A long ago memory with relevance today….Four lions spotted in Marloth Park…Are the animals hiding?..

On a walk in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2012, shortly before we left the US to travel the world, we stumbled across this saying on a large slab of stone.

Around this date in 2012, Tom and I went for a walk in the Old Towne area in Scottsdale, Arizona. We were staying there in a lovely condo for a few months while we wrapped up all the seemingly endless details of preparing to leave the US for our anticipated years-long journey.

We chose Scottsdale in an attempt to determine if and when, in the future, we may decide to settle somewhere. Would Scottsdale be an option? After spending two months there, we found it wasn’t quite for us. But during those two months there, we enjoyed ourselves as our first foray away from Minnesota, where Tom grew up, and I’d lived for over 40 years.

A male waterbuck at sunset on the bank of the Crocodile River.

During that time, we set up all of our new digital equipment, continued making bookings into the future, and handled insurance and other business matters that required attention before we left the US on January 3, 2013, from San Diego, California, on our first cruise. Oddly, the memories of that time are as fresh in our minds today as if it was yesterday.

Today’s main photo popped up from one of the clouds we use as a “memory.” It made us laugh when we remembered encountering this message on a stone slab during the walk that day in Scottsdale. At the time and even now, we perceived it as an omen that we would enjoy our travels together in the upcoming years, knowing the depth and quality of our relationship. We’ve never been disappointed.

Sunset from Kathy and Don’s third-floor veranda.

At that time, nine years ago, we had no idea how long we’d travel, if we’d enjoy it for the long term, after facing many of the challenges we’ve encountered along the way. We knew our desire and commitment were firmly in place along with our established criteria which we’d fined tuned during the ten prior months that we’d spent conducting research.

If you find the sign difficult to read, the quote from Mark Twain reads: “I have found that there is no surer way to find out if you like people or you hate them, than to travel with them.”

How true that’s been for us and surely is for other couples who travel, whether they are partners or friends. Never once in the past nine years have either of us questioned we are with the “right traveler,” the “right companion,” or the right “love partner.”

A crocodile on the move on the river.

After hearing about our ten months in lockdown in India, many have commented that they’d be at each other’s throats being stuck in one room for so long. We comforted each other and provided support and encouragement to one another during the challenging time. In the end, it only made us stronger individually and as a couple. Go figure. Who knew we’d spend 10% of our travels stuck in a hotel room? We are very grateful we didn’t get Covid-19 and that we came out in good spirits.

As for the lions in Marloth Park, four have been sighted over the past several nights by rangers and others. Two males and two females are obviously on the move and hunting for food, which is plentiful in Marloth Mark, perhaps even easier to find than in massive Kruger National Park.

A male impala grazing on vegetation on the bank of the river.

A weird phenomenon we’ve observed these past three days since the sighting has been the lack of wildlife visiting our garden, less daily than we’ve seen since we arrived last January. While in the national parks in India searching for tiger sightings, the rangers explained that the various antelopes, particularly the Sambar deer, give off bark as a warning sign for all animals when a tiger is in the area.

Is it possible our antelopes here in Marloth Park have given off such notice to all wildlife that their lives are in danger with the nearby lions roaming through the park? We feel confident this is the case. Not even Little, other warthogs, or our usual 10 to 12 bushbucks are stopping by. We’ve only seen bushbuck Gordon Ramsay each of the past three days, but he is very skittish and nervous, constantly looking around.

Frank and The Misses don’t seem concerned about the lions in the park. They aren’t much of a meal for a lion.

Word is out not to feed the animals since it will cause them to gather in groups making easy prey for the lions.  With no animals in the garden except for the mongooses, that’s not a problem for us. We haven’t tossed pellets in days while we wait for this scary time for the animals to come to an end.

Hopefully, the lions who’ve arrived from Kruger, from the other side of the fence between the two parks, will return from whence they’ve come. But, if they find the pickings are good here, they may not leave for quite a while. In the interim, we all must be diligent about being outdoors at night and during the day. Lions may prefer to hunt in the dark, but we’ve seen them with “kills” during daylight hours.  Of course, we are being cautious when outdoors, day and night.

Well, folks, that’s our news for today.  Please stop by again tomorrow for more.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, November 13, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #235. This photo from Maui, Hawaii, almost looked like a scene from New England by the sea. For more photos, please click here.

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