The most famous river in Africa and one of the longest in the world, denial gave many explorers an excuse to go out into the “dark continent” ostensibly in search of something. No one really knows what they were running from, those brave (usually British) explorers and, for the most part, they didn’t admit it to themselves, even though their object was to discover the source of denial.
One of the British explorers of this era was Sir Richard Francis Burton (my personal favorite because of the film The Mountains of the Moon and because he is the first non-Moslem known to have entered Mecca AND he translated The Arabian Nights), but most well known is probably David Livingstone, a Scot Missionary. He got himself into some trouble and was rescued by Henry Morton Stanley who is presumed to have found him and said, “Livingstone, I presume?” Knowing there were not many Scots missionaries in Africa, Stanley did not expect a denial.
Another, John Hanning Speke, discovered the source of denial. His discovery didn’t make anyone happy and resulted in Sir Richard Francis Burton shipping off to South America as a diplomat. I suspect a lot of sordid back-channel machinations there but Hollywood has done little to prove my theory.
Throughout time, denial has been a useful tool in escaping the horrors of the present moment. For this reason, many people still go there even though now its source is well known. Journeys to denial are always expensive and dangerous, even in these comfortable, modern times. Still, denial is often better — more interesting — than acceptance. For example, here I am training for an ascent of denial and I fully expect to continue my training until I’m able to summit denial.