It was worrisome when Tom didn’t return from Nelspruit in the time it usually takes to drive back to Marloth Park, even factoring for potential traffic delays. After setting up the drive, I checked “Maps” to see if there were any accidents or construction delays, but nothing showed up.
Of course, I was worried. It’s a dangerous road, the N4 from Nelspruit to Marloth Park, primarily through the gorge, the part I mentioned that I dislike the most when we make that drive. The “in and out driving” to pass trucks and other vehicles is stressful, but there are risks of carjackings along the routes. I couldn’t help but think the worst when he hadn’t returned when it was almost 4:00 pm, 1600 hrs.
When finally he drove into the driveway, I sighed with relief but was shocked to see him drive up in what appeared to be the exact vehicle, a gray Suzuki Presso, which looks like a mini SUV. By coincidence, he has given an identical model and color without asking for it from a different rental car company. We laughed out loud.
In this case, when we rented for two months, Budget refused to allow him to sign two contracts, each for one month. A month from now, on February 22, he’ll have to drive back to Nelspruit/Mpumalanga/Kruger Airport to sign another contract and probably keep the same vehicle. What a pain. Budget allowed him to sign multiple contracts for multiple months on other occasions.
He was unable to book the car under one booking. The system for Budget, which had the best prices, only allowed individual 30-day bookings. Thus, the necessity of him returning in a month. He, too, isn’t fond of the long drive.
As for why he was late, he forgot to get cash at the good ATM at the airport, which I’d reminded him about when he went out the door. But, preoccupied with the car rental, he forgot. When he realized it on the return drive, he drove off the beaten path to Komatipoort to the ATM near the Spar market. This delayed him by about 20 minutes, sufficient time for me to be concerned.
Once he was settled, we headed out to the veranda, when Little appeared as he often does around this time of day. We tossed some pellets his way while I chatted with him about “what a good boy he is” and “how happy I was to see him” once again. We listened to some music while discussing our time apart, and before we knew it, it was time to put dinner together.
We spent the remainder of the evening indoors, dining at the dining room table, later settling in the bedroom to watch a few shows on my laptop. The evening was warm and humid, and the time in the air-conditioned bedroom was comfortable.
Yesterday was our granddaughter Maisie’s birthday and of course, we’d sent her a gift. But, it would have been great to speak to her. With her school schedule and the 8-hour time difference, the timing didn’t work for us to talk. Tonight, we will try again, hoping to reach her.
Also, tonight, we’ll cook on the braai, making bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin with rice for Tom and salad for both of us. Today, it’s hotter and more humid than yesterday, but I’m still working hard on my indoor walking after breaking a recent record for the number of steps at 7000. I don’t think I’ll ever get to 10,000 steps indoors. My goal is 7500 steps a day, not as much as I’d done in the corridors in India. It’s harder to walk indoors in small spaces, but I’ll be happy with the new goal once achieved.
Have a happy day!
Photo from one year ago today, January 25, 2021: