Finally a free minute (at work) to do my blogging. Geez, don’t they know that I have people that want to keep up with my goings-on? Why do I have to do this stuff called “work”?!?
I posted a quick email that I sent to my family from Cape Town about 2 weeks ago — since then, our vacation just got better & better. I really do need to go through the pictures soon — but I think we’re going to get a new computer (our current one is on the fritz) and I’d like to just do them once and not have to move them… Thinking about getting a Mac.
Anywhoo, after the last blog update, we headed down to the Cape of Good Hope, did a bit of hiking, and generally had a great time with some friends. Then we headed off to the wedding location, on the other side of Cape Town. Woops – we didn’t leave enough time, and were late to the night before the wedding dinner. The bride was super gracious about it (thank goodness!). Our B&B was NOT what we had expected. Kind of a mess. BUT, it was at the location of the wedding, so we didn’t have to worry about getting a cab from the wedding back to our room, which was nice. The wedding was SO beautiful — on the beach with the sun lowering (not yet setting) in the background. Then the reception went from about 4:30 PM until 2:30 AM — so much drinking and dancing, and AMAZING fresh seafood. TONS of fun. Stopped drinking early (just could not finish that “marathon”, so I actually felt pretty good the next day. SO good, in fact, that I had a bit too much wine at the post-wedding brai (or BBQ for those of us in the states). Woops – but I wasn’t driving.
Monday (the 7th) we went to Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years) — so interesting. Our guide had been a political prisoner there for 7 years. We then wandered around Cape Town for quite some time.
Tuesday we were picked up at 5:30 AM for shark diving. So awesome! It was different than I expected it to be — the cage was on the side of the boat, and we didn’t have to gear up in SCUBA or anything — they would just tell us when a shark was coming, and we’d go underwater and hold our breath. A shark even bumped the cage when I was down there. Amazing!
Wednesday we flew out first thing in the morning from Cape Town, to Johannesburg, to Kasane, Botswana, then got a charter flight to the safari camp’s air strip in Botswana. A LONG travel day — we arrived just in time for the afternoon game drive. Our tent was beautify — it had just be completely re-done, and for some reason we got the “family tent” — so we had 2 bedrooms! Ha! Stayed there for 2 nights; the highlight was the lions (a mother with her 3 cubs and another set of 4 male lions). The hippos underneath our deck were pretty amazing too!
Friday we flew to another location in Botswana to head to another safari camp. This one was much smaller, and frankly, not as good. Our tent was perfect, but too close to the “main lodge”, so when we tried to go to bed early, it was tough because we could hear all the others at the fire pit. Their vehicles were not so great either, and the first night we had a lot of problems — the whole gear shifter came out a number of times. In the end, the gear box fell off, and we got stuck, having to be rescued by some others from the camp. Not cool. It was also our ranger’s first week, and although he knew all the latin names of everything, he didn’t know the area well, and he was just kind of an odd guy. We went on 1 game drive with another (more seasoned) ranger, and it was about 100 times better… For what we paid for that place, I was just not impressed with him… Highlights there were a pride of lions (2 males, 2 females, and about 6 cubs) and a leopard that we were able to see twice. Once hiding in the bushes, and the next time out next to the bushes, going in & out eating his kill.
Sunday, after a quick boat ride and a 1.5 hour (plus 30 minutes for getting stuck in another mud puddle — it’s the rainy season) drive, we flew from the air strip to Kasane, Botswana then took a road transfer to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and our hotel (the Victoria Falls Hotel — uber fancy). That afternoon we did a sunset cruise on the Zambezi river, and had dinner at the Boma, Place of Eating, which was SO much fun! They had storytellers, a fortune teller, drum circles, dancing, and traditional food.
Monday was action-packed. We were up early to do an elephant-back safari, then went to the Victoria Falls National park to see the falls (got SUPER wet – since it’s the rainy season), tried to go bungi jumping off the bridge, but the weather was too bad at that time, did a 15 minute helicopter ride, then went “walking with lions”. Dinner was in the casual restaurant at the hotel. The next morning I had wanted to go back to bungi jump, but there simply wasn’t enough time, so I did a zipline near the hotel over the gorge, and both the hubby and I did the Gorge Swing — basically a bungi jump with a rope instead of a bungee. It was SO amazing — except I was wearing Tom’s shoes (no laces), so I took them off before I did each one. The zip line was fine, but on the gorge swing, you have to kind of scale about 10-15 feet of the wall at the end. I couldn’t get a grip with my feet, and they ended up dragging me up the wall — so I left a bit of shin skin in Victoria Falls!
After 36 hours of travel home, we finally arrived home. Our pups & kitties were happy to see us (actually, the kitties were kind of peeved with us). But, we kept finding issues with the house (darn 21 year-old pet sitter — I’m pretty sure that she had a raging party while she was “working”. Not thrilled. I’ve sent her an email asking about it, and will assess the price of some of the damages that I can (cigarette burns in our patio furniture can’t really be fixed, and we can just flip over the cushions). It really was the loss of trust though – she drove my hubby’s truck (luckily not my car!), rifled through my lingerie drawer (ick), and I’m pretty sure she used our shower scrubbies (ewww). My bathrobe was also in the washing machine (blech).