Visitors are baaack!…Great to see our wildlife friends once again…Settling in…

The pool water has chlorine in it, not ideal for wildlife to drink. We have a clean cement pond in the garden, from which the wildlife often drink.

It started to be a busy morning in the bush. Now that the worst of the storms has passed, we’ve begun to see more and more wildlife, especially in the late afternoon, after 5:00 pm, when it begins to cool down. Now, close to noon, we’ve already had several delightful visitors, which we’ll share in tomorrow’s photos.

Fortunately, right now, it isn’t as hot as it could be, and we’re comfortably situated on the veranda waiting to see who will grace us with their presence during the warmth of the day. However, it’s always a particular time in the early morning and toward the end of the day when more wildlife stops by.

Tiny, our huge warthog friend, and Bossy, a very pushy and persistent kudu, visited together last night.

We’re getting into an enjoyable routine, some mornings sleeping in a little later as needed and other mornings, bolting out of bed to get outdoors as quickly as possible after spotting many species in the garden in the early morning. We never hesitate to acknowledge them.

Finally, we’ve both begun to sleep better, often making it through the night without awakening. My habit has been waking around 2:00 or 3:00 am, staying awake for an hour or more. But, the past few nights, I have been avoiding this annoying occurrence and slept through to 5:30 am. Peering out the bedroom window to see if we had visitors when none were spotted, I was able to go back to sleep for a few more hours, feeling especially rested today. Tom did the same.

Tom placed a few eggs on the grass for the mongooses.

Gosh, it feels good, cooking and eating our chosen meals whenever we’re hungry, exercising on the rented treadmill, and of course, spending the majority of our days and evenings outdoors on the veranda. At this point, we have no desire to go out anywhere, although, on occasion, we jump in the car and drive through the park to the Crocodile River.

Recently, with all the rain, it’s been too muddy to get out of the car to walk closer to the fence between Marloth Park and Kruger National Park. And with the concerns over frightening the stranded waterbucks close to the wall, we’ve chosen to stay away.

Mongoose and Ms. Kudu.

Once things dry out and the waterbuck return to the other side of the river, their usual habitat, we make more trips to the river, getting out of the car to take photos of such stunning wildlife like lions, elephants, cape buffalo, and more. We have all the time in the world, provided we’re able to get our visas stamped by April when our 90-day visa has expired.

For now, we’re not worrying about this. With the pandemic raging on, there are limitations on where we may travel in April. Many countries we’d considered are now refusing entry from South Africa or even US passports due to the Covid-19 and potential variants.

This pair of male warthogs, whom we call Siegfried and Roy, stop by in the early evening.

We’ve chosen not to put a damper on our exquisite time in the bush by worrying about our visas. In the worst case, we can apply for a visa extension or, even worse, fly to the US for a few days and later on return for a new 90-day visa stamp, which isn’t easy, time and travel-wise, but may prove to be our only option.

In the interim, we continue to watch the news about when the vaccine will be available in South Africa, making traveling all the less problematic than it had been during those 59 hours from India. We are so grateful we came out of that long trip unscathed. But, as mentioned, we cannot let our guard down here in Marloth Park.

Eight kudus showed up together, all female, with a few maturing youngsters.

Four deaths from Covid-19 were reported here in the park in the past few weeks. We can easily see how likely this is with many locals and visitors failing to be diligent about proper mask-wearing and social distancing, mainly, the workers and tourists in the local shops.

These two little birds, Blue Waxbills, moved so quickly, it was difficult getting a photo.

Instead, on Monday, we’ve decided we will head to Komatipoort for a much-needed trip to the pharmacy and Spar Market for groceries. As mentioned, Louise has offered to do all of our shopping for us. But, as much as we appreciate her generous offer, we feel it’s time we shop for those items we’d like to select on our own. We can’t stay in hiding forever. After all, we’d done plenty of that in India.

Hopefully, by the time all of our friends arrive in Marloth Park over the next several months, they will all have been vaccinated while we continue to wait for vaccinations to be available to us in South Africa. The friends we have who are already here are like us, proceeding with extreme caution in socializing.

This photo was taken at dusk without flash, two female kudus stopping by for treats.

As much as we look forward to being with others, we truly appreciate and understand the risks are not to be taken lightly. In the interim, we are thoroughly enjoying ourselves every day in the bush.

Be safe. Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, January 29, 2020:

Three years ago, at lunch, that day, one of the chefs on our Antarctica cruise, on Ponant Le’Boreal, was preparing a beef and vegetable stir-fry outdoors. We all partook of the delicious offering but decided to dine indoors. It was a little too cold to eat outside for our liking. For more photos of Antarctica, please click here. Please click here for the year-ago post, which included our final expenses from 82 days in the USA.
Day #170 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Last night’s menu…

Day #170 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Last night’s menu…

A vegetable stand was a short walk from our home in Diani Beach, Kenya, in 2013. The produce was delivered by motorcycle each day! Notice the motorcycle.

