Saturday, November 10, 2012

Zigi Trail, Amani Nature Reserve

Last weekend I had a guide take me on a hike to the Zigi trail, which is one of the trails through primary forest here at Amani Nature Reserve.  It was a bit humbling because I'm used to be able to go to a park or reserve and after paying, be able to straight to the trail and walk however long I feel like at the time.  Here, from the reception building you have to walk at least an hour to the start of whatever trail you want to go to.  Most tourists I see coming here have a car that takes them to the start of the trail.  I could have asked my translator to take me on the motorcycle, but I wanted the perspective of another guide and also the experience of walking.  To the trail I chose it was two hours down one mountain, through villages, and then the start of the trail went straight up from the bottom.  It was too straight up, and in the rain boots I chose to wear because it was really wet became excruciating.

On the way I saw many cool things I want to post all the pictures of, but again the uploading capabilities here are limited.  So here's the best I guess.

A water fall view:

I'm standing in a dry part of it.  It was once a hydro-power station for the Germans, but is now dilapidated and the pipes are corroded.  It's for the best I suppose?

The rain had caused some freshwater crabs to be out and about, and they were much prettier than the ocean crabs I saw!


Through the villages I saw many crops like cardamom, mango, maize, yams, etc., but here's a couple:



I think everyone knows the first but the second is jack fruit, which I talked about in the last entry.  It has a stronger smell than taste, and you have to make sure not the eat the white parts that people use for glue--not very tasty.  

When we got to the trail and started to go up, and up, and up, I questioned my decision to go hiking many times.  And I wondered at why they would make a trail go straight up such a steep place.  I think it is to preserve the primary forest, but it makes it really unpleasant.  I think there would be a way to do a narrow path around the trees that zig-zags up (it IS called the "Zigi" trail) and still preserves the forest, but there's probably a lack of incentive to do it.  Anyway, we made it, and at the top there is no nice view but there is a giant hole that the Germans dug to hide money.  Or treasure.  I couldn't see the bottom, and there was a strange noise coming from it.  Maybe bats.  

On the way down I was in a better mood and showed it to the lovely, giant tropical trees along the trail.   

At the end of the hike, after going back to the village, it had been an over 6-hour hike.  In uncomfortable rain boots. I took a cold shower and lay down for a long time.  

Here's another picture of a blue monkey, that I saw on the hike too but didn't get a good photo of.  This was close to the guest house I stay in.  

 My guide and I heard a gunshot on our way back, and he said it was probably someone shooting a monkey we just saw for food.  I don't begrudge people for needing to eat, I just feel like number one monkeys are too much like humans for me to ever eat, and two there's not much meat on there anyway, is there?  Seems like they'd be stringy like rabbits.  Most villages I've been to have lots of chickens, goats, and some cows, so I think they'd have enough meat without eating monkeys.

1 comment:

  1. My comment from yesterday got lost somehow. I'm attempting to recreate it:

    I also will not eat a monkey, although I'm okay with chicken and an occasional walleye.

    I saw canned jack fruit at Cub grocery store last week in the asian food section and was tempted to buy a can. I think I will next time I go there just to see what it tastes like.