Aug 15 2016

County Leitrim and Tanzania

glenade cow

Curious Cows

Hello all! Our final 6 weeks in Ireland in Glenade, Co. Leitrim and then our trip to Tanzania were wonderful. In Glenade, we were in a remote cottage, nestled between two mountain ranges, surrounded by sheep and cows. We had to go through 2 gates to access the cottage, and most times the cows would come running to the gate to see if I had anything to offer!

Gary and I spent time exploring counties Leitrim, Donegal and Sligo. Leitrim was remote and very rural. Donegal is wild, mountains and coast, while Sligo boasts a connection with poet WB Yeats. We hiked to the top of both of “our” mountains, finding a small lough on top of the mountain behind us for lunch. The hikes were quite steep, often fighting nettles (very mean plants!) and avoiding sheep droppings (sheep every where!). The views from the summits were spectacular and the bogs otherworldly. I even helped to stack a little peat, when we met a neighboring farmer, Terry. Here are a few photos to give you an idea.

Aroo Mountain, lough and peat bog

Aroo Mountain, lough and peat bog

Stacking peat for drying

Stacking peat for drying

Next we ventured to Tanzania, for 2 weeks. It was an experience of a lifetime! We visited many national parks, including Arusha, Manyara, Tarangire, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Ruaha. On our first night in Tarangire, in a large tent, we were awoken at about 1am by a loud trumpeting. When we looked out of the mesh of the tent, shining our headlamp to see, we were greeted by 2 tusks, about 3 feet from us, belonging to a juvenile elephant. Apparently the tree next to our tent was particularly yummy, as the family stayed until the next morning! For the next 2 weeks, we went to sleep listening to hippos, lions, elephants and hyenas. During the days we went on wildlife viewing drives. I wrote down all I saw, and the list includes hundreds of animals and birds. Each day was a new and remarkable journey.

We were with our guide, Moses. I have come to have great admiration and respect for the safari guides. They are accomplished naturalists, photographers, usually speak 3-4 languages, animal behaviorists, and birder’s! Moses, and later Majuto, allowed us to have unbelievable experiences, including the wildebeest river crossing during the northern migration, lunch amongst about 10,000 wildebeest, observe a leopard lounging in a tree, watch a lion pride interact and even play, have a family of elephants slowly walk by our vehicle, have a young, adult male lion walk within 2 feet of me after he finished eating (while I was in a open jeep!) and they taught me about the 100’s of birds to be seen. And that only touches the surface of what we experienced. We also got to fly in a 8-seat 1970’s Cessna, just us and the pilot, as no other passengers were booked for the flight, from a dirt airstrip, on our journey leaving Africa. We are so grateful to have had this opportunity! In my dreams, I’m still in a tent in the bush!
Gary took 1000’s of photo’s, which I’m just starting to go through. Here are a few…….

colobus monkey

Colobus monkey, Arusha Nat’l Park

Zebra at watering hole, Tarangire

Zebra at watering hole, Tarangire

Yellow billed stork, Lake Manyara

Yellow billed stork, Lake Manyara

Central Serengeti

Central Serengeti

Wildebeest river crossing, N Serengeti

Wildebeest river crossing, N Serengeti

Sunrise on the Serengeti

Sunrise on the Serengeti

Lions, Ngorongoro Crater

Lions, Ngorongoro Crater

Lovebirds! Ruaha Nat'l Park

Lovebirds! Ruaha Nat’l Park

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