A day in the life…Easy, breezy, as pleasant as it can be…

We couldn’t believe we spotted this croc from so far away, lounging on a sandbar on the rover.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Zebra nursing in our yard.

Life in this house, “Orange…More Than Just a Colour,” is relatively easy. There are fewer insects, bats, snakes, and rodents than we encountered in the Hornbill house four years ago, perhaps because this house doesn’t have a thatched roof or that the veranda and entrance into the house are several feet above ground level.

Another photo of this croc was taken from a long distance while sunning on the river’s edge.

Most houses in Marloth Park have thatched roofs which look great, but we wonder if they may contribute to more insects and critters in the home since the grass can attract all kinds of animals.

This croc on the bank of the Crocodile River appeared quite long.

The mozzies aren’t bad either, although we continue to use repellent day and night, reapplying every four to six hours while using various outdoor repellents outdoors at night such as coils, candles, and scented oils. 

As winter approaches, we’ll see fewer and fewer mosquitoes, although we’ll continue to use repellent throughout the year. Today, when we head to Komatipoort to have our teeth cleaned, we’ll visit the pharmacy to purchase Malarone (atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride). These anti-malarial pills don’t need a prescription here. Dr. Theo suggested we take these when visiting other African countries. 

This baby bushbuck is growing up fast and is now able to eat pellets.

The Wi-Fi works perfectly and only doesn’t function during a power outage which seems to occur once or twice a month. In most cases, power is restored within 12 hours.

We don’t have any cable or TV service since we told Louise and Danie not to pay for it when the contract ran out. We don’t watch TV anymore. Instead, we spend all of our time outdoors on the veranda, watching nature unfold before our eyes…much more fun than watching TV. We can easily check online news, which we both do daily. We need to know what’s going on in the world, which impacts our future travels.

We hadn’t seen this warthog mom with five babies in about six weeks. Warthogs have only four teats, so this litter of five must have been a challenge which may explain why one of them is a “runt.”

Marta lives in a bit of house on the property and will follow our lead to any cleaning and laundry we’d like her to do. Most household staff do dishes from the previous night’s meal, but we prefer to wash them ourselves after eating to avoid cockroaches and other insects seeking scraps of food on unwashed plates and dinnerware.

This mom with the five babies has enormous tusks.

So far, so good. We’ve only experienced a few occurrences when we first arrived, but none since then. We’re meticulous in keeping kitchen countertops and work surfaces cleaned and washed, as we’re always preparing food and refuse to be instrumental in getting ants which can be a real nuisance. Hot soapy water seems to be the best deterrent.

The biggest cleaning issue right now is the soot we get on the veranda almost every day due to sugarcane burning in nearby fields.  Josiah comes to wash the veranda, tend to the yard and clean the pool five days a week. Right now, no more than an hour after he’s done, the white-tiled veranda is covered with nasty black soot. 

Yesterday afternoon, we spotted elephants near the river.

We sweep several times a day when we don’t want to carry the soot inside the house on the bottom of our feet, which are filthy by the end of each day. No big deal. A quick wash in the shower remedies this issue before we hop into bed.

My mornings consist of showering, getting dressed for the day, putting away the dishes Tom had washed the previous night, and leaving to dry. Also, I cut up carrots and apples for the wildlife, prepare a cup of birdseed for the guinea fowls, Frank and The Misses.

We waited for her to turn around, but she was busy eating the tall grasses.

Since I can no longer drink coffee, tea, or iced tea and am waiting to order our shipment, which will include herbal tea for me (I can’t find it at any of the local shops), I drink a glass of room temperature purified water in the morning and throughout the day. No longer does ice agree with me, so I avoid that too.

Some mornings I make us a breakfast of eggs and bacon when we know we won’t be eating until late, such as last night when we went to Kathy and Don’s home for dinner. 

Another elephant was grazing nearby.

We had a spectacular evening starting with appetizers on their second-floor veranda. Later, we moved to the ground level “boma” area to gather around an open fire for more lively chatter and their other two guests, Jane and Andrew. The food, the ambiance, and the conversation couldn’t have been more perfect.

