Note: Due to the lack of wildlife visitors during the holiday season, other