Posts Tagged ‘kenya’

Face to face with a Cheetah

5th March 2011 by Helen

2011 03 05 (15) - Land Rover Marin - Landy set upWhat a fantastic day we’ve had today.  We’d arranged to take Landy along to the Land Rover Dealership at Corta Madera, between the campsite where we’ve been staying and San Francisco itself.  Doughnuts for elevenses and a buffet lunch helped keep us going as we talked to the many people who came through the doors during the day.  Paul had put together a video comprising footage and stills taken mainly from our Central Asian leg, which played in the background to the accompanying sounds of Mongolian Throat Music.  This is generally an acquired taste in music but somehow the beat and rhythm gets under your skin and is actually quite addictive.

The kids (and some moms and dads) enjoyed taking advantage of peeking into our bedroom (tent).   A few took our ‘ten tips for overlanding’ leaflets.  A few others wanted a peek under the bonnet when they read our sign about how we fixed the damage caused by the accident with the horse in Siberia (fan shroud made of baked bean cans and gaffer tape).  We demonstrated our hand operated water filtration system on some water doctored with some mud and grass from the campsite – and with a cheer for the parents who let their kids drink the (perfectly safe) filtered water.

2011 03 05 (7) - Land Rover Marin - Tango posing on tableWe took our turn to wander around the showroom and have a look at Tango the cheetah who had been brought in as the other half of the attraction for this Land Rover family day out.  This amazing big cat lounged on the table and periodically stretched as he was supervised by his handlers, completely oblivious of the flashing of camera lights and gaggle of people staring at him.  And this cheetah charmed us all with some very loud purring.  We learned how the cheetah is a shy animal more inclined to run away than attack, but is often lumped together with the more aggressive members of the big cat family and shot, leading to its numbers becoming dangerously low.  Tango is helping promote the development of a new cheetah sanctuary in Kenya, which we hope to visit when we reach that country.

By the end of the day we were exhausted and all talked out but happy.