Today, a simple day; the trip to the pharmacy, appointment to get out teeth cleaned, a stop at the meat market for biltong and some meat, a run through the supermarket for a few odds and ends.

Today’s early morning visitors.

We’ll be back “home” no later than 5:00 pm to make another great meal and spend the evening outdoors on the veranda, waiting to see Scar Face, Wart Face, Little Wart Face, Big Daddy, Tom’s Girl (the sweet bushbuck who adores him) and many more we’ve come to know and love.

It’s a good life.  We couldn’t be more content.

May your day bring you much contentment!

Photo from one year ago today, May 3, 2017:

Queensland Gut Healing Tour. 2018
One of Dr. Peter Dingle’s newest books. Click here for details.

Part 2, Happy May Day to all!…Milestone dates in May in our world travels…Crazy!…

We fell in love with a Northern Cardinal in Kauai, Hawaii, posting this video
in May 2015.  Click here for the link from that day.
“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”
This morning’s photo of Scar Face clearly illustrates his improvement.  We’re so excited to see his continuing recovery from this horrific injury. Now that the holidaymakers are mostly gone, he is stopping by several times a day.

Today we continue with Part 2 of specials days in May in our past travels. Yesterday, we left off in May 2014, and today we begin with May 2015. When reviewing posts from over the years, it’s always meaningful for us when one might perceive that the days and nights blur into one long period of worldwide experiences.

By looking back at old posts, we’re reminded how rich these past years have been, filled with such unusual and exciting (to us) places we’ve been and adventures we’ve had. Now, with only nine days until we depart for Livingstone, Zambia, we’re quickly reminded of the excitement and diversity of our travels.

No doubt, there are long stretches where we relax, stay at “home,” living a life not too dissimilar from yours. We find ways to entertain ourselves, cook, clean, do laundry, and socialize, which results in a very average and “normal” (if there is such a thing) lifestyle. 

Then again, our daily lives in Marloth Park are only expected for those who live here among us…a life far removed from our day-to-day in many other countries. However, as we look back at prior posts, like those listed below, we’re awestruck by other events we’ve been blessed to experience throughout the world. The month of May for 2015, 2016, and 2017 left us reeling with a sense of wonder and enrichment, as described below.

May 2015:  This particular May was bittersweet. We didn’t want to leave Kauai, one of our favorite islands in the world, especially with the reality of going two unique bird species to whom we’d become instead attached.   

One extraordinary adventure in Kauai was witnessing the Laysan Albatross pairs that nested in the neighborhood of many of our friends, allowing us to observe the miracle of life from the hatching of a single egg to the fledging of the chicks who had grown to 16 kg, (35 pounds) to begin their five-year journey out to sea.  Someday they’ll return to that same site with a lifelong mate to bring their little fledgling to life in this exact location.

(Note:  We send our love and prayers for all of the citizens of Kauai, Hawaii. They’ve suffered an outrageous flood that has devastated the island. The fantastic people of Kauai have gathered together to provide relief for those in need).

A newly hatched albatross chick nestled under a parent from this post in May 2015.

Seeing these lives evolve over the four months we spent living nearby was a gift. It was filled with the purest of pleasure and desire for knowledge of these magical bird’s lives. 

Astounding! It was hard to leave only one week before they’d all begin to fledge off the high cliffs in the area. Fortunately, our friends living in the neighborhood sent us videos of these astounding birds as they walked in their wobbly manner to the cliffs, spread their wings, and embarked on the journey of their lives.

Secondly, during these four months, we fell in love with a Northern Cardinal who visited us several times a day, often with his mate, singing a beautiful multi-layered song we’d never heard and may never hear again. Each day, I cut up bits of macadamia nuts and almonds, handing them over to him after he sang the song. It was a win-win for both of us. He sang. We rendered the nuts. You can hear his song on the video posted as the primary photo today.

This partnership we watched daily between Birdie and Ms. Birdie reminded us of the partnership we share, always looking out for one another. This was a favorite photo from our time in Kauai, ending on May 24th, 2015.

