Wow! It’s Thursday morning on a perfect weather day. It’s cool, the sun is shining, and we’re comfortably ensconced at the table on the fantastic veranda. We’re feeling so much better today. The gastro issues are gone. The awful feeling of exhaustion from Covid-19/Omicron continues to improve daily, and we’re almost back to our old selves.
The sights and sounds in the bush are making us both smile. Birds are singing, screeching, and flying overhead. As I write this, the same five kudus, including a baby, have been hanging around for the past few hours. We named Pushy a very bossy warthog since he growls when we don’t give him pellets fast enough. He makes us laugh. We can’t help but respond to his goofy personality.
There are a few “Spikey’s” hanging out, young bushbucks with tiny horns, and one of our old favorites, Stingy, from our old house, 2 kilometers, 1.2 miles away. He responded to his name, and we recognized him for the markings and size of his horns, which are always muddy from digging up roots. Indeed, we’ll see some of our old animal friends in time, but it’s easy to welcome new friends when they are so adorable.
Gosh, this feels good. Tom is streaming Garage Logic on his laptop. we’re sipping on ice tea in the big mugs Louise gave us a few days ago, and we’re snacking on chunks of delicious aged cheddar cheese and a fine quality ham. Dinner is made for tonight’s meal, and I’ve already done two loads of laundry.
Danie arranged for a plumber to come today since the water at the kitchen sink wasn’t hot enough for washing dishes. There’s no dishwasher here. Tom did all the dishes but quickly became frustrated when the water wasn’t satisfactory for sanitizing the dishes. As soon as we mentioned this issue to Louise, she and Danie were all over it and the plumber arrived this morning to make the necessary repairs. By tonight’s dinner Tom should be able to do the dishes in hot water. The remaining faucets in the house are fine.
With our plans set for the necessary visa run on August 20, as of two days ago, we have peace of mind and can relax until then. We definitely decided that neither of us feel up to any long flights and layovers to go far away. We’ve decided to head back to Zambia.
Once we arrive at the small airport in Livingstone, our former tour guide Chris will pick us up at the airport and drive us to the rive where four countries intersect, the only such place in the world. We’ll take a little boat across the river to the other side to Botswana where a guide will meet and take us through immigration, and then to Chobe Safari Lodge, where we stayed a few times in 2018.
Each time we were at the resort and went on safari, we longed to spend more time there. This time, we’ve booked five nights at the lodge and two nights at the Protea Hotel to round out an entire week we’ll have been away, hopefully long enough to satisfy South African immigration to give us a new 90-day visa stamp.
Fortunately, the flight to Zambia is non-stop on Airlink in Nelspruit and is less than a two-hour flight, making the trip easy for us. We’ll pick up a new rental car when we return to Nelspruit, and the 90-day clock will begin once again. But, 70+ days later, we’re heading to Athens. At the end of the cruise from Athens, we’ll return to Cape Town South Africa, about 45 days later.
We are thrilled with this plan. It’s easy, affordable, and less work than applying for another visa extension which we may have to do again sometime down the line. But, this one trip and the cruise take us to March 2023, when again, we’ll leave South Africa for a while to explore other options. All of this, of course, is based on travel restrictions because the pandemic is not over.
So, God willing, we’re back to life as we knew it, comfortable and content to be here, feeling well, enjoying our animal and human friends. Life is good, once again.
Photo from one year ago today, June 2, 2021: