John writing now:
This morning our guide, Sura, took us to an overlook to see two large lakes that are nestled up next to the mountains. They are referred to as twin lakes, although Lake Burera is 100 meters above Lake Ruhondo. For the first 30 minutes we were on a good paved road, but then we turned onto a small unpaved road. The problem is the stones in the roadway vary from marble size to baseball size, so it is very slow going. Along the way we got to see local village life, and local farms. All farming is done by hand. Much of the arable land is on steep slopes. It is amazing to see how much stuff is hand/head carried by the local people. We saw one woman carrying three large bricks on her head. Each one was the half the size of a cement block, but they were solid - dimensions were 1 foot by 1 foot by 4 inches! Lake Burera is at 800 meters, and it contains fish that the people can catch for food. Lake Ruhondo is at 700 meters and has crocodiles, so there are no fish.
Lois is feeling a little better, and is starting to eat small amounts, but she is still weak. I hope we luck out tomorrow and have a relatively easy hike to see the gorillas. Yesterday one group from our lodge got a real workout. They were assigned to observe a group that was pretty close, but as soon as they started out hiking, the gorillas moved, and kept moving. The people were out on the trail for 7.5 hours and were really wiped out at the end of the day. When I asked them whether I would need my telephoto lens, they said no. When I asked how far they were from the gorillas, the guy said at one point he was six inches from the silverback. We are in the rainy season (it just started this week). It rains for 30 minutes, stops, clears for a while then rains again. The clouds and skies are perfect for photography, but it would be nice to have it clear when we get to the gorillas.