That weekend Brads girlfriend Kerry came down from Rossville to stay the weekend. On Saturday morning Brad asked me if I was ready for an adventure. "Always", I said. All they told me was that we were headed to the river to have a picnic. Of course, they left out all the good details of the in between parts.
We had a day of fun planned, but there was still work to be done. The first of a few garden beds we were building was finished now, and needed to be filled with soil. Early in the morning, to beat as much heat as we could, we went a got a load of dirt. Fun fact - scrub hens, or wild chickens really, like to build very large nests to bury their eggs in, acting as an incubator. They use all kinds of sticks and leaves and whatever they can find on the rain forest floor, thus making the nest a big compost pile. These nests are where a lot of locals source their dirt and soil for gardening or whatever. We took two truck loads and filled up the new garden bed. Job one done. Job two: take care of that noisy rooster. I told Brad earlier that I stayed on a chook farm earlier in my travels, and he asked if I knew the right way to kill a chicken (because he didn't). So we went down to the chook pen, and I showed him how to snap a chicken's neck like a pro. Then we took the corpse back up to the house, where he showed me how to gut and clean a chicken (or rooster, in this case). Why would we bother gutting and cleaning a rooster? Because rooster: it's whats for dinner.
So come noon, Brad, Kerry, and a friend of Brad's loaded our goodies and supplies into his truck and headed out, me following on the motorbike. After a few minutes on some back roads we ended up at a very steep incline heading up into the hills. Brad and I switched places here so he could take the bike up the hill. At the top, we switched back. The road here was more of a two track trail. It quickly got very rough, and I found myself wishing I could take my Jeep down those trails. It was similar to the bus trip up here, only more intense. Deep ruts, water channels, wash-outs, river crossings, rocks, clay, dirt, etc. From the top of the hill I was allowed to go ahead of the truck, only stopping every once in a while to let it catch up. So, being given the freedom of a track empty of other vehicles, I abused every bit of it. Even though it was the most rough terrain I had even been on on a motor bike, I was still going faster than I probably should have been. Especially considering the bike's not-so-perfect condition. Anyway, I had a blast. The scenery around me was stunning, the air fresh and clean, and the heat and humidity gave way a bit in the higher altitude.
The rain forest pressed in thick around me, opening up and clearing out only in a select few spots. I even rode through a few acres that had been burned somewhat recently. I pulled up at a gate, randomly placed in what seemed like the middle of nowhere, and waited for the truck. When it came, Brad gave me quick directions to our destination, called 'the Lookout'. I sped on ahead and found it a few minutes later, where I set up my camera on a rock with its self-timer:
Views to die for
Another 20 minutes down the track, and we arrived at our final destination. A beautiful, calm, serene river crossing.
We went for a swim, had a picnic lunch on the banks, and chilled out for a few hours.
A Bloomfield school teacher had drowned here years ago. His grave is set on the top of a small hill just off to the side.
There were a bunch of these termite mounds throughout the rain forest. This one was a bit small, but others were five to six feet tall.
On the way back home, we stopped and grabbed another truck load of dirt from a scrub hen nest, and filled the garden bed. We wrapped up the day with a couple of brews on the veranda and a roast rooster dinner.
Still more to come...