Tuesday, October 27, 2009

On Bintimani - March 1969 & March 1970

March 1970

Above: taken in March 1970 in the Forest above the village of Sokurella on the trail to the summit of Bintimani, Lloyd Ziegler and our guide look ahead - I think we had stopped for water and a brief rest and people were approaching heading down the trail.

March 1969

On my first trip to Bintimani in March 1969 I became exhausted after a very trying 24 hr ride from Kabala to Kurobonla (see prior posting in this regard)and the next morning, Skip Smith, who was in far better shape than I was, went on to hike up the mountain while I stayed behind to see if I could recover with a days rest. We stayed in the ill-equipped medical clinic at the edge of Kurobonla (visitors used this as a youth hostile) where I met 3 Brits who were heading up the mountain the next morning. They were agreeable to allow me to join them on their hike - and by the next morning I had recovered enough to head on. We asked the Paramount Chief for permission to hike and for a guide. The Brits were a friendly crew. One, who I remember as named "Bill" was Northern Irish, and spoke with an accent that I had a lot of difficulty deciphering. I assumed he was funny as he had many stories to tell as we hiked, but although the others laughed at his humor, I was slow to pick up on his accent and thus missed most of what he said. They must have thought I was slow. I do not remember the others names. One was a tall man who seemed knowledgable about hiking; the other was a woman, who hiked in clogs, and wore a blouse and dress. They were VSOs (i.e. Volunteer Service Organization - somewhat comprable to the U.S. Peace Corps). The heat was challenging for me and although I was for the most part exhausted, I was able to keep up with my fellow climbers as their pace was tolerable. I was later to come down with a rip-roaring case of Malaria when I arrived home, this combined with a horrid combination of other symptoms - and in retrospect wonder whether much of my exhuastion was the forerunner to this rather than due to strenuous trip from Kabala to Kurobonla. Getting back to my hike with the Brits, we hiked along at a comfortable pace, eventually reaching a somewhat canopied forest, where the shade provided a cool breeze. At 4 pm the Brits called a hault, pulled out their primus stoves, and here we had tea before moving on. My March 1970 trip to the area was much less strenuous.

No comments: