high (perceived but mistaken) adventure OR the value of knowing local language

Last Saturday I was hiking alone on Bongoyo Island off the coast of Dar. It was marvelously solitary: all the tourists had stuck with the beach, and I felt like I had the rest of the island to myself. At some point, I come across a threatening looking sign with an animal skull hanging from a tree. My Swahili has atrophied to the point that all I knew was that the sign said “Warning!” and then something else.Should I go down the path? Will someone kill me? I walk a few steps forward, a few steps back, finally decide I need a little adventure and wander down. I come across a ruined old building and a very large reptile (2+ feet long), but nothing else. I also – after walking for twenty minutes or so – found myself back where I had started, so I considered that perhaps I had entered some sort of wormhole.

When I got back, a friend translated the sign for me.

Notice: You’re not allowed to cut trees on this island.  -By government order

I still think it might have been a wormhole.

[More photos.]

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