Sunday, August 21, 2011

Wild Africa Trek

Rickety old suspension bridges are usually things that I try to avoid in my every-day life.

A deathly fear of heights - and an even-more deathly fear of falling - pretty much insures that I will NOT walk across bridges that sway, and creak, and are in the clouds.

So, why did I find myself traversing not one, not two, but SEVERAL bridges a few weeks ago????

Yeah...that's me...pretty amazing, huh?!

When I found myself experiencing a "Wild Africa Trek" in Orlando with my daughter in the Animal Kingdom park at Disney.

This was truly an AMAZING experience - and although it had me pushing my fears by doing things I wasn't comfortable with - it turned out to be a truly wondrous adventure for both of us.

Although the Trek is open to up to 12 people at a time, Mickey and I found ourselves to be the only two adventurers on the particular day we did it...of course, the fact that it was a mere 110-degrees heat index that day probably had something to do with it.

We began the tour by "suiting up" in over 10 pounds of equipment - which didn't exactly help keep us cool, but did insure that we were safe. Heavy. Hot. Uncomfortable. Ugh.

We then spent 3 hours crossing several suspension bridges, getting up close and personal with some animals, and having a delightful African lunch on the plains of the savannah, along with our own personal safari guide who told us everything that we were seeing.

Mickey and I with our safari guide

Part of the equipment included these harnesses - as you can see in this picture - where I could "latch on" as I traversed the bridge, so I wouldn't plunge to my death below. Good to know.

Mickey would always go first - I'd tell her it was to make sure she was safe, but really - it was so I could insure she wasn't jumping up and down on the bridge behind me.

What was below us that was gathering my attention here?

Why, just some hungry-looking crocodiles....

"Say cheese, Mr. Crocodile" I implore, as I aim for a better picture...

...and the crocodile obliges.

After getting my picture, I take in the scene in front of me...those crocs are looking awfully hungry - maybe it's time to move on.

Crossing back over the crocodiles to move on to the next experience....

How about some hungry hippos????

Our "up close and personal" view included great (& gross) shots like this...

"Smile, honey!"

After crossing the bridges and spending time with the scary animals, it was about time for lunch. Our own private jeep took us out to the middle of the African savannah, where a delicious lunch awaited us...

A delicious toast with our "Jungle Juice" - very refreshing. And cold. Thank goodness.

We dined while we watched the animals roaming around us...giraffes, elephants, and other critters...truly special.

On surely what was the hottest day of the year. Ever.

But at the end of the day, my daughter said to me, "Best. Day. Ever, Mom."

And it truly was.

The smiles of two ladies who pushed the limits and came out on top.


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