It was one year ago, the bad news sunk in…No regrets…

Oh, look! Mr. Young Kudu drinking water from our new birdbath. Tom refills it with fresh water every morning.

One year ago today, we wrote the following in this post::

“It was a bad sign this morning when we went to breakfast that there was no buffet. Only five rooms in this 120 room hotel are occupied and it made no sense for them to continue to offer a buffet. Besides, buffets are breeding grounds for germs. 

Is this the beginning stages of this hotel closing in the next several days?

The hotel is no longer allowed to accept new reservations. In a matter of days, we could be the only guests here. That’s kind of freaky. It won’t be the first time we were the only guests in a hotel.  On Christmas Eve and Christmas day in 2017, we were the only guests in a boutique hotel in Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina. We ended up having a great time after all. See this link here.
Mr. Young Kudu is standing on the veranda in front of me, looking woefully into my eyes, begging for pellets. We tossed out a big dose into the garden for him.

But, those circumstances were entirely different. It was a fluke there were no guests in the small hotel. In this case, as you all so well know, the circumstances are entirely different. Covid-19 is the cause of many businesses, now including hotels worldwide, closing their doors.”

Little did we know when we wrote this, that on March 24, 2020, a few days later, we’d be kicked out of this hotel to find ourselves with nowhere to stay in Mumbai, with literally all of our bags stranded with us without an available booking in any hotel in the huge city. In the next few days, we’ll reiterate some of the challenges we faced when no hotel was open to take us in. It was one of the most frightening moments in our then 7½ years of world travel.
Now, when we look back at that time, we are literally shocked by the challenges we faced. But, at the time, our only option was to return to the US. With cases rapidly escalating by the day, we decided we’d feel safer to stay in Mumbai, provided we could find a safe and suitable hotel which, fortunately, last minute, we did, with the help of a kind hotel concierge. More on that later.
Frank eats out of the seed container. There were so many warthogs in the garden I set this down for Frank. The warthogs love to eat the seeds, leaving none for Frank. This was a good solution at that point to ensure Frank and The Misses got their share.
As much and as often as that experience floods our minds since we arrived in South Africa on January 12, 2021, it hasn’t left us with negative thoughts and feelings. When we recall, even the worst day’s experience on March 24, 2020, after being “kicked out” of the SunNSand Hotel when they closed, without a reservation or other options available at the time, we are reminded of the strength, determination, and resiliency that got us through it all.
We have no regrets. Somehow we managed to protect ourselves from falling prey to Covid-19 and now we pray going forward, we can continue to do the same as we venture out of South Africa and head to Kenya for our upcoming required new visa stamps for South Africa, providing us with another blissful 90 days in Marloth Park.
Last night, we changed our plans to go to Jabula for dinner and will go tonight instead. We both feel it is important to support our favorite restaurant in Marloth Park by coming for dinner at least once a week. The prices are reasonable, the food is great and the love and interaction we have with owners Dawn and Leon, their fabulous assistant Lyn, and their staff members, make every visit enjoyable and worthwhile.
Siegfried and Roy stop by at least once a day. But another unknown warthog was hovering in the background.
It was when Louise and Danie invited us last night for sundowners that we decided to change our plans. With Linda and Ken not arriving until today, and unable to join us for dinner at Jabula, it was a perfect opportunity to accept Louise and Danie’s invitation to meet Danie’s son Niel, his wife Anja, and their adorable 8-month-old daughter, Klara. It was a fun and lovely evening.
Back home by 8:00 pm, I ended up speaking on the phone to my dear, almost 13-year-old grandson, Miles in Minnesota, and later, my sister Julie, in California. We laughed so hard we cried when sharing names and stories about the wildlife that visit us. She was thrilled to hear Little had found us once again. What amazing stories are unfolding before our eyes, each and every day, not only with the wildlife yet also the amazing human friends we’ve made in the bush.  We are truly blessed and grateful.
They’re back… Bennie, Hennie, and Lennie are now regular visitors. They shooed this kudu away when she was too close to their bounty.
May your day be lively and fulfilling.
Photo from one year ago today, March 21, 2020:
We sat comfortably at a table with an umbrella by the pool, sipping on a cold beer, attempting to make the best of the situation, wondering where we’d end up in a few days. Little did we know we may have been drinking our last drop of alcohol in the 10 months to come. For more, please click here.

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