Monday, December 26, 2016

Heather's Visit Day Three: Hiking the Gorge and Seeing a Leopard

There's a lovely gorge in Hell's Gate National Park.  Last time we were here we couldn't find it so this time we were determined to hike in it.  You have to go with a guard and we could see why as we got deeper into the gorge.  It was beautiful.  And on the way out of the park we saw a leopard!!  It was from a distance but was very much a leopard.  I zoomed in and caught in on my camera. 

Here's the leopard that we saw.  You'll have to click on it to enlarge and if I can find a way to enlarge it so you can see it better, I'll do it.  People have told me we were very lucky to see a leopard as they are very shy creatures.  We were just driving through the park and I caught a glimpse of a yellowish cat.  LeRon stopped the car and we backed up and actually Heather and LeRon got a better view of it as it started to turn.  I quickly zoomed in with the camera and was excited to snap a picture of it.  So now we've seen another of "The big Five" -- which are the elephant, the buffalo, the leopard, the rhino, and the lion.  We just have the rhino and the lion to see now.  What about the giraffe? I asked someone and they said that "the giraffe is king."

Hmn . . . do we have to go way down there?

Our guide/guard was a Masai who has been trained to help helpless people down steep places.

I'm not as young as I used to be.  Nor as agile.

We're in the gorge.  Yeah!  It is beautiful here.

LeRon and I with our Masai guide.

It looks as slippery as Red Rock Canyon in Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, but actually it wasn't as slippery for some reason.

But I still clung to the guide/guard.

Mother and daughter.

Our family has often hiked in gorges and canyons and mountains.

As we got deeper into the gorge, we could see that erosion was definitely taking place.  High up on the wall was graffiti from 1992.  So that means that since 1992 it has eroded about 30 feet, which is about a foot a year.

Sometimes graffiti is good since now we can tell how much erosion has taken place.  In Canada it would take thousands of years to erode that much. 

This reminded us of the "bell caves" in Israel.

We should have tried singing in here like we did in the bell caves in Israel.

This was a beautiful place called "the giant's bedroom."

And here is a giant grasshopper!

The gorge was a beautiful canyon with volcanic flows.

Now that we've made it to the giant's bedroom, we have to go back the way we came.

Hmn. . . this picture should have been toward the beginning when we had to climb up the rope ladder.

We had to climb up on the way and then we had to climb down on the way back.  Exciting!

I thought going down was a lot harder than climbing up.

It was steeper than it looks but we did it!

Hot, hot water coming from a hot spring in the rocks.

LeRon, Colleen, Heather by the hot springs.



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