More Kruger photos…Dreaming of the future…

A Cape buffalo was scratching an itch.

A short time ago, we returned from our walk. Walking on the rocky dirt roads hasn’t been easy, but I keep forging ahead. Since the multiple surgeries on my legs, which became grossly infected after open heart surgery four years ago, my legs don’t work as well as they used to, especially trying to navigate on the rocky, uneven dirt roads in Marloth Park.

When we spent ten months in lockdown during the pandemic in the hotel in Mumbai, India, I worked my way up to five miles, eight kilometers each day. Hopefully, when we get to The Villages in Florida, walking on the smooth pavement will be much easier.

Munching on tall grass.

Walking on rocky, dirt roads adds stress to joints and muscles, requiring more effort. I’ve noticed my muscles tense and spasm when walking on the roads here, but I only have to do it for a little more than two weeks until we depart South Africa on April 29.

Once we arrive in Florida, get a good night’s sleep, and submit our passport renewal applications, we’ll start walking every day. By the time we arrive in Florida, the weather will be very similar to what we’ve experienced here in the summer, hot and humid months. If it is too hot there to walk outdoors, I’ll join the local health club, walk on a treadmill, and lift some weights.

We looked on the map for The Villages, and it looks like the closest health club is no more than a ten-minute golf cart ride. If I sign up, most likely, I’ll go five days a week and walk with Tom on cooler days. Based on my weather app, it appears the temperature in Florida during the period we’ll be there is comparable to the weather here in South Africa, hot and humid with a high dew point.

“Let’s try on this side,” he says.

We’ll be there at the beginning of the rainy season and the tip of the hurricane season. Hopefully, we won’t experience much in the way of hurricanes since the location is 35 miles inland and 75 feet above sea level, as mentioned below. I found this interesting guide to the ten locations safest from hurricane activity, in case you are interested. See here for the full details. The Villages is listed as #7 as indicated below:

“7. The Villages

The number seven spot was previously held by Naples on the Western coast of Florida. However, due to the recent impact of Hurricane Ian, Naples has moved down on the list. The Villages now holds this spot as it’s located 35 miles from the nearest coast and has an elevation of 75 feet above sea level. The Villages is a large, gated, 55 and over retirement community of 81,000 residents in central Florida.”

A hippo transporting a few oxpecker friends at Sunset Dam.

It’s fun for us to do research for our next holiday home location. It’s been a long time since we booked a holiday home when we’ve spent the past 2½ years in and out of South Africa since we were able to leave India after the long lockdown. Before that,  the last holiday home we booked was in Shirenewton, Wales, in 2019.

The rest of the time was spent on cruises, staying in hotels (including the ten months in Mumbai, India), and spending a few weeks with friends Karen and Rich in Apollo Beach, Florida a little over a year ago.

Once we’re settled in Florida, we’ll start planning our upcoming adventures in South America for about a year until, again, we return to Marloth Park in June 2024 for a shorter stay, no more than six months total. We’re discussing possibly returning to Kenya to get a new visa stamp after the first 90 days and to embark on more safari adventures.

Seeing some elephants on our sparse sighting day in Kruger was great.

It’s wonderful to be thinking about the future with enthusiasm once again, especially now that we’ve received a clean bill of health for both of us. No, it’s not always easy, and we must continue to adapt to new locations and their nuances. From time to time, we experience health issues we must address, as may be the case for many seniors who travel frequently, but that isn’t putting a damper on our future goals and objectives, at least, not right now anyway.

Regardless of our age, none of us can guarantee what the future holds, but we can dream, can’t we? (Hmmm…that reminds me of a song from long ago).

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, April 13, 2022:

Due to a poor signal on the ship, there was no post one year ago.

Part 1…Wow!…What a fantastic party!…

Here we are with Dooc Theo, who saved my life, and his lovely wife, Myrtah. We were so happy they came to my party along with the other two doctors in the practice, Doc Mel and Doc Philip, and their lovely wives.

What a fantastic party it was. Louise and Danie couldn’t have made it more perfect with the beautiful decorations, delicious food, and inviting ambiance. They worked hard but seemed to enjoy seamlessly and professionally putting it all together. We have many more photos to share and will continue to post them over the next several days.

Delicious welcome drinks, including Bloody Marys, topped with a slice of crispy bacon and non-alcoholic vegetable juice. We caught a kudu eating off the wooden board.

With lots of catering experience in the past, they knew exactly what to do, never for a moment leaving us wanting for another element when every detail was presented to perfection. I can only imagine a fabulous wedding, anniversary party, or any other special occasion coupled with the bush’s wonder and exemplary services.

Because they are both such great friends, we trusted their decisions on every aspect of the party. Under any other circumstances with any other caterers, I would have had a significant hand in every area of the planning. With them, we could sit back and let them do their magic.

One of several breadboards with delicious toppings.

Adding to the blissfully planned event were our guests. Everyone who’d RSVP’d showed up and made us both feel so special. The lively conversations, laughter, and camaraderie fell into a leisurely pace. Unfortunately, the evening seemed to pass too quickly, and I didn’t get to spend enough time with each of our guests.

Amid all the rain, Louise and Danie beautifully set up the house and the garden. It rained briefly but never caused issues with the guest’s enjoyment at the party.

As mentioned, we’d invited the three doctors and their wives to spend the night. They took off for bed by midnight while we sat around the big table on the veranda. But seeing everyone having such a good time warmed our hearts throughout the enjoyable evening.

Danie had baked bread, and many kinds of cheese were available during the appetizer course.

I felt bad we were all so noisy, having an ongoing great time that by about 1:00 am, we scooted everyone home so our overnight guests could sleep. Tom and I never got to bed until after 2:00 am. We were both wide awake, reeling from the beautiful evening. Finally, we dozed off, not awakening until after 9:00 am, a rarity for both of us.

A beautiful gin and vodka bar were set up in the dining room, where everyone could make their welcome drinks.

With everyone gone today, by late morning, we returned to the party house and collected all the unopened bottles of wine. We supplied about 42 bottles of wine and have about 20 bottles, which I’ll eventually consume over the next many months, sharing with visitors who stop by.

Delicious foods stayed warm in the oven, including meats for sliders and various delicious foods.

I don’t usually drink wine other than the lightest varieties, but I will simply drink less of the regular wines in any particular sitting, perhaps no more than one glass at a time. As a result, we won’t need to buy any more wine while we’re still here in South Africa. Plus, it will be fun to share any of the white or red wines with visitors.

We’d specified on our invitation, “Please, no gifts,” but some brought gifts and cards anyway, every one of which I will thoroughly enjoy and do appreciate.

In the back row from left to right, Lorne and Sydney. and Tom. Sinndee, Leon, and, Dawn are in the front row from left to right.

There’s no way we can thank Louise and Danie for all they’ve done. We can only hope that some of our readers may consider Marloth Park for any special occasion to savor this magical place and have this fine couple help them arrange their special occasion with memories that will last a lifetime.

More will follow tomorrow!

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, February 26, 2022:

This young male kudu is sprouting his horns. So adorable. For more photos, please click here.