So many words and thoughts and feelings and smiles. Wow. WOW. wow! Not enough words. Slept well last night. Woke up in the dark to voices, pots, smoke wafting into my tent. I lent my broken watch to the cook so that she could have an alarm to wake up to. So I stumbled out into the dark. Breakfast was bizarre. It is so sacred to me…difficulty communicating…so I ended up suggesting she boil my eggs in the tea kettle….then I used the water for my tea. But it was good. They already think/know I’m crazy. Met my first leech on the side of my tent. I think I will call her Lolita. I squished her. Memories of leeches and lakes in Ontario….and burning them over the fire with Daniel.
At 6am, just as it was getting light, I set out with my guide, Jean De Dieu. Translation anyone? My guide’s name means John of God. I am not kidding. This as the man in who I must place all trust and blindly follow into the thick, dense, wet, muddy tangle of the jungle…we are camped smack dab in the middle of this 840 ha. jungle. We are the only 4 people. Wait. What?? John of God does not speak English….only wee bits of French. I must learn Malagasy!
Hiking into the wet and tangled jungle, my heart was pounding, I was sweating like a pig inside merino long johns and raingear…but we found LEMURS!!!! Diademed sifakas (Propithecus diadema) sitting together on a branch, waking up, cuddling together, snuggling. SO beautiful and precious and gorgeous. They would poke their heads up from between their big poof ball legs and belly when they heard a noise, a bird call, or Jean De Dieu coughing up a phlegm ball. Then they would put their heads back down and sleep some more. Eventually they did a couple of cool upside down bat stretches then leapt away to start their day. I was happy. So Soooooooo HappY.
Later, we were crashing through the jungle again and we heard the Indri (Indri indri) start to sing. So we went towards the song…really fast…crazy scary fast through the jungle…when I caught up, I was directly below a group of 3 Indri. The male and the female singing, duetting, their hearts out. It was all a bit overwhelming. I was rushed with emotions…And they were so close! Within 10m in the trees above our heads!!! Then the female was right above me with the juvenile on her back. I almost died, made too much noise getting my footing and the two separated. Then the male came over and started grooming the juvenile. It was magnificent. Soon they started doing crazy leaps…..VCL (vertical clinging and leaping characteristic of these types of primates)…and we too were off in hot pursuit – no trails, just wild and tangled jungle, vines, logs, tree roots, grabbing and yanking into a steep muddy valley….