Kaleidoscope of Tanzania, East Africa (October/November 2006) : a safari holiday through the Serengeti, Ngorongoro highlands, Tarangire and Ruaha
Day 10: Gibb’s Farm (Sunday 05 November 2006)
Before I tell you about today I have to mention something that happened last night. After I had finished writing in my journal I took the candle to the bathroom to get ready for bed, Heiko was half asleep on the bed at the time. When I came back I had forgotten something so to be quick I took the torch instead of the candle and on the way back to the bed I stubbed my little toe. It hurt so damn much, and with the noise I made and me shaking the torch about trying to forget the pain Heiko thought I still had the candle and had set myself on fire. I have never EVER seen him move so quickly. He went from lying half asleep on the bed to a ninja style roll over to the foot of the bed and then over the bench at the end of the bed and somehow onto his feet, knees bent, arms karate style and a totally bewildered look on his face as if wondering how the hell he got there. I forgot all about my toe and was creasing myself with laughter at the expression on his face. Even when we were in bed later I had a fit of giggles remembering his ninja moves!!
When we woke this morning (before our 7.30 alarm!) we were still in awe of the place we are staying in. It is so very different from everything we had imagined. The farm and its surroundings are stunningly beautiful, very peaceful, and very tranquil – the perfect place to unwind and relax.
We headed off for breakfast and then came back to the cottage to relax. We later went to the gift shop so I could choose a book to read and then we spent an hour on the internet to send a few emails. We went back to the gift shop and bought some Gibb’s Farm coffee and herbal tea selected by the maasai and dropped them off in our cottage before heading over for lunch.
We were first to the dining room and had first selection of the buffet. All the food is fresh from the farm so we wanted to try a bit of everything. You can really taste the freshness, we liked the beef and pasta pie and the pork and cabbage pie the best, but it was all very delicious. And then we were invited to taste the deserts. We almost passed because we were so full but quickly changed our minds when I heard “rhubarb crumble” and as soon as Heiko heard “chocolate mousse” he was quickly up from his chair and on the way to the buffet table.
The rhubarb crumble was so delicious, it was the freshest, tastiest rhubarb crumble I have ever had. Really fantastic! Heiko’s double helping of chocolate mousse disappeared fast and was equally delicious. Just as we were leaving, the room filled quickly with all the other guests and we went to sit outside in the garden to admire the view (which is stunning). We are high on a hill and you can see down in to the valley and up to other hills far in the distance.
IMG: The view from the terrace at Gibb’s Farm
Back relaxing on the veranda of our cottage, in comfy leather chairs we will soon be getting ready for our afternoon walk to the waterfall and elephant caves. (Heiko just saw a baboon nearby picking some fruit from the trees!)
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At 14.30 we met our guide (I think his name was Yena) and he took us through the vegetable garden to the boundary of Gibb’s Farm. Gibb’s Farm has 25 acres of coffee and 10 acres of vegetables; nothing is exported, everything is consumed by the hotel guests. The coffee beans are collected by hand and are pulped using a hand pulper. This removes the fleshy parts and red skin of the ripe cherry. The beans are then washed, fermented over one or two days, washed again and dried in the sun for about ten days. Then the extra layer if peeled off the bean and they are roasted. Some are ground into powder.
It took us almost an hour to walk to the elephant caves. The elephants go there because it’s rich in calcium and iron. It is dangerous when it’s wet and some buffalo climb up and slip, and then the dirt falls down on top of them. There were two buffalo skulls at the base, and there were hundreds of white butterfly too. I’ve never seen so many butterflies all in one place before. We walked a little further to reach the waterfall; we were stood right at the top looking down. We could see small baboons two shelves below, and the view out in front of us was really nice. Then we headed back to Gibb’s Farm.
We were all hot and sticky from the heat and humidity so we headed straight for the shower, this time the one that’s outside of our cottage. It was lovely, all the noises of the birds, the rustle of leaves and butterflies flying by!
Right now we are just passing the time with books whilst we wait for dinner.