Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Great Mongoose Hunt

Back to the topic of our trip to Hawaii.  I didn't want to bore you by talking about our vacation in every post for the next month, so I've been interspersing trail riding posts in between.  On our last day in Hawaii, we had to check out of our hotel by noon and our first flight did not take off until something like 8:30 at night.  That meant we had to find something to do all afternoon that wouldn't make us sweaty or fill up our bladders, since we no longer had access to a personal bathroom.  We strolled around a zoo...

then explored several beaches...

and concluded that last hour or so by going on mongoose hunt.

"What's that?" you say.

Seriously.  A mongoose hunt.

You see, someone planted a letterbox in this park near out hotel.  On a previous day, we had hunted for it and we are confident that we found the correct location, but the letterbox was gone.  I figured the park maintenance crew removed it, or perhaps some kids ran off with it, but then I heard rustling in the bushes around me, and spotted a mongoose peeking out.  Those critters could have absconded the letterbox and made a nest out of it.

People say it is very difficult to get a picture of a mongoose, because they are very quiet, stealthy and fast.  So, we returned to the park to kill some time and discovered that when we sat very still on a bench, many mongooses (mongeese?) came out of the thicket to drink from rain puddles and scrounge for nuts and crumbs.  I ran to the car to grab my camera, and this is what I came up with.

Admittedly, the vast majority of shots were very blurry.  They do look funny when they are all stretched out and running.  I probably should have taken the time to manually set the shutter speed.  What was weird was that we had visited this park many times and pretty much had a whole section of it to ourselves, but on this day people kept bringing their kids over right where we were sitting taking pictures of the mon-whatevers and encouraging their kids to climb the tree behind us.  Granted, it was an awesome tree, but all these people seemed oblivious to the fact that we needed everyone to be very still for us to meet our photography goals.

One family came up to take a group portrait by the tree, and then complained amongst themselves because I was in the background of their picture taking pictures.  I was like, "Uh, and you didn't ruin my shot of the mongoose by climbing into the bushes to get a picture by the tree?  How about if I move out of your way so you can get your portrait by the tree, and then you leave so the mongoose come out of hiding, and I can finish what I was doing before you commandeered this space?"

It was tough dealing with all the different sensibilities of people from various cultures.  When we were at the botanical gardens, which I will post about separately, this group of Asian tourists followed us everywhere we went and kept copying me by photographing everything I was photographing.  My husband and I kept trying to intentionally ditch them so we could be alone.  All the chatter was distracting from the beauty and natural sounds of the jungle.  There was hardly anyone else other than our two groups at the place, so people can and should spread out.  I suspect people from cities tend to cluster together for safety.  Or maybe they thought I was the tour guide.  Who knows?

Then, at the zoo, this French family kept following us, because we were good about searching for and pointing out the hidden animals.  When I'd say, "There it is," to my husband, they'd all come running and squeeze me and my husband out of the way to see what I was pointing at.  At one point I was crouched down by a cage, and when I stood up I stepped on someone's foot and fell backwards into him.  He had come right up to me and leaned over the top of me to see what I was looking at.  I call that "unwanted pubic spooning by a stranger".  Again, this was a case where hardly anyone else was at the zoo, so there was no need to press together.  My husband and I sat down on a bench and waited for them to get bored waiting for us to move on, and finally decide to tour the zoo on their own without us.

But other than those incidents, we did get to spend a lot of time alone out in nature, and even alone in some restaurants.  I was glad we avoided going to any of the major tourist attractions, because peace and quiet was what we needed.  Best of all, no mongooses got hurt during the making of this film, and no mongooses attacked us.

1 comment:

achieve1dream said...

OMG "unwanted pubic spooning by a stranger"!!! That's hilarious!! I've had that happen. So annoying! People just don't understand personal space sometimes. Oh and people follow me around because I point out the hidden animals too lol.

Your trip sounds like it was soooo much fun!! Thanks for sharing it with us. Oh and the mongoose pictures are so cute!