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Monday, January 21, 2008

Cameroon Highlights

The Cameroon Highlands. Specifically, the city of Tanah Rata, a tourist hub. Take the best parts of Vermont - cool temperatures, boundless green hills, friendly locals - and mix generously with a subtropical jungle, insects of sci-fi nightmares, and flowers that would make a botanist all hot and sweaty. A high plateau in the middle of the country, hairpin turns along a mountainside with neat green corduroy belts of tea snaking up the impossibly steep cool-breeze hills, all under a cartoon-blue sky. If this is Malaysia, I don't want to leave.

We started our day off at the "Butterfly Garden," but really it was a petting zoo of bugs, reptiles, and other less cuddly creatures.

Well hello there!

Who's got two thumbs and loves scorpions? This guy!

Not-so-wee turtles.

Their legs are so strange, like a hundred tiny hairs on your arm, like reverse goose bumps. Pretty creepy feeling though, when they move up your arm.

Hello little friend.

Bird of paradise flower.

Like something out of Willy Wonka or Dr. Seuss.

Sarah and I above the highest peak in the highlands.

Hiking in the mossy forest. Wonder why they call it that?

Tea plantations, "BOH." Best of (the) Highlands.

Sample some of the beautiful scenery.

I actually hit the target, twice.

Sarah and I went hiking down to a waterfall and quick as gravity a small brown-black snake reared up and "ran" through the grass, a snake moving the way you hope snakes never move, fast and precise. Our guide got scared and told us "to come dis way plees qweek-ly," and when the guide who does this all the time is scared, you know to be careful. We climbed down to the bottom of the waterfall, and then climbed through the green dense jungle-growth of plants and roots and mud to get to the rocks at the water's edge, and I asked the guide how he knew there were no snakes on those root-steps we climbed over.

Full album here. God I love traveling.

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