Safari luck at it’s finest!…A most outstanding Sunday after all….

Such a handsome male lion. These lions shown today are not necessarily the lions recently spotted inside Marloth Park.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

What a charmer!

Sundays have always been my least favorite day of the week. I suppose it goes back to being a kid, and Sunday night meant early to bed and back to school the following day.

As an adult, Sunday’s meant somewhat of the same thing…early to bed and back to work on Monday morning, except being in real estate for most of my adult life and the company’s owner, I never really had a day off.

Snoozing female and male lions on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Once done working on Saturdays or Sundays, I often “pushed things off” to be handled on Monday morning, particularly those running-the-business type of tasks of which there were many.

Even after I chose early retirement at 62 (shortly after the housing market crashed in the US), dreading Sundays was deeply ingrained in my psyche. I couldn’t seem to shake the lifelong perception that Sundays represented the upcoming litany of responsibilities that were often mired in worry and concern.

From time to time, he’d pick up his head.  Mostly, the female maintained “watch,” only occasionally putting her head down to sleep.

Now, after traveling for almost six years (three months until our sixth anniversary), I still possess a certain dread of Sundays and the resulting Mondays that I try to shake off, often to no avail.

Yesterday, Sunday, was no exception. Awakening early to a cloudy day, knowing we couldn’t go into Kruger due to the holidaymakers and, with little to no visitors stopping by,  I felt a little of my usual Sunday apprehension.

Although we seniors sometimes forget what day of the week it is, which is entirely ‘normal” when one doesn’t have a strict routine to follow, Sunday is always at the forefront of my mind. 

We were so far away. It was hard not to have blurry photos without a tripod with us.

I never have to ask Tom on a Sunday flippantly, What day is this?” as I may on a Tuesday or Wednesday, while lost in our blissful routine.

I’d decided to make a typical Sunday dinner of slow-cooked braised short ribs with garlic, carrots, onions, leftover mashed potatoes, sweet corn (fresh uncooked from Friday night’s dinner party), garlic bread, and salad. Although definitely not his usual diet, I decided to give him one more day of a fattening, high-carb meal with these items on hand.

The female and male rested near the large rocks on the opposite side of the river.

Today, Monday, he’s back to our usual low-carb routine, leftover short ribs, salad, and vegetables. He ate the remainder of the apple crisp from Friday night’s dinner party, so sweets are off the menu. I had salmon on the grill (I found some frozen that is quite good) and grilled vegetables. Tonight, I’ll have prawns and grilled vegetables.

At the moment, I’m cooked two meals; keto for me and low carb for him. So far, I’ve been losing weight steadily, but I won’t announce how much until I’ve reached my goal. It’s a slow process.

Anyway, after finishing the day’s post, doing laundry, hanging it on the line, and preparing the vegetables for dinner, we decided to head out around 2:00 pm to see if we could spot any wildlife to offset any potential boredom on an otherwise somewhat dull Sunday.

After observing wildebeest in our garden this past week, we’ve developed a special interest in them.  Surprisingly, they are good at making eye contact.

Once we began our usual course through Marloth Park, mainly focusing on driving along the river road, after about an hour into it, we were convinced this would not be a day of many sightings, which we hadn’t expected anyway due to the abundant amount of tourists in the park. We could head back to our holiday home to wind down an otherwise quiet day.

As we neared the last 15 minutes of our usual course, we noticed several people standing at the fence between Marloth and Kruger Parks and decided to stop to see what all the commotion was about. There was many pointing going on, phones raised into the air, and binoculars being passed around. 

It was lions lounging on rocks on the opposite side of the river! We couldn’t have been more excited. We parked the car, walked through the scratchy bush on somewhat of a path, and made our way to the fence.

This “Implausibility” of wildebeest was resting in the garden of a home along the river.

Regardless of how hard I tried, I couldn’t bring them up on the camera’s view screen. Tom, with his trusty binoculars, looked for several minutes, and then, he saw them, a female and a male lounging in the warmth of the sun on the massive rocks across the Crocodile River.  

Tom took today’s lion photos, and I’m so proud of him for being able to capture these images. We were no less than .8 km (.5 miles) from their location and, we don’t have those massive lenses used to capture distance scenes. They’re are too big and bulky for us to carry in our travels. We were thrilled with the photos he managed to get.

These were the first lions we’ve seen since we arrived in South Africa almost five months ago. After many trips into the Kruger, we’d yet to see any lions.  This was exciting, to say the least.

This baby wildebeest tried to nurse off dad.  He gave her quick a shove.

After quite a while at the sighting, we were on our way for the remainder of the drive, sighting the following: kudu, wildebeest, elephants, impala, waterbuck, and several birds. 

By the time we returned to our holiday home, it was time to set up the veranda for the evening, but the short ribs in the oven, and finish a few tasks for dinner. Once settled at our usual spots at the big table, we downloaded our photos, thrilled with what we’d captured.

It was a good Sunday after all, and last night there was no sense of Sunday night angst especially knowing we could share these photos with all of our readers today.

It’s a good Monday morning. Sleep came easily for both of us for a change. When dawn broke, we were feeding a forkl of lovely female kudus pellets, carrots, and apples on the veranda.

May your Monday be good as well.

Photo from one year ago today, July 9, 2017:

The white lattice pergola in son Richard’s lovely yard provided shelter from the scorching sun in Henderson, Nevada, which reached  47C (116F) that day.  We stayed at his home for three weeks.  For more details, please click here.