to a Maasai Market.

Ah, the Maasai Market. Another adventure gone wrong, but an adventure non the less.
We are told we are going to a local Maasai market. Emily is excited to go as she is hoping to buy stuff there. I told her that I don't think they will have souvenirs there, as we are out in the middle of nowhere and we haven't seen any tourists.
As soon as we get out of the jeep we are surrounded by Maasia. Four Maasai woman grab at Hunter and Landon as the exit the van, and hug them. A nice gesture I am sure, but scared the hell out of the boys. "our guy" tells us that the woman have asked if I can take their picture so they can see it in the display. So I take the picture and show them. Now these lovely woman start demanding money for me taking their picture. "our guy" tells them that they can not ask to have their picture taken then demand money. "Our guy" tells them they will not be paid. Well this starts a pushing and shoving match, with me as a main player. Ya I could have just handed them some shillings and moved on, but I didn't think this behaviour should be rewarded with money, so I stood firm.
The kids said I should delete the picture to make them go away. I didn't do that either. The crowd grew bigger, some supporting us, some supporting the woman. Some how we won, and escaped the woman with my free picture.
"Our guy" takes us on a quick tour of the market. We pass a few huts that have livestock for sale. The next hut is where they butcher the livestock, and gut it. ( I passed this hut quickly) the next hut is where they have the butchered goat over a fire, this would be the restraunt of the market. The market was mostly local grown produce and animals, oh and banana beer. Banana beer was being sold at nearly every "stall", it turns out most of the people at the market are drunk (including the four woman at the begining of this adventure) Whatever money they make selling their produce they spend it on beer. During our whole tour of the market we are followed by a handful of locals selling souvenirs. Now we diding' think they would have souvenirs, so we were not prepared to buy anything. All of our money was in a large wad inside the camera bag Just over $800 000shillings ($700US) Chris was not about to expose this wad of money to the crowd so we declined everyone. Guess what? This started another fight. Fantastic! At this point Landon and Emily are scared, near tears and asking to just go home. They are now yelling at "our guy" and getting mad at him because he isn't encouraging us to buy anything. We finally make it back to the jeep and head back to the lodge. It seems only Kaleb enjoyed this outing, as he and Maningo were in their own little world enjoying the drunks stumble around the market. I am trying to convince the kids that this was still a good part of the trip, even though they hate to remember it. It was an experiance, one we will never forget.

Our private lodge is no more. While we were at the market, around 20 people checked in. We no longer had the pool to ourselves but had to share it with a European family in speedos. The kids desided to let the Europeans have the pool, they didn't feel there was enough fabric between them and the European's "parts".

Even though these two days were full of all kinds of crazy events, this was one of our favorite resorts for sure.
Tomorrow we are off to Ngorongoro Crater.

Posted by dogtired 11:16 Archived in Tanzania Tagged family_travel

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Great adventure! We experienced the Maasai in the same way, but didn't take any pictures because we were warned of the payment issue. My kids spent a lot of their money on souveniers at the beginning, but at the end they became much better bargainers and negotiated a better deal. Those scratches look painful.


by peppersage

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