Screams in the night and continuing the Full Moon tradition

Screams in the night and continuing the Full Moon tradition

Awoken in the middle of the night by screams, I quickly sit up heart palpitating and hairs on end. What the hell was that??? Camped out beneath some trays for the night and used to being awoken by animals moving around my tent, this sound was new. Too timid to investigate such blood curling noises and thrashing around, I nestled in and fell back asleep (although upon further reflection I should have poked my head out—it could have been a leopard!).

At dawn with the discovery of a tray on the ground and sawdust everywhere, I realized a bushbaby must have been foraging when the tray slipped and crashed ungracefully down—bushbaby and all. Whoops. Sorry little buddy for the fright. Seeing no little furry corpses anywhere, it must have scurried off with only its dignity bruised—hopefully I can coax their return with some bananas.

Without cameras, I’ve set up a tent beneath the Upside Down Octopus Fig to watch the bushbabies forage at dusk and dawn. This week, little activity has been spotted despite ample light due to the fullness of the moon—“Full Moon; main Moon.”

And with yet another Full Moon, I needed to plan something “special” having done something out of the ordinary for each occasion since arriving in Africa (Sept: moonlit hike and camp on Lajuma to see the sunrise; Oct: night drive in Kruger; Nov: catching frogs by moonlight; Dec; night walk up to the patches; Jan: swimming in a storm in Tofo, Mozambique). For this month, and possibly my last Full Moon at Lajuma (for awhile at least), I had planned to hike up Lajuma to watch the sunset/moonrise and walk down by moonlight—alone.

Unfortunately (and fortunately in the end!), as I was preparing to go, a Barnmate volunteered to come along. Annoyed at first, this turned out to be a great idea since I am always quicker with another person than on my own and slightly blind at night—he also knew the Kilpspringer trail better than me and it’s always good to have a second person along in case something happens. Leaving around 4:45PM we hurried up to the peak, walking through the forest first before climbing the chimney to the patches and onto the Klipsringer trail—a slower but much more fun way than taking the road. Right before the peak, I remarked how great it would be to have some champagne or something similar. Two minutes later at the peak and Kevin grinning, he hands me a Windhoek (Namibian beer).

Brillant! And just in time for the sunset. We watch as the blaze descends in the West before casting our eyes to the East to see the silvery sliver of the full moon peaking from a haze of ethereal baby blue clouds. The skies soften and cities below us awaken with optimistic glows of orange as shadows of green streaks across the beginnings of a twinkling sky. Taking our time and enjoying the view, we realize the way down will be rough with loose stones and difficulty in spotting the correct path down—marked only by stonemen. At this point I’m more than happy to have a second person along while navigating the way down. Everything is monotone, translucent and peaceful—reminiscent of my first moonlight walk. By the time we finally reach the bottom (taking longer going down than up), my headlamp is dead but luckily the moon is bright and we follow the road back to The Barn.

Embarking on my first Full Moon months ago to watch the sunrise, this was a perfect way to celebrate my last Full Moon at Lajuma with a sunset.

Two. More. Weeks.

Alright leopards, please come out and play!

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