Upcoming week…A terrifying past experiences comes to mind…

One of several giraffes we spotted last night when dropping Rita and Gerhard back at the Hornbill house. The partial moon is shown in the photo.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

What are you looking at, Ms. Kudu?

There was an internet outage during the night and this morning, but it was repaired, and we’re back on. I certainly didn’t want to miss posting again after my 36-hour illness when I was too ill to prepare a post.

I was feeling much better today after somewhat of a sluggish day yesterday. As always, last night, we dined at Jabula with Rita and Gerhard for another excellent meal with enjoyable conversation and ambiance.

We often see people we know while there, and the interaction between us is fun and uplifting. Last night, we were particularly reminded of how little time is left until we’ll be leaving Marloth Park in a mere 32 days. We’ve begun to say our goodbyes.

Warthogs aren’t interested in eating the fallen marula fruit.

Today, we’re busy organizing things around the house for our upcoming house guests, Linda and Ken, who’ll arrive tomorrow afternoon. We’ve moved Rita’s birthday party to Wednesday when it’s supposed to be cooler.  

It’s simply too hot to cook right now. Today will be almost 40C (104F) once again, with awful humidity, and forecasts for Monday and Tuesday don’t look much better. Of course, the weather could change between now and Wednesday but, we’re committed to sticking with the newly planned date.

This mongoose is only interested in cracking this egg.

Last night, on the return drive from Jabula with Rita and Gerhard in the car, we spotted several giraffes near their house on Hornbill and in their garden. What a lovely sight to see in the evening! Thus, the above main photo.

We had many amazing experiences at that house five years ago, which prompted the balance of today’s story about a scary event in January 2014.  

Sometimes it takes a little ingenuity to crack an egg, including banging it on the ground or a tree stump.

Please see below:

It was a little over five years ago that Tom had the worst scare of his life in January. We were seated on the veranda at the Hornbill house while working on our laptops while watching for possible visiting wildlife.

The sightings had been excellent during the first month at the house, and our expectations were high. Now, no wildlife encounters particularly scared us, although we always remained diligent and cautious.  

When kudus and warthogs are in the garden, bushbucks don’t have much chance of eating any pellets when they’re easily scared off. Tom holds the container of pellets for her to ensure she gets a few bites.

Suddenly we both heard a “plop’ and began looking around to see what it possibly could have been. In a serious tone, Tom said, “Get up slowly and move to your left!”

Curious that I am, without giving it a thought, I quickly jerked to my right. Bad move. Lying on the ground, a short distance from Tom’s bare feet, lay a snake…not a huge snake but a snake nonetheless.

We’ve since learned a bit about snakes after attending snake school last March. A huge snake can be relatively harmless, and a small snake can be deadly. That size means nothing when it comes to venomous snakes.

I’ll feed gentle Ms. Bushbuck from my hand, one of few instances in which we do so.

This scene transpired in a matter of seconds, although it felt much longer. Tom was seated in a chair, much closer to the snake, while I was at the table a short distance from him.

The moment I realized what we had before us, I said, ”Get the camera!” This was and still is a normal response of mine.  

Handsome male impala in the park.

In a flash, we both saw the snake, staring at Tom, flaring his hood, and instantly we knew it was some cobra. What type of cobra was it? We didn’t have a clue. 

(Anyone living or staying in Marloth Park for extended periods should attend snake school. Had we known then what we know now, we would have responded differently). 

Later I realized how dangerous it was to be bending down to take photos after Tom had somehow managed to get it into a corner of the veranda next to a big stingy mop where it stayed until the snake handlers arrived 10 minutes after I’d made the call.

An ibis tucked away in the vegetation in the garden.

Click here for the balance of the story with several photos of the snake, albeit blurry from my shaking hands.

Tonight will be our first night on the veranda since last Wednesday, and we’re hoping to see many of our wildlife friends, now beginning to return after the long holiday season.

Have a wonderful Sunday, wherever you may be!

Photo from one year ago today, January 13, 2018:

We walked to another part of Buenos Aires that day, looking for a jeweler who could replace Tom’s watch battery which we never found.  It took us over an hour to walk back to the Palermo district, our hotel’s location.  For more city photos, please click here.