Note; Yesterday, in my haste to get the post uploaded, I accidentally included the historical post’s photos from September 9, 2013. Subsequently, due to my error, I am adding photos today from our post from September 8, 2013. Tomorrow, I’ll be back on track. Sorry for the confusion. Here’s the link to that post.

Hello, readers/friends! We hope our friends in the USA had a pleasant and safe Labor Day weekend. We thought of you, wishing you were having a great time while maintaining safety measures to avoid contracting COVID-19.

We exited the main guarded gate to our area, to the main road, on a mission to locate the vegetable standwe’dd heard was nearby.

On that topic, India has now moved into the #2 position globally for the most number of cases. Here are the comparative stats as of yesterday’s tally:

These numbers are very discouraging, giving us little hope of being able to leave India anytime soon. Nor, based on the worst-case scenario, would we be inspired to return to the USA to wait this out. We’re a lot better off stuck here in this hotel if avoiding the virus is our priority and, it is, at all costs or inconveniences.

This was Gabriel, the vegetable guy who runs the vegetable stand, a mere two-minute walk after exiting the main gate to our gated community. He said he would order produce for us at any time, arriving the next day, fresh from the fields.

It is possible, soon, that India will top the US numbers. But, everything is relative. The population in the USA is 328 million and India’s 1,353 billion, over four times higher.  It’s no wonder India’s numbers are high. Indian officials are in somewhat panic about their numbers as they keep a close eye on keeping foreigners out of their country who may bring in more cases. I don’t blame them.

I’m experiencing here in the hotel with limited protein sources yesterday’s post discussing the food issue. Last night, I ordered the following:

  1. Two small chicken breasts (I prefer dark meat for it added fat and taste)
  2. Two hard-boiled eggs
  3. A small dish with plain yellow mustard for dipping the dry chicken
  4. A small plate of cheese
Without pesticides and chemicals, the produce can wilt quickly and may be infested with bugs. These tomatoes had just arrived, actually looking quite good. Notice the molding cauliflower and the brown lettuce. Gabriel told us his fresh deliveries come each day around 11 am by the guy on the motorcycle in this photo.

The chicken breasts were so tough I could hardly cut them with the butter knife and ended up tearing off pieces with my hands to dip into the mustard. The hard-boiled eggs were OK, as was the little plate of cheese I consumed as a dessert. I had asked them to leave out any vegetables since those they served contained high carbohydrate counts, which only added to my current condition of returning pain due to excess carbohydrates.

I don’t think I can eat those chicken breasts one more time. Tonight, I will remind them to leave out the vegetables and if they have any lamb, chicken livers, or dark chicken meat that I could have in place of the chicken breasts. They say they have no dark meat, but I wonder what they’re doing with the rest of the whole chickens they are cooking.

No doubt, they want to please us. They are kind and caring people dedicated to customer service. But, the language barrier makes ordering items not included in their menu difficult for them to understand. I may end up ordering the salmon every night, hoping that eating salmon daily is not a problem due to mercury and other toxins found in the sea. I have no idea if their salmon is wild-caught or farmed.

This batch of vegetables was KES (Kenya Shillings) $150, US $1.72. The more we travel, the more we are amazed by, the lower cost of food in other countries compared to the US.

Under normal circumstances, I only eat fresh-caught fish. Under these circumstances, I can’t be so picky. Hopefully, in months to come, we’ll be living in a location where we can cook our meals after carefully shopping for ingredients. My mouth waters, thinking about a big salad with prawns and avocados. I love celery and haven’t had a morsel in the past eight months since I last prepared a meal in Arizona before leaving for India. The same with beef, pork, and wine. I miss them all. So does Tom (not the wine but his Sprite Zero and Courvoisier with lots of ice).

Of course, we’ll eat chicken when we can cook again. At this point, a chicken” flattie” (a whole chicken cut in such a way to lay flat on the grill) would even be a treat, cooked to perfection on the braai (the grill) in South Africa, along with a fresh green salad with homemade dressing, and sauteed buttered green beans, with garlic and bacon bits.

I need to stop talking and thinking about food and wine. Speaking of drinks with ice, wehaven’tt had any ice in six months.It’ss too much trouble to get it here especially whenit’ss delivered in a teenie, tiny ice bucket with 10 ice cubes.It’ss not worth the bother. Tom keeps his Crystal Lite Iced Tea in the little fridge and drinks it without ice. (We have our ice cube trays but the fridge isn’tt cold enough to freeze the water)

OK, enough whinging. I’m now heading back out for another walk in the shortened corridor with the hotel guests still here. (Oops, more whinging!) I can’t think about any of this now. I’ll think about it tomorrow.

Happy day!

Photo from one year ago today, September 9, 2019:

On Friday, this is the sign we spotted on our way to the property, asking our property owners if they’d recommend purchasing meat at this location. They enthusiastically explained they buy all their meat at Button Butchers in Tredarupp, Cornwall, England, and it was well worth a visit. For more photos, please click here.