May 2016: This was a highly cultural and exciting time, the total of four months we spent in an exquisite home in Sumbersari Bali. It didn’t only consist of exceptional lounging days by the infinity pool overlooking the ocean but was rich in a wide array of cultural experiences we’ll never forget.

Here’s a photo we took on May 1, 2016, upon our arrival at the exquisite villa and the link with more photos from that day:

We spent many days and nights outdoors at this fine property and many enriching Balinese experiences.  Click here for this May 1st link.

Living in a remote area of Bali allowed us to see how people live away from the big cities, a life rich in simplicity, religion, love, and appreciation of the world around them. Here is a shrine we visited in this photo below:

On our walk down the narrow road to visit Gede’s family home, he pointed out this temple where his family worships.  For the link from this date in May, please click here.

May 2017:  Hoping to arrive in Minnesota by Memorial Day weekend, we took a side trip after the cruise from Sydney ended in Seattle, Washington, and embarked on a nine-night cruise to Alaska from Vancouver, British Columbia. It was the perfect segue back to North America to visit family, and we were grateful for the experience.

The cruise included many educational lectures and seminars about Alaska and numerous ports of call, all unique and exciting. We got off the ship at every port and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the culture of the small towns in this unusual part of the world. See the photo below of Hubbard Glacier, a highlight of the cruise:

We were in Alaska at the Hubbard Glacier on May 22, 2017, a stunning experience on which we embarked before heading to Minnesota to spend six weeks with family. For the link from this photo, please click here.

As we delved further into May 2017, we finally settled into our hotel for six weeks and spent precious time with our family members. In about 11 months, we’ll be back in Minnesota to see everyone once again.

Not only were the months of May spectacular in our lives of world travel, but so were the Januarys, the Februarys, the Marches, and on and on…Every day, week, month, and year hold a special significance in this remarkable life on the move.

It was a warm sunny day in Ketchikan, Alaska.  See this link for more photos.

We have no regrets. We’ve done exactly what we wanted to do and how we wanted to do it. We’ve felt no pressure or stress to accomplish any specific goals. We don’t particularly have a “bucket list,” nor are we attempting to visit a certain number of countries in any given time frame. 

And now, it’s May 2018, day two. So far this morning, we’ve had seven wildlife species come to visit, now that the bulk of the tourists have left. That’s a great start to May! By the end of the day, no doubt it will be more.

Tonight, we off to dinner at friends Kathy and Don’s home along the Crocodile River. Humans, animals…we love them all.

May your month of May be filled with rich experiences!

Photo from one year ago today, May 2, 2017:

A path to the aqua blue bay on an island port of call. For more details, please click here.

Part 1, Happy May Day to all!…Milestone dates in May in our world travels…Crazy!…

We encountered this flock of ostriches on a recent drive in Marloth Park.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Check out the massive size of an ostrich’s feet.

As our readership has grown over the years, we realize many of our newer readers may have missed earlier posts. With so much of our story contained in earlier posts, we decided to make this a special May Day for our readers by posting photos and links from past months of May beginning in 2012.  We’ll share these posts, photos, and stories over two days, today and tomorrow.

Please feel free to click each of the links provided, with no particular theme, only with the intent of sharing the diversity of our lives over these past six years since we began posting (on March 15, 2012).

As a result, today’s photos are those we chose randomly to share on May Day, 2018.  Some may be favorite days in May over these past six years (not including May 2018, of course), and others may be photos we thought you might find interesting. 

May 2012:  This was an exciting May for us. We were already entrenched in preparing to see all of our personal belongings and selling everything we owned. The goad was to avoid having to use a storage facility which ultimately, we accomplished. At this point, we were five months away from the departure from Minnesota date of October 31, 2012.

How we’ve changed. Here’s a favorite May photo/entry from May 25, 2012. We chose this particular entry since it depicted who we were at the time and who-we-are-not-now, hOn this date, we posted a unique (per occasion) printed menu we always prepared when company was coming for dinner. Upon arrival we presented each guest with the menu in the event they preferred any variations due to dietary or taste restrictions. 

