Finn and I drove up to the BBC to collect Nigel and head for Heathrow. After a week of admin and packing it was so exciting to finally be on the road. Finn travelled like a dream, he loved the overnight to Nairobi, hogging three seats as he sprawled in his sleeping bag leaving me to awkwardly slump next to him to make sure he didn’t slip onto the floor… The changeover in Nairobi was great, just two hours then a short flight to Entebbe in Uganda. We were met by Kicungo our driver who's a great guy, and after loading up we set off for the second leg of our travels. A long seven hours crossing the country passing through stunning lush scenery and busy small villages and towns. Again Finn was just a real travel dude, he slept lots and giggled all the time whilst awake. At lunch he shared a chicken curry with me which he loved and when we finally reached our hotel we were all really weary. A few power cuts caught us unawares, Finn was a little frightened by the first one as he was on the loo at the time and I couldn’t find the torch but by the third one he thought it was great fun.
Finns birthday. We woke early, did some shopping, local bakers fruit shop and small stores, then the brewery where a fight was breaking out… and set off for the forest. 2 hours through more lush country and we were at the research station based at 2500 meters and in dense forest. We found toby who had the day off and all opened pressies. Finn was totally excited about everything, and now has a well stocked travel toy box. Lorren had brought balloons and a birthday banner and rosie had made jelly so he felt really special.
We had a day of sorting kit and then I had my first day out with the Gorillas. It is a stunning walk to the trackers camp in the forest and then 2 and ½ hours tracking the Gorillas. The guys take us to where they nested the night before and then track their trail through really dense vegetation and steep gradient until we find the group. It was really humbling to be right amongst a group of wild Gorillas, and Rukina the silverback is just amazing, really huge and so gentle. The undergrowth is so dense you cant see where most of them are at any one time which is quite unnerving. We had 4 hours moving around and filming before trekking back.
I was seriously washed out by the time we got back and pucked quite a bit that night from exhaustion and a bit of altitude but felt great the next day! The next few days have been just magical spending time in the group and getting fitter very fast!
Finn has been really happy with lauren in the day, they’ve been making bread and cakes in a camp oven, been on walks to the village and played loads.