We’re back!…First ever missed post due to illness…

Big Daddy was stopping by a few weeks ago to nibble on the lucerne we had delivered from Daisy’s Den. The bush is much greener after recent rains, and the wildlife seems less interested in the lucerne.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Oxpeckers eating ticks and fleas off the hide of a kudu.

Update on yesterday’s missing post: On Thursday night when it was still very hot, we all decided to forego our usual Thursday night buffet dinner at Ngwenya. Instead, since Rita and Gerhard had never been there, we decided to go to Phumula, a nearby restaurant we’ve visited a few times since we arrived last February.  

We didn’t love the focal lodge and restaurant food, ut it was always fresh and acceptable and they had aircon in the main bar/dining area.  It was a good choice. I didn’t drink much wine, only having a few glasses of light dry rose with ice in the hot weather. I ordered beef, veg, and salad, nothing too exciting but proved to be fine although my meat was way overdone.  I prefer it rare.  It was medium but tender so I didn’t complain.  

The four of us were so deeply engrossed in our conversations, not having seen each other in a week, we didn’t pay much attention to the food. We’d arrived at 1700 hours, (5:00 pm) and were out the door by 2030 hours, (8:30 pm).

Once back at the house, which was as hot as an oven, we decided the spend the rest of the evening watching “America’s Got Talent” on my laptop in air-conditioned comfort in the bedroom. 

Most of the wildlife groom themselves quite well.  Other than warthogs, they seldom appear dirty.

During the second episode I dozed off for a few minutes and Tom awakened me. A nap wasn’t good before going to bed for the night which would tend to make it hard to fall asleep later. I awoke from his gentle nudge with a shudder.  A wave of nausea washed over me that literally made me jump up and run to the bathroom. As soon as my feet hit the floor, I felt so dizzy I could hardly stand.

Something was terribly wrong. Was it food poisoning? What could it be? It was 2200 hours, (10:00 pm) and I knew I had a long horrid night ahead of me. I had never in my life felt so nauseated and dizzy.  

No doubt, I put Tom through hell with me when I was up and down all night, stumbling my way to the bathroom only to (gross, be prepared) have the dry heaves. I hadn’t puked in 20 years nor was I going to now.

I even found myself groaning and moaning (how disgusting) when the dizziness and nausea were almost more than I could bear. What was going on? The night was so long. I literally watched the clock on my phone waiting for it to be over.  Things are always worse at night, aren’t they?

As much as the kudus eat the vegetation, they still enjoy pellets and an occasional marula that falls to the ground from the tree in our garden.

At certain points throughout the night,  I imagined having to go to the hospital in Nelspruit, over an hour’s drive away. But I couldn’t imagine sitting up and riding in the car.  It was entirely impossible to sit up.  The room was spinning.

After a while, I took a Tylenol (aka Paracetamol or Panadol, here in SA).  It didn’t help at all. I knew I just had to wait it out.  

In the morning, I contacted Rita.  She’d eaten the same meal I had but hadn’t suffered any consequences. Thus, it wasn’t food poisoning—more than anything, I wanted to know what was going on and why I was feeling this way. I was too sick to look it up on my laptop.

In the morning, still as awfully ill, I managed to shower and get into a comfy nightdress, heading straight back to bed.  Tom brought me my usual first-thing-in-the-morning lemon water and a large mug of iced Sprite Zero. No doubt, drinking a lot of fluids was important, regardless of the source of this scourge.

Kudus are good at making woeful eye contact indicating they are looking for pellets.

During the day, I had so much on my mind. On Monday afternoon, longtime friends Linda and Ken were arriving to spend the upcoming week with us, staying upstairs in the house. On Monday evening, we had Rita’s birthday dinner party planned at our house with an extensive menu for 10.

The weather predictions for Sunday and Monday were over-the-top, expected to be well over 40C, (104F). The thought of cooking all that food in such high temperatures was daunting particularly if I wasn’t going to be fully recovered from this awful bout of nausea and dizziness.

On Thursday night, unprompted by me, Rita suggested we move the party to later in the week when cooler weather was predicted. This thought stuck in my mind all day yesterday when I trashed about in bed in a dreadful dizzying state.

I didn’t eat a morsel of food all day long. Tom had taken a container of great leftovers out of the freezer for his dinner with enough should I decide to eat. By 1800 hours, (6:00 pm) I knew eating was vital to my recovery. Not eating alone can cause nausea and dizziness.  

Recently, we’ve seen less helmeted guinea fowl in the garden. WTheymay has found better areas to search for grubs and worms than in a dry garden. with recent rains

Tom made each of us a bowl of the food, heated in the microwave and we ate in air-conditioned comfort. It was hard to sit up to eat so I managed small bites, using a spoon to get it down. Much to my surprise, I ate most of the food, leaving only about 25% which I managed to finish a few hours late. I began to feel a little better.

We watched a few episodes of the show, and by 2200 hours (10:00 pm), I took an over-the-counter Somnil and slept straight through for a full eight hours. I awoke this morning weakly and bleary-eyed, but nausea and dizziness were almost completely gone.

Today will be a resting day but at least I can write today’s post with my head up. That was the first time out of 2359 posts, over a period of 6 years, 9 months, 29 days, that I failed to do a post due to illness. We didn’t begin posting daily until sometime in the first year.  

Thus, there’s been 2495 days past overall since we started doing the post on March 15, 2012, which may be found here at this link. But we didn’t leave Minnesota until October 31, 2012, with the link for that day’s post found here.

Frank and The Mrs. and some friends stopped by for a visit.  Frank is on the far right, the Mrs. on the left.

I deliberated over whether or not I should go into the details of my 36-hour illness but thought perhaps someone out there has experienced something similar and could offer some insight. Please feel free to write a comment at the end of this post or write to me via email.

Had I had a heart condition or some other serious type of condition, surely I would have sought medical assistance.  But, I must admit, I’ve had similar occurrences in years past, although not quite as severe as on this occasion, and recovered just fine. I’ve had recent medical exams and blood tests and all is fine. Go figure.

Tonight, we have plans to go to Jabula with Rita and Gerhard for dinner. Since it is so scorching, I have no desire to cook a meal. If I spend the rest of the day resting and recovering, I’m planning on being able to go out to dinner.  

Will I ever know what caused this? Probably not.  But, all I can do is move forward and pray this never happens again on a travel day! Traveling the world while taking good care of one’s health is no guaranty one won’t get sick or encounter situations such as this.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, January 12, 2018:

Chef Ramsey would be proud of this perfectly cooked medium rare 800 gram (28 ounces) sirloin steak at La Cabrera Restaurant in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The ribeyes looked good but had more fat, and Tom prefers less fat on his meat.  For more great food photos, please click here.

One of the busiest days ever!…Photos ops kind of sketchy!…

After the boat ride, we drove past the new Minnesota Vikings US Bank Stadium (football) for this shot.

I suspected that at some point during the six weeks we’re spending in Minnesota, we’d eventually run out of photos. As much as we’ve continually searched for decent photo ops, we’ve fallen short and today’s photos may be lacking in originality.

It’s not as if we’re surrounded by wildlife and “sightings on the beach” such as our daily entries on each post during the four months we spent in the villa in Sumbersari Bali which I was reminded of when I posted the “year ago” photo of the scary bull below.

It was hard not to laugh out loud when I reread last year’s post of Tom’s second most frightening animal encounter since the onset of our travels with the Mozambique Spitting Cobra next to his feet on the veranda in Marloth Park South Africa as his first, definitely his biggest scare ever.

That’s not to say I haven’t been rattled a few times myself especially when encountering frightening-looking venomous insects throughout the world. But, now with my preoccupation with taking photos of nasty creatures, I’ve been able to allay my fear into a more productive mode of, “Hm…this will make a nice shot for the blog.”

Speaking of the word “blog” I find myself referring to ours as more of a website than a “blog.” When I notice other blogs I find most authors only post now and then, as opposed to our current number at 1,793 over these past five-plus years. 

The entrance to the Minnesota Vikings US Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

Where has the time gone and how the heck did we ever get to this high of a number? We often shrug our shoulders when we make note of the number of stories/chapters/posts. 

When people often say, “You should write a book!”  We laugh.  We’ve already written a book with 1,793 chapters that are already online for the “free” taking of any enthusiastic reader who attempts to tackle it in its entirety. Brave you! Have at it!

Are we gluttons for punishment, hell-bent on continuing this relentless documentation of our daily lives, even when such lives are quiet, uninteresting, and mundane? Sure, we are. 

Why wouldn’t we be when it rarely feels like a task or obligation? Although, I must admit it’s been tricky on the days when we’re picking up a grandchild at 8:00 am who’ll hang out with us for the day which has been no less than three times per week.

Never wanting the “grandchild of the day” to be bored and antsy while waiting for me to upload the post, at least three times a week, I’ve completed two posts in one day in preparation for their arrival. 

Only once, this week, did I find myself in a quandary with no choice but to prepare the post while one of the kids was here. We’d been out late the prior night and I had no steam left to do it.

Vikings design on the exterior of the stadium.

Even then, I hurried through it and was done in half my usual time continually stopping to pay attention to how Miles was doing to ensure he wasn’t impatient or bored. It worked out fine. We had a great day.

Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. On the days I’ve done two posts, I’ve done one in the morning and the second at night after we’ve been out for dinner and I’m sitting in bed in my nightshirt.  On a few such occasions, I fell asleep in the process, startling myself awake. On a few other occasions, Tom did his usual “waving a hand over my eyes” to see if I’m dosing or awake. Irritating? Yes. Effective? Yes. It wakes me every time.

With today’s outrageously packed day which will require no less than four hours of driving time after picking up Madighan at 8:00 am, last night at 8:00 pm, Tom and I were situated in the hotel lobby (where we usually work online), yet to have dinner.

We’d picked up Vincent again at Cardboard Camp and taken him to see the movie, The Mummy. He loved it!  I liked it! Tom hated it. Tom and Vincent shared a giant popcorn while I snacked on a bag of nuts which sat in my gut like a rock. Tom’s appetite was iffy after eating at least of third of the giant bucket of popcorn. We never went to dinner.

Multiple bridges view from the riverboat on the Mississippi.

I scheduled this post for an automatic 11:00 am upload at which point our outrageously busy day will be in full swing.

We’ll be back with more details over the weekend, which is also packed from morning till night including an 80th birthday party for Tom’s sister Margie starting at 2:00 pm on Saturday and a full day on Sunday with Camille and the two girls for a “Shrek” production downtown, followed by a visit to the Sculpture Garden.

You’d think amid all these activities, I’d be taking tons of photos. But, I’m so distracted with the precious time we’re all spending together, I keep forgetting to look for photo ops. I suppose, in the realm of things, that’s a good thing. We promise to make up for it later.

Enjoy the day and we’ll be back for more.

Photo from one year ago today, June 23, 2016:

In Bali, this buffalo snorted and stomped his feet ready to charge at Tom when he went for a walk while I stayed busy at the villa. For more on this frightening story, please click here.

Happy Birthday, Tom!…Today, we celebrate YOU and…what???…Photos of Tom over the past year…

While crossing the countryside several days ago, Tom spotted this highly venomous Tiger snake crossing the road. Quickly turning around, as it raced off into the vegetation, we were able to get this photo. For information on these scary snakes, please click here where it’s stated, “Most Australians know of tiger snakes and are aware of their fearsome reputation, though few people will ever encounter one.” Leave it to us to encounter one after only 20 days in Tasmania!

On a beautiful warm and sunny day, today we celebrate Tom’s 64th birthday. Without a lot of hoopla, no presents, cards or birthday cake, we celebrate it with as much enthusiasm as ever. 

While in a resort in Kenya in October 2013, celebrating our first worldwide travel anniversary, Tom agreed to take part in the reptile exhibition. Click here for the full post.

Today, we thought it would be fun to share our snake stories when only two days ago we encountered the feared highly venomous Tiger Snake, which most Australians never see in their lifetime.  This precipitated our sharing other snake encounters in our world travels in the past 50 months.

Just so you know, Tom doesn’t like snakes. But, encountering wildlife of many types is a highlight of our world travels and we treat each encounter with respect, curiosity and interest, although in this recent encounter and others shown here, with the utmost of caution.

Only slightly venomous, he held this snake in his hand without incident.

Grateful for another healthy and meaningful year in our world travel, it is easy to look back and revel in the experiences we’ve had over the past year. The joy of seeing him embrace each and every location with childlike wonder adds so much to my own experience, let alone us as a couple.

Tom let this green snake slither up his arm.

In these past 12 months since his last birthday, we’ve traveled to Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Bali (Indonesia), Viet Nam, Cambodia and Thailand.

We’ve sailed on four ocean cruises and one river cruise (Mekong), finally circumventing the Australian continent on a 33-night back to back cruise (two separate cruises, one after another with us staying in the same cabin) ending up here in Tasmania, Australia after a short flight from Sydney. Wow!

This semi venomous snake paralyses its prey. If they bite a human, the area of the bite will feel numb for a few hours but poses no systemic risk. We were told to keep the head away from us while handling it.  This is me holding it as Tom took the photo.

It’s even difficult for us to fathom the fact that we’ve visited and lived in so many countries in one year. We were in Malaysia for only a day, but spent from one week to four months in the remaining locations. It was a very good year.

This venomous snake, a Mozambique Splitting Cobra, dropped from the ceiling of the veranda in Marloth Park, South Africa, less than one meter from Tom’s bare feet as we sat outdoors awaiting the day’s “visitors.” For more details, please click here.

Now, as we look to Tom’s 64th year, we anticipate the future with even more excitement, as we look forward to the following, until his next birthday:
1.  March 1, 2017 to March 13, 2017, depart Tasmania, head to Sydney, boarding a 12 night cruise to New Caledonia; Vanuatu; Fiji and then back to Sydney.
2.  March 13, 2017 to April 22, 2017, stay in Manly (Sydney) for 40 nights in a vacation home.
3.  April 22, 2017 to May 15, 2017, a 24 night cruise from Sydney to Seattle, Washington, visiting Hawaii along the way.  Make our way by land from Seattle, Washington to Vancouver, British Columbia, where we’ll spend two nights awaiting another cruise. (Continued below).

A python on Tom’s shoulder in Kenya.

4.  May 17, 2017 to May 26, 2017, board an Alaskan cruise from Vancouver to Seattle with four ports in Alaska, including; Ketchikan; Juneau; Skagway and Hubbard Glacier; Sitka; and Victoria, BC; then back to Seattle.
5.  May 26, 2017, fly from Seattle, Washington to Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Stay six weeks visiting family and friends.
6.  July 7, 2017, flies from Minnesota to Nevada where we’ll stay for three weeks visiting family.  (Continued below).

I took this photo of Tom while we shopped for toiletries Sydney, Australia before boarding that day’s cruise on January 5, 2016. It was pouring rain. We were soaked but happy, as shown by the huge smile on his face!

7.  August 1, 2017 to November 22, 2017, fly from Nevada to Costa Rica where we’ll stay in a vacation home.
8.  November 22, 2017, fly to Miami to spend one night in a hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
9. November 23, 2017 to December 8, 2017, board the cruise in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, including visits to Grand Cayman Islands; full transit on the new Panama Canal; Manta, Equador; Lima, Peru; Pisco, Peru; Arica, Chile; and on to Santiago, Chili.  (Continued below).

In early 2016, we visited Everybody’s Theatre in Opunake, New Zealand when I shot this photo of Tom. Click here for details.


  December 8, 2017 to December 23, 2017, stay on the same above cruise to continue on to Santiago, Chili to Buenos Aires, Argentina including visits to Puerto Montt, Chili; Chilean Fjords (cruising); Straits of Magellan;  Punta Arenas, Chili; Ushuaia, Argentina; Cape Horn (cruising); Puerto Madryn, Argentina; Punta del Este, Uruguay; Montevideo, Uruguay;  Buenos Aires.

This itinerary is expansive and exciting, each leg of the journey filling us with a sense of adventure and grateful for the opportunities to continue on this path, hopefully for many more birthdays to come.

While in Bali, this year, Tom dressed in traditional Hindu garb with the help of our household staff.  Love that hat on him (and the beard!) which he’s since shaved off. Click here for details.

So, on this day, I wish my dear husband, travel companion, best friend and lover, a very happy birthday and new year of his life.  Thank you for celebrating this life with me, for making each day a holiday and a memorable experience and above all, for the opportunity in spending each day with YOU!

Photo from one year ago today, December 23, 2015:

One year ago when I post a birthday letter to Tom, I posted this single photo of Tom which was taken in March, 2015, when we were in Princeville, Kauai playing bingo at the senior center. For Tom’s birthday letter from last year, please click here.

Venomous snakes and snake bites in Australia…First aid for snake bites information…A personal venomous snake encounter 17 months ago…

The most venomous Australian snake: the Inland Taipan or Fierce Snake
(Not our photo). The Inland Taipan or Fierce Snake reported as the most venomous snake in Australia.

Yesterday’s Sydney Herald newspaper posted this story we’d also seen on the news throughout the day about a Fremantle woman who was apparently bitten by a snake while on a walk on the beachfront esplanade, a paved boardwalk generally free of high grass and brush.

After being bit, she walked home to her husband showing him the bite, an ambulance was called. She later died at the hospital. (The hospital is yet to confirm that her death is a result of a snake bite until after an autopsy is performed).  She had a penetration mark on her foot. Had she not walked home instead, immediately calling for an ambulance, she may be alive today. We extend our deepest condolences to her family.

Then again, we don’t know all the facts and can only surmise based on what’s being reported in the news.  Apparently, from what we’ve read online snakes are often seen in the Perth metro area especially as the weather warms. 

The second most venomous Australian snake: the Eastern Brown Snake
(Not our photo). Eastern Brown Snake, purported the second most venomous snake in Australia.

Paying attention by diligently watching for snakes in high-risk areas has been on our radar these past several years especially after spending so much time in Africa where 3,529 people die each year (or much more unreported) from snakebites as opposed to considerably fewer fatalities in Australia:

Australian Snake Bites

“In Australia there are about 3,000 snake bites per year, of which 200 to 500 receive anti-venom; on average one or two will prove fatal. About half the deaths are due to bites from the brown snake; the rest mostly from tiger snake, taipan and death adder. Some deaths are sudden, however in fact it is uncommon to die within four hours of a snake bite.”

From the World Health Organization (WHO):

Envenoming resulting from snake bites is a particularly important public health problem in rural areas of tropical and subtropical countries situated in Africa, Asia, Oceania, and Latin America. A recent study estimates that at least 421,000 envenomings and 20,000 deaths occur worldwide from snakebite each year, but warns that these figures may be as high as 1,841,000 envenomings and 94,000 deaths. The highest burden of snakebites is in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.

Snake bite is primarily a problem of the poorer rural populations in these regions and affects mainly those involved in subsistence farming activities. Poor access to health services in these settings and, in some instances, a scarcity of antivenom, often leads to poor outcomes and considerable morbidity and mortality. Many victims fail to reach hospital in time or seek medical care after a considerable delay because they first seek treatment from traditional healers. Some even die before reaching hospital. Hospital statistics on snakebites therefore underestimate the true burden.”

With our second highest worldwide readership at this time from Australia, (the first highest from the US), we decided it was important to post this snake bite information from Dr. Struan K. Sutherland, gleaned from published university papers.  This comprehensive report appears to be the most highly informational and detailed we’ve found in Australia.

If only one Australian or citizen of other countries learns how to respond to a snake bite from reading this post, our post was well worth the time and effort. For our readers in areas with low risk of snake bites, we’ll be back tomorrow with a more generalized post.

Included in this report is first aid for snake bites as follows and also includes more photos of venomous snakes in Australia:

First Aid for Snake Bites:
“Do NOT wash the area of the bite or try to suck out the venom!

It is extremely important to retain traces of venom for use with venom identification kits.

Do NOT incise or cut the bite, or apply a high tourniquet!

Cutting or incising the bite won’t help. High tourniquets are ineffective and can be fatal if released.

Stop lymphatic spread – bandage firmly, splint and immobilise!

The “pressure-immobilisation” technique is currently recommended by the Australian Resuscitation Council, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, and the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.

The lymphatic system is responsible for the systemic spread of most venoms. This can be reduced by the application of a firm bandage (as firm as you would put on a sprained ankle) over a folded pad placed over the bitten area. While firm, it should not be so tight that it stops blood flow to the limb or to congests the veins.

Start bandaging directly over the bitten area, ensuing that the pressure over the bite is firm and even. If you have enough bandage you can extend towards more central parts of the body, to delay spread of any venom that has already started to move centrally. A pressure dressing should be applied even if the bite is on the victims trunk or torso.

Immobility is best attained by application of a splint or sling, using a bandage or whatever to hand to absolutely minimise all limb movement, reassurance, and immobilisation (eg, putting the patient on a stretcher). Where possible, bring transportation to the patient (rather then vice versa). Don’t allow the victim to walk or move a limb. Walking should be prevented.

The pressure-immobilization approach is simple, safe, and will not cause iatrogenic tissue damage (ie, from the incision, injection, freezing, or arterial tourniquets – all of which are ineffective).

