Monday, 12 October 2009

A place called Karen

On Sunday after my glacial shower, Jolie, Gareth and I decided to head to an elephant orphanage not far from Karen camp.

The orphanage was reasonable with baby elephants being handfed in front of a bunch of gawping tourists. The keepers gave a short description of the background of each elephant (stuck in mud, victim of poachers, stuck in a well) before feeding the them with oversized baby feeding bottles of milk. The elephants were housed in small huts at night where their keepers also slept on a bunk built into one of the walls.

The funniest thing we saw here was a warthog attempting to get into an enclosure which held an orphaned rhino. Large bamboo poles surrounded the enclosure and the overly enthusiastic warthog managed to get his head stuck as he tried to get in. This resulted in him skittishly jumping around and kicking his back legs up in an attempt to free his head from the bars.

After heading back to the camp, we decided to walk to Karen proper to find some food. We met up with Rachel and Dom and headed off in the lunchtime heat. The roads are dusty and busy with buses and minibuses bombing it along, people hanging off all sides, the horns blaring continuously.

Everyone was in their Sunday best and on their way to church. Slender cows were being driven up the roads. People squatted and waited for nothing in particular. It was fascinating just to wander and watch.

We walked for a good half hour until we came across our first restaurant…Japanese! Deciding that whilst in Africa we ought to be eating African cuisine we carried on. At Karen we found the only other restaurant in the area – a Mexican joint. Having walked for a fair while we decided to settle for tacos and burritos!

The evening was a quiet evening in Karen Camp. Henry was busy under the truck trying to fix the brakes before we left the following day. The plan was that we’d set off about 8.30am and hitch a lift with the truck that was going south as far as Karen and that we’d wait there until Henry finished fixing our truck when he’d come to pick us up.

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