The joy of the jungle III

After putting all the poo in my bag, Jurian, me and Jocelyn decided it was time for lunch. Singing “in the jungle, the mighty jungle” (Lion King) we arrive in camp. Team 1, Jeroen and team 2, Wessel and Nathalie are already sitting on the table. Beans and rice are the king his meal. Served of course with a cup of Ranomapangou, a typical Malagasy beverage (water boiled with burned rice). Once the meal eaten and the drinks drunk, it is time to set off again for the jungle.

The morning was a success, what would the afternoon be? The usual uphill, downhill, uphill starts again. One hour passes, nothing. Two hours pass, nothing. Jocelyn decides to go off trail and soon we are surrounded by thick vegetation. It is hot and the humidity is higher than ever. A glimpse of the sky indicates me it is covered by big clouds. Unfortunately, even in this chaos of lianas and branches we find no lemur. Where are they? Suddenly a big rumbling sounds breaks the silence of my thoughts. Thunder. The storm is not here yet but it will probably in an hour or so. I look at Jocelyn and we agree on continuing a little more before going back to camp. The problem is that Jocelyn can’t find the official trail back. So instead of continuing through the tough vegetation we choose to walk in a little stream. The coolness of the water is refreshing. For an instant I forget that we have to get back to camp such is the beauty of the nature here. Frogs are croaking, birds are singing and the whole setting is lighted by the soft green of numerous ferns. The rumbling of thunder breaks the magic. Soon, water drops fall on my shoulder. Time to put on my rain jacket.

Jocelyn puts on a big poncho in which he looks a bit like a wizard. In my head I already see him as Gandalf, battling against the storm and yelling against leeches: You shall not pass! The fellowship of the poo continues. We cross a swamp and finally find the trail back. In the meanwhile the rains have intensified. If you want to get the tropical rain sensation, just go to the bathroom, stand under the shower and open it to the max. Of course the leeches have found us and are preparing themselves for an excellent meal. I pluck some of my boots and trousers but it is impossible work. They are too many and we have to continue.  I will resign myself to those who are above my knees and thus more prone to get under my tee-shirt or belt. The rain is so heavy I don’t see sh*t, except for Jocelyn’s cape in front of me. The trail has become a muddy, slippery area. How far would the camp be? At this point I have no idea, and all my trust is put in Jocelyn. I only stop from time to time to pluck a leach under my tee-shirt and to check if Jurian is still behind me. Soaked and covered by leaches we finally arrive in the camp. What an adventure! Luckily everyone is already here. I put my cloths near the fire and start to unpluck the leeches from my skin and kill those who are full of blood. Dinner is served: a plate of rice for everyone. Well fed, I go to my tent, and crawl in my humid sleeping bag. What a fantastic day! I fall into sleep, soothed by the singing of the frogs while wondering: “How much sh*t does it need to take to feel like a true adventurer?”