See the AVRU site for more details of bandaging techniques.
This poster from thefirstaidshop.com.au is worth keeping.
Bites to the head, neck, and back are a special problem – firm pressure should be applied locally if possible.

Removal of the bandage will be associated with rapid systemic spread. Hence ALWAYS wait until the patient is in a fully-equipped medical treatment area before bandage removal is attempted.

Do NOT cut or excise the area or apply an arterial torniquet! Both these measures are ineffective and may make the situation worse.
Joris Wijnker’s Snakebite Productions has more information on envenomation and he can supply a suitable first aid kit and booklet.”

Had the above mentioned woman seen this information at some point, she may be alive today. Walking home increased her heart rate and could easily have contributed to having the venom flow through her bloodstream more quickly.  The patient should be immobilized until emergency professionals arrive on the scene. 

The number to call in Australia for emergency assistance is triple zero…000
A Tiger Snake
(Not our photo).  The Tiger Snake.

While we lived in Africa for nine months, much of which was spent in areas with some of the world’s most venomous snakes are found, we made every attempt to educate ourselves immediately upon arrival. 

An important aspect of snake safety is STAY AWAY. Many snakes will not provoke an attack and often bite when aggravated or stepped on. Many reported fatalities are attributed to foolishly trying to kill or handle a snake.

The number to call in Australia if you find a snake in your yard or home is Wildcare Helpline: (08) 9474 9055

One may think we’ve had little exposure to venomous snakes. However, we actually had a personal encounter with the extremely dangerous Mozambique Spitting Cobra in South Africa that fell from the ceiling on our veranda landing next to Tom’s bare feet while we were sitting near each other busily distracted while working on our laptops.

For our personal story and photos of a Mozambique Spitting Cobra experience on our veranda, please click here.

Over these past few days, we’ve focused on recent news stories we’ve gleaned from TV news, all relevant in our travels in one way or another. Soon, in less than three weeks, we’ll be living in Fiji without a TV and be reliant upon online news. We both have auto flash messaging that pop up on our laptops from various news sources worldwide, enabling us to stay well informed.

When traveling the world, we’ve found it vital to stay informed as to world affairs, including political unrest, wars, natural disasters, health-related events, weather-related issues, and financial chaos as in what recently occurred in Greece, all of which may have a huge impact on our travel to a specific location.

We continue to exercise caution and practicality interspersed with an ongoing passion for a certain degree of excitement and adventure commensurate with our interests, abilities, and desires as we continue to explore the world.

Stay tuned for more…

Photo from one year ago today, August 19, 2014:

The busy streets in South Kensington made us thrilled that we could travel almost everywhere we wanted to go on foot. For more details, please click here.

Horrifying visitor!..Biggest scare of Tom’s life!…Postponement of today’s intended post to tell about this frightening experience!…

These yellow lines were from the portable clothesline located in the corner of the veranda where the Mozambique Spitting Cobra was heading. Little did I know that this snake has the ability to spit venom as far as 10 feet, 3 meters into the eyes of its victim. Hands shaking, I took this blurry photo standing only 3 feet, 1 meter, from the snake.

No words can express the look of terror on Tom’s face when this Mozambique Spitting Cobra, shown in these photos, slithered toward his bare feet as we sat on the veranda yesterday around noon. I was sitting at the table approximately three feet, about one meter, from where Tom spotted the dangerous snake.  

This is the corner where the snake headed to hide.

Where did that come from?  Were we so busy looking for animals in the yard that we failed to look down near our own feet?

It had come within inches (centimeters) of his bare feet. Later, we discovered that this type of snake presented less of a risk of biting than “spitting into one’s eyes” possibly blinding or killing the victim.

Without a moment to think he bolted out of his chair while warning me of the location of the snake, so close to his bare feet. Looking in the wrong direction, I had trouble spotting it for a few seconds. Immediately, I reminded Tom to put on his shoes. At that point, neither of us realized what type of snake it was.

When it comes to Mozambique Spitting Cobras, their size was insignificant compared to the dangerous, life-threatening venom they inflict upon their victim.  This snake was approximately 1.5 to 2 feet long, 45 to 60 cm.

