Chasin Waterfalls (TLC)

So we were invited to a hike. Basically the hike was climbing up the side of a small mountain to swim in a waterfall pool at the top.
at the base of the waterfall

We were driven out to the waterfall by Labaron(sp?), he manages the home of one of our colleagues, Banji Lawal. Banji was also a part of this hike. It was Banji who gave me this snazzy cap to keep my brain from baking in the sun. Altogether, it was Banji, myself, Melba, Charles, and Victor. We were all stuffed into the cab of a pickup truck for the journey into the coutryside. We drove for about two hours, slowly going back in time. The paved roads fell away. The cinder block buildings fell away. Eventually we were in the bush proper, The housing compounds were no longer cinder block construction but bricks of clay and roofs of thatch.

in the truck on our waysmall family out for a drivehuge termite mound
first dirt roadsmall village compound on the wayroad becomes a trail

We had a few moments of negotiation with the patriarch of the small village at the base of the mountain. He provided us with guides after we provided him with tribute for using his land. Much of the negotiation went on inside a small hut, but I know that he was given at least one magnum of champagne because I saw one of the guides with it later.
negotiations with the chief
The trail we took was challenging. The sun was fierce and unforgiving as we clambered over rocks and boulders, through tall grasses, and between branches of small thorny trees. Many parts were difficult, but watching a couple of our guides put the whole experience in perspective. There was one man whose arm was in a sling (in the pic above with the chief) and a small boy who looked to be about seven or eight years old(in some pics below). Both seemed to manage the terrain with absolutely no problem.

starting out on our way up
on our way up to waterfall, Melba and Banji

Melba attacked the trail valiantly, but recognized her limits and decided to rest just shy of the waterfall. There was, however, a great view of the falls from that point. I continued on to the top to at least take pictures. That last bit was quite challenging, reinforcing Melba’ decision to stop.

yeah, I'm doneMelba's view
no reallyview up top
up top up close

I didn’t stay to swim because I didn’t want Melba sitting there with only an annoyed little boy for company. So we waited and had lunch(leftover pizza) while everyone else played in the falls. We ate, I sketched, and the little boy sulked.

me sketching
he wasn't as pissed as this image seems
at least I don't think so

Eventually I used my wilderness skills to lead us back down the trail(LOL). We waited at the bottom where a grandmother offered us some boiled nut that tasted like chickpeas(garbanzo beans). She and the little boy were quite amused by me until they took pity and showed me how to take the peel OFF first, then eat the bean! After a bit, everyone else came down the mountain and we rode home, thankful for the opportunity to witness such natural beauty.

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