Tag Archives: Monkeys

57 Monkeys – not even kidding

This weekend, Sandy and I decided to belatedly celebrate our three year wedding anniversary by taking a mini-vacation to Mulanje, where Sandy spent three months in 2005.  The hour and a half drive was beautiful, as we wound through lush green tea estates, and it’s incredible how Mulanje mountain just rises out of nothing.  The third largest mountain in Africa, it’s sheer height is breathtaking.

 We slowly made our way through the town of Mulanje as Sandy pointed out places he had known during his time there.  We made it up a steep hill on the slopes of the mountain to Kara O’Mula lodge (http://www.karaomula.com/)  The lodge is gorgeous – it blends right into the mountain side with tall trees, a “tree house” and luxurious rooms.  The beautiful veranda off the 100 year old building looks out over the Mozambique mountains.

We checked in, got settled and had a beer on the porch.  As we were sitting there, a troupe of seven baboons strolled up the driveway in a line. 

A little later, we decided to have a beer by the pool.  We were just talking and relaxing – Sandy said he wondered how many hectares the lodge had… and then he wondered how big a hectare is.  It was such a pleasant evening, with cold beer, a pretty setting, and  … at least fifty monkeys. 

About ten minutes after we sat down, two baboons darted across the path, up one tree, and into another one directly in front of us.   And they just kept coming.  There were small ones, large ones (I mean seriously big – like seventy pound baboons) , monkeys with babies, loud ones, hungry ones, curious ones… it was amazing.  There were way more than we could count, scattered in the three trees.  We had a perfect view as they were literally jumping around on limbs right above us.  Everywhere we looked, on almost every branch, there was a monkey or a baboon.  It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen!

Unfortunately, I had my second rate camera with me and as it was getting dark, none of the pictures came out.   Still, it was an incredible way to spend our anniversary.

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Golf with Many Spectators

After two weeks and 5 days in Blantyre, Kate and I thought it would be a good idea to get some use out of our 5th checked bag, my golf clubs.  We had a driver pick us up at 10:30 on Saturday and take us to the Blantyre Sports Club, complete with a pool, restaurant, soccer field, tennis and squash courts, and of course a nine-hole golf course.  The course was in very good shape with well kept greens and decent fairways, much like the blue course at Haines Point in DC.

The weather was perfect, and I played alone, with Kate as a spectator and fan, and Den, our caddy for the day.  On the seventh tee box, Kate and Den were standing about half way down the fairway and I am standing over the bowl about the tee off.   Right before I take my backswing, Kate says, very calmly, “Sandy” and points behind me.    I turn around and there is a monkey, about three feet tall, standing less than 5 feet from me…  Scared me to death!  I jumped 16 feet in the air and shouted a startled expletive. He was close enough that I could have hit him with my backswing. ..

I look over to the woods, and see that there are about 15 monkeys hanging out nearby.     I don’t know how I didn’t notice them earlier.  Kate said the one monkey bounded out of the trees and right up to the tee box as if he was going to evaluate my swing or track my drive.   Kate came back to the tee box to get some pictures, but unfortunately the monkey went back into the woods before she could get a good picture of him.   I guess he saw her coming and decided that she could be the one to track my ball after I hit it.   I got a double bogey on that hole, but I blame it on the distraction.  I’m sure the monkeys were unimpressed as there was no clapping from the gallery.

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