As it hissed and raised it’s suddenly wide face at us, we instantly knew it was a Cobra, unsure if it was a Spitting Cobra. A few nights ago, we’d watched an episode of The Amazing Race showing the participants eating cooked Cobra as one of their challenges, while traveling through Indonesia. 

During the show, there was a live cobra on display in a glassed enclosed box. Neither of us gave it much of a thought while watching the show, except to observe the shape of the head when half of its body was raised in defense mode, ready to strike.

The head of the snake was in the grabbers, not in the hand of the security guy.  He was very cautious and had obviously handled these snakes in the past.

We’ve all seen photos, watched TV shows and movies, or caged cobras in a zoo. But in person? Not so much.

Well, folks, there we were on the veranda as an angry Mozambique (the country only a short drive from here) Spitting Cobra slithered its way to a corner near the house, not toward the driveway or garden. Tom grabbed the long-handled pool net in an effort to steer it away from the house. How horrifying it would be if it somehow got inside! But how much more horrifying it would be if it attacked Tom!

My biggest fear was Tom getting bit so I kept warning him to stay away. You know how guys like to take charge in a crisis, right? This was no time for heroism, my dear husband. 

The snake was close to the door to enter the house. I was determined to get inside to call Field Security, whom we were instructed to call for any type of emergency, including snakes. Gingerly, I maneuvered inside the house while Tom managed the snake. This was definitely one of those emergencies worthy of calling Field Security!

The snake wrapped itself around the grabber while its head was still clamped.  I cringed when the security guy got his hand this close.  By no means, was he careless, but even he was surprised and jumped back when the snake jumped out of the bucket after it was placed inside.

Digging through the instruction notebook Louise and Danie left for us, it took only a few seconds to find the phone number and place the call. Giving them our address, they explained that they were on their way.  

We could have gone inside the house and let the snake maneuver to his liking, but we wanted it GONE! GONE! GONE!

Using the pole and net, Tom kept it cornered while we waited. It was curled up ready to strike, laying underneath a stringy mop. The pole Tom was using was no less than 10 feet long, three-plus meters, which he carefully managed as we waited long 10 minutes for Field Security to arrive.

Carrying a “snake grabber,” one of the two security guys arrived ready to remove the snake. Moving the mop off the snake in the corner, the security guy jumped back stating loudly, “That’s a Mozambique Spitting Cobra! It’s very dangerous!” 

We both stepped back while he and his co-worker (who was carrying a large plastic bucket with a lid) readied themselves to grab the snake. Of course, I mentioned, “Please let me take a photo once you have it secured.” My camera was already in hand. They also proceeded to take a photo with their phones.

As soon as they placed the snake into the bucket, it jumped back out!  We all let out a spontaneous, “Oooh!” Luckily, their reflexes were quick. After a few more attempts they got the snake back into the bucket with the lid firmly in place.

I asked them some questions, such as, “Where the snake will be deposited and how many of these snakes have they removed lately?”  The snake would be deposited near the Crocodile River. (Oh. We’re going there again tonight)! This was the second Mozambique Spitting Cobra they’d removed from a house in Marloth Park so far this week! That wasn’t very comforting.

In addition, they answered a few more of my questions regarding how likely it is this type of snake would enter the house? Answer: very likely. And also, how far can this snake “spit?” Answer: up to 10 feet, three meters. 

Then the scarier questions came, such as:  How likely is this snake to blind a person. He answered, “If you’re lucky!” That wasn’t very comforting either.

After they left, Tom, who’d put on his shoes, stated, “That was the biggest scare of my life.” It hadn’t scared me as much as the black Centipede that he found a few weeks ago on the wall near the bathroom, only feet from our bed. That really freaked me out. None the less, the snake was scary.  

Then again, we are in Africa, in the bush. Wildlife is all around us. Whoever said “safari luck” was only for the animals we love to see. Perhaps “safari luck” includes the scary ones too!  

At least now, when I walk down the long driveway each morning to leave a trail of pellets for the warthogs (it works), I won’t be thinking of the lion that’s loose in the neighborhood. Instead, I’ll be watching more diligently for snakes!

On a more cheerful note, this baby tree frog stopped by today, one of several we’ve seen the past few days.  Is it possible these are the product of the earlier of the two white foam nests hanging over our pool?  More on that later as we continue to watch.

Note: Today, we’d intended to share the fun zebra video and story which now will be posted tomorrow, Saturday, January 11th.