Tom’s second biggest scare of his life?…In his own words…Three days and counting…

This buffalo was not happy to see him. Tom used no zoom to capture this photo when suddenly this monstrous agitated animal approached him.

“Sightings on the Beach in Bali”

Hauling a heavy load of vegetation on the beach.

Up until yesterday morning the most frightening experience of Tom’s life occurred while we were sitting on the veranda in Marloth Park, South Africa and he spotted a Mozambique Spitting Cobra next to his bare foot. Here’s the link with photos to that story.

His second most frightening experience since that event in South Africa occurred late yesterday morning when he decided to take a walk in the neighborhood to check out the main road currently under construction which lead to the villas. We’ve walked that road many times and he was curious to see how it was coming along.

This is the beginning of the paver road under construction at this time.

I was busy attempting to get a good enough signal to upload the post and suggested he go without me. He grabbed the camera expecting to return within an hour. I never gave it a thought.

Thirty minutes later he returned, sweaty and flushed. “You won’t believe what happened,” he said, his voice more intense than usual.

Several workers were involved in the project to pave the road.

“What?” I asked with the utmost of concern while quickly scanning his body up and down for any possible injuries. In a flash of 10 seconds, I wondered if he’d fallen, although he’s as surefooted as anyone I know.

This is the grassy path Tom took in search of photos, never realizing what lie ahead.

Here are his words as to what transpired on the walk:

“The road construction is a 20 day project using pavers/cobblestones. While the work is being done cars have to drive on a small grassy trail (as shown above) to get to the highway.  

On Monday, when I went with Gede to the ATM, he drove on this path (not really a road) which is used by motorbikes and walking the buffalo down to the beach and the river located near us.

This buffalo snorted and stomped his feet ready to charge.

After taking photos of the road construction, I decided to walk the secondary path to take photos of the cows and buffaloes I’d seen on Monday when I rode in the van with Gede.

As I walked down the path, I noticed two male buffaloes laying down on the backside of a property. I was walking on the grassy path about 10 meters, 33 feet, from the buffaloes when they first saw me.

This is the second buffalo who considered getting into the action. A cow is behind him seeming totally uninterested in what was transpiring.

One buffalo appearing agitated, immediately standing and snorting. He was only standing on  three legs since the rope he was tied to was caught and wrapped around his left rear leg. 

Being tangled and seeing me simultaneously obviously added to his agitation. I stopped dead in my tracks unsure of how secure his thin rope really was and what it was secured to. My first thought was that he was getting ready to charge me. This all transpired in a matter of seconds.

He untangled his fourth leg and aggressively began to approach me. I started walking backwards, keeping my eyes on him the entire time. Adrenalin kicked in as my heart started racing and I was sweating profusely.

Cows were contained in this roughshod enclosures.

My eyes scanned the area looking for a safe place to retreat in case he got loose. At this same time the second buffalo, about 30 meters, 98 feet away, stood and approached using all the slack he had available in his rope.

At this point, I slowly backed up out of sight from the buffaloes still checking for a safe exit strategy if either of them charged. At the same time, I was thinking to myself, “I’m glad I’m by myself and Jess isn’t here!” This way, I was only concerned for my own safety instead of worrying about her safety too.

Finally, I was out of sight of the buffaloes with vegetation blocking our view of one another. Then, I decided to carefully approach in order to take these photos. I sound like Jess who takes every precarious situation and turns it into a photo op!

Cows often look to see who’s passing by but seldom show signs of aggression. 

Originally, my plan was to walk the entire length of the grassy path and return the same way. So far, I was only one quarter of my way down the path but decided I didn’t want to take the risk of passing the agitated buffaloes again, especially when at one point, I’d end up between them on the path, not a good place to be.

I cut the walk short, retracing my steps back down the path constantly looking over my shoulder to make sure the buffaloes weren’t following me, all the while thinking how grateful I was to escape and that Jess wasn’t with me.

Finally, Tom had returned to the entrance to the villas and the beginning point of the road under construction. He’s was relieved and grateful to have avoided injury.

As I breathlessly told Jess the story, she asked, “Which situation scared you the most, the cobra in South Africa or the two buffaloes in Bali?” I had to think about it. In both cases we were in remote areas far from emergency medical care. These thoughts entered my mind. 

Both situations were equally frightening. But, with the buffaloes I was only fearful for my own safety and didn’t have to worry about Jess. So, for that reason, the cobra was scarier and the buffaloes are a close second.” 

As Tom told me the story, my own heart was racing over the thoughts tumbling through my mind over what could have happened.  Once again, “safari luck” kicked in and much to my surprise…he still got the photos!

Photo from one year ago today, June 24, 2015:

In Trinity Beach, Australia I stepped out of the car to take this shot. Tom reminded me that passengers on the ship had told him that the ocean is murky at most beaches in Australia, as opposed to the clear crisp blue waters of Hawaii and other islands. Here’s an article about the murky waters surrounding the Great Barrier Reef.  For more details, please click here.