Here’s the menu we posted on that date (click here for the link) which we had used for one of many holiday dinner parties:

First Course – Appetizer
Brie Cheese with Apricot in Puff Pastry
Homemade Pickled Herring Salad 
with Sesame Honey Crisps

Second Course
Shrimp Cocktail with Tangy Cocktail Sauce 
& Lemon Wedge

Third Course
Two Soups Served, Swirled in a Single Bowl Topped 
with Buttery 
Sautéed Morel Mushrooms
Creamy Lobster Bisque
Vichyssoise, served warm

Fourth Course
Salad with Belgian Endive, Radicchio & Hearts 
of Palm 
with Gorgonzola, Walnuts
& Lightly Sprinkled with a Delicate 
Raspberry Vinaigrette
Fifth Course
Filet Mignon with Portabella Burgundy Sauce
Steam Kings Crab Legs with Clarified Butter
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
French Green Beans, Drizzled 
with Lemon Tarragon Butter
Sixth Course – Dessert
Classic Homemade Vanilla Crème Brule
Goldschlager, Cinnamon Flavored Liqueur 
with Flecks of Gold
Cappuccino with Chocolate Curls

Please see the post here for details and more photos. 

Who were these people preparing this elaborate meal for guests? It was us. It seems so long ago. I can’t imagine doing all this work now. I recall at the time it was enjoyable regardless of how much work was required to pull this off for upwards of 12 guests. But, our lives are so much simpler now and we find we can still make a lovely meal for guests without this massive amount of work and preparation.

May 2013:  This was a May that totally changed our lives. At this point, we’d been gone from Minnesota almost seven months and from the US, four months. By the end of May, we’d already sailed on seven cruises, which provided us with some of our most stunning adventures.

We are thankful to refer to our past posts allowing us to recall every step along the way, including, as illustrated below, on May 16, 2013, when we visited fascinating Petra in Jordan in the Middle East.  It was an exciting and life-changing day for both of us. Please click here for that day’s link and more photos.

The walk to The Treasury in Petra was hot and long and downhill on the way up and torturously uphill on the way back. Once we reached this scene, we were grateful we come to see this historic site.  Please see the post here.
May 2014:  This was an exceptional May for us. We spent the first half of the month finishing our final 2½ months in Marrakech, Morocco, and the second half, off the coast of Africa in Madeira, Portugal.

Madeira was unlike any island we visited. The language spoken is Portuguese which wasn’t easy for us to learn. Somehow we managed.  What intrigued us the most about this spectacular island of winding hills and mountains was the friendly people and the quaintness and culture at this breathtaking location.

One of many highlights was purchasing produce, fish, and chicken from trucks that regularly drove through the neighborhood, each playing its identifiable Portuguese song. On each occasion when they passed by our gorgeous holiday home, we ran up the hills to catch them, yelling out for them to stop.  It was hilarious and so much fun!

Please click here for the post from which we shared this photo.

When we heard a unique song playing from a passing truck, we raced up the steep hill to follow it, wondering what they were selling. When we discovered this fresh tuna for sale, we were excited to purchase an entire yellow-fin tuna from the vendor’s truck which he cut into single serving pieces.  Read the post here for the unbelievable price.

Tomorrow, we’ll be back sharing May stories from May 2015, 2016 and 2017. Please check back then for more. 

As for today, the official May Day holiday in South Africa, we’ll stay up once again. Last night, Okey Dokey, husband Danie, and adorable baby Danie stopped by for a few hours to say goodbye. We couldn’t have enjoyed seeing them more! We’re hoping to get together again during the remainder of our time in South Africa.

As for today, with many tourists exiting the park as their holiday time ends, once again, we’ll stay put. We’ll cook some chops on the braai, saving the bones for Scar Face who still continues to heal. Soon, I get to work on veggies and salad and whatever else I concoct which will go well with the chops. 

The sun is shining. The temperature is mild. It will be a good day, especially as our wildlife friends return from their hidden places in the park during this busy holiday weekend. 

May your day be sunny as well.

Photo from one year ago today, May 1, 2017:

Cute, but after a little research, we found this “cooking pot” to stir up dreadful thoughts of life for many in decades past on many islands in the South Pacific. For more photos, please click here.