We heard them long before we saw them. Their snorts, blows and bellowing reminded me of elephants having a mud bath. When we reached the ocean after two days of walking we saw them from the jagged cliffs high above the sea. Far below in the cold blue water they were rolling, jumping and playing. The whales come to this protected marine reserve with sheltered shores every year to calve and nurse their young. Their presence was as enormous as they were.
The fundraising hike went really well. We had the best weather possible for this time of year and the experience of being out in the wild with people who loved it as much as I did was deeply satisfying.
We did not raise that much money with this undertaking, only £275 this far. But this hike did something to my spirit that no amount of money for my project could ever do. I am not sure what it was that touched me so. Perhaps it was the whales, or perhaps the ocean spray and the sense of wild freedom. Or maybe it was the leopard prints I found on the beach in the morning? I don’t know, but a voice in the wilderness spoke to me and told me to be strong and to have courage.
I suppose, more than funding, one needs to have a strong vision and a hope. If the Walking with Maasai project could save only one more life out of hundreds saved so far through the mobile clinic project, or if it could only give one more Maasai child the prospects of a better future through education, or if the Olkoroi Wilderness Camp could secure the life of only one elephant or wild dog, it would be worth the effort – every step of the way.
The JustGiving fundraising page will remain open if anybody would still like to make a contribution. See some pictures below of the Whale Trail hike. Special thanks to Wessel and Christna Steyn who made it possible for me to undertake this venture.