Baboon Raid

We were in a really nice camp site, away from the madness of the roads, down a valley just on the edge of a forest right in the bend of a river. What a privilege to end a day’s running by plunging into a river, letting the ice cold water rejuvenate the legs and just get the day’s grime off you. Exhausted as usual, I had an early supper, full of food, tiredness seemed to lame my whole body as I just sat on a camp chair staring into the setting sun. from the forest behind me I was suddenly awoken out of this slumber by the most amazing chanting to the beat of drums and cow horns. Hidden in the forest on the slopes of the valley above me was a massive temple that we had not seen. It was now just on 6 in the evening and the evening prayers began pouring out over the valley as darkness encroached, bidding everyone a good end to the day. We sat in silence mesmerised by the soothing chanting and drumming as it slowly seemed to lift each of us off and take us into our own far away place.

It was the usual 5:30 alarm wake up, quickly eat, warm up with a cup of coffee a cup of coffee and then hit the road. The whole time while I was scratching around looking for cereal, milk and the rest I could here something in the bush. It was a little unnerving, something didn’t quite feel right, but I thought nothing of it. As the sun peaked over the valley, the light slowly trickled trough the leaves around me, I caught the first glimpse of the intruders, monkeys. A few here and there, just scouting I thought, but there seemed to be a bit of organisation in it. There was one big dude quietly directing proceedings from a rock to my right. The rest of the guys slowly began to wake and appeared out of their tents, but this extra noise did not seem to halt their orchestrated advance, just a warning chirp was let out by the main guy.

I started to get a bit of an uneasy feeling, these guys were actually not at all scared of us, the numbers just kept on increasing as more and more appeared from the bush from different angles, big ones, small ones, mange old ones, mothers with babies, they just kept coming, now from each flank and finally from behind. Then the runners started to pepper us with little darts at the food boxes, they would dash in at the food and try and grab something from the box. As soon as you try an chase the one away, then the next runner would dash in. this was now getting a bit scary as finally some of the really big ones dashed in snarling, Andy still commented that these guys didn’t give a damn about us, we were at the stage that we felt that our safety was in danger and we should retreat into the car. Nick then picked up a packet of bread and threw a few slices one side, I followed suit. It looked as if we had now really caused a catalyst for attack, then fortunately for us a few large trucks came down the road to the river, this massive noise seemed to disperse them.

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