All right, so I left the posting mid-thought last week, but I was so excited to get something posted, and didn't want to leave you with nothing, that I figured some now is better than more later. Well, here's the 'more later' part. (Again, I must apologise for the lack of real pictures, but not having had the presence of mind, nor the time, to bring the camera, I have nothing to show for it.)
So, I was trapped on the other side with Tom and a bunch of natives. We walked for what seemed like a dozen miles down to a river where we were met by a large wagon being pulled by some kind of local beast of burden. We all piled in and headed south (or at least that's what Tom said; at that point I hadn't a clue which way was up, much less south) following along the river. We were passing through a forest when we turned suddenly east, taking a much longer route. Tom explained that we had to circle around a large cliff. Apparently the wagon path and the foot path separate near a tall waterfall. (Tom said that he'd bring me back to the base of the waterfall later.)
We pulled into the town and stopped in front of a huge building. Turns out that it was the general meeting house for the town and where they entertained guests (usually folks from nearby towns, not from so far out of town as Tom and me). Ushered into the hall, we sat at long tables where the local kids served us the best meal I've ever eaten. I'm still not quite certain what all we ate, but Tom said that it was mostly fresh vegetables and fish from the river (same river as the waterfall, just much farther downstream). He says that usually they would have some kind of red meat, but we hadn't given them time to prepare for this visit. As unexpected as this trip was for me, Tom hadn't given them any warning either.
After a long, drawn out meal, Tom took me for a walk around the small village, pointing out various landmarks, such as the local school. As is typical for tourists, we were followed by a crowd of kids, all wanting to see the stranger: me! They had worked with Tom for a while and almost considered him one of them, but I was a serious newbie for them.
Augh! Out of space again for the posting. More on my trip next time.