Written by Captain Mary on Tuesday, July 22, 2008

While on vacation in Tanzania, East Africa I stayed at one of the most fascinating locations in the world. The Ngornogoro Crater, a fish bowl of wildlife, its hard to imagine the diversity and amount of wildlife that inhabit this once live volcano. We stayed high above the crater in a Lodge built on the rim of the extinct volcano. The lodge was beautiful, surrounded by the rain forest roads, only a four wheel drive vehicle can get you there. The evenings were spent gazing into the sky at the stars of the southern hemisphere, were I met this wonderful lady named Chaad, a.k.a Star Gazer, she resides in England and was also on vacation. She taught me things about the stars I never knew. What I did know was the stars were so close we could touch them.

The visits below in the crater were amazing, I have so many stories to tell there, this story though was one that occurred at the Lodge. Our safari guide would have us ready in the morning early for our trek down to the crater floor, the drive took some time. The air was cold and we definitely looked forward to the warmth below. We rose up to the sun shining through our window, time for the morning rituals, you know go potty and brush your teeth and to our surprise there was no water, not a drip. I heard sounds in the hallway and as I emerged from my room there appeared to be a parade of people heading toward the front desk of the lodge. Well, I was feeling kind of yukky and was very curious on what had happened so I continued to the front desk. Outside I noticed a very large elephant and a big hole in the ground, I didn't think I needed further explanation. I did find one important fact, elephants can climb mountains, what this big guy did was find the main water line to the lodge, he opened it up for his morning bath, feeling cool and refreshed he ventured on his way. In the mean time we were without our baths and you can bet most of us had bad breath. We got our bottled water and did a quick freshen up and were on our way towards the Ngornogoro Crater floor. The people who work and live here didn't seem to be bothered by this inconvenience at all, they were quite accustomed to this type of event. We were told that the forest belongs to the animals here and if they cause us a bit of inconvenience it is just the way it has to be. A little bit of a surprise for us, but there was one big beautiful and very clean elephant that we sacrificed a little water for. After all it did belong to the animals.

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