Wednesday, November 25, 2009

About Mountains of the Moon

I issued a book on the source of River Nile in Africa, called the mountains of the Moon. I am not sure if I have blogged about it already. Anyway its about a team of adventurers and biologists who climb these mountains to locate the source of the Nile and also document the vegetation of these areas.

It is a beautiful place there. The mountains are so properly hidden away and obscured by the rain clouds that only in 1890 was it discovered.

Imagine that.

Europeans had been there in that part of Africa since the 1600s when they divided the continent up in what was called cutting the African 'cake'. But for almost 200 years no one knew where the river Nile came from. Surely it had to start somewhere. It couldn't have started from the sea because, well, it is fresh water and rivers don't start from seas. It couldn't start from a normal mountain because the mountain had to be really high with enough storage of ice and snow to feed the river perennially. Europeans had been passing that direction within viewing distance but no one sighted these mountains that were the actual source of Nile because the clouds always covered them.

Nile, according to legends and mythology has its source from the moon. Therefore the mountains are called Mountains of the Moon, where Nile began.

African forests and mountains are landscapes I have never really thought about or been fascinated about. But the variety and lushness of it all intrigues me now.

Tomorrow I will return that book about the mountains. And I regret not having finished reading it. Or maybe I will return it day after and read it tomorrow night.

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