|When capturing this hippo and cattle egret in the bright sun from quite a distance, we didn’t realize there was a croc in the photo until we loaded the photo on my laptop.|
“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”
|A new warthog visitor with an injured left wart. It didn’t appear to be bleeding or oozing. There are a number of ways this injury could have transpired. He’s since been back a few times in the past two days.|
Today, we’d tentatively planned to go to Kruger but when deciding on what to cook for tonight’s dinner, I realized a trip to Komatipoort to shop was more important when we were running out of fresh vegetables and other household goods.
Instead, weather permitting, we’ll head to Kruger tomorrow after getting a head start on the day’s post early in the morning. That’s the magic of this life we lead…we can do whatever we’d like, whenever we’d like and change plans at the last minute if we’d like.
|Mom and baby on the banks of the Crocodile River with the remainder of their parade nearby.|
But changing BIG plans in this life presents a number of obstacles, mainly due to money with deposits (or full fares) paid for holiday homes, flights, hotels and cruises we’ve already booked.
Having control over the smaller daily plans is a wonderful part of being retired and free. Often, we awake with a plan in mind we’d discussed the prior day or evening, to find ourselves simply “not in the mood” to do what we’d discussed.
|Elephants are frequently found by the river when viewing from Marloth Park.|
Fortunately, neither of us minds the other suggestions we change plans for the day, even for no reason at all, if we so choose. Of course, we don’t change social plans we’ve made with friends, always adhering strictly to the date, time and location.
|This giraffe was on the opposite side of the river far from view without zooming in or viewing through Tom’s binoculars.|
The two of us are always counting on our fingers to figure out how long it is until the next adventure, not because we want the time to fly quickly but more to gain of a perspective of how much time we have left wherever we are at any given time.
|Two waterbucks on a sandbar in the river.|
The passenger couple was seeking participants for an upcoming two-day tour (not overnight) when in port overnight in St. Petersburg, Russia. We’ll sleep on the ship but head out each of two days for the nine-hour tours both day of the majestic city.
We jumped at the opportunity to participate in the tours which will include a maximum of 16 people which is a whole lot better and less costly than the tours offered by the cruise line.
|A short time later an elephant leisurely walks passed the two waterbucks.|
Most cruise-line-arranged tours are on huge buses often with as many at 60 passengers per bus, hardly our cup-of-tea making this smaller group option much more appealing.
|Zooming in for this scene with many elephants on the river.|
After conducting some of our own research we felt this pricing was reasonable for the two nine-hour tours especially after reviewing the itinerary on the tour company’s website here.
Here’s the itinerary for the St. Petersburg Russia tour:
2-day Deluxe Tour
We’re excited about seeing all of these venues but also in having this arranged in advance by a generous passenger who’s chosen to take on the task or organizing it, instead of trying to figure out tours during the cruise itself when Wi-Fi is sketchy and many of the best options are sold out.
|The mom to the right climbed atop a big rock and the baby tried to follow suit.|
In this case, we wouldn’t care to venture off on our own, as we often do, taking a taxi or in finding a driver. Also, it’s a great opportunity to meet other passengers we may not have met on this 2500 passenger ship.
|Mom and baby crossing the shallow water in the river.|
We do realize we need to spend more time fine-tuning our itinerary for 2019-2020 and are conducting some online research now. But, its pretty hard to tear ourselves away from living in the moment, thoroughly treasuring the gifts Mother Nature presents to us each day.
|Another mom and baby as they reached the river bank.|
May you experience those gifts of nature as well whether it be a bird, a flower, or a sunset.
Photo from one year ago today, July 18, 2017:
|Dust storm gathering in the desert in Las Vegas. For more photos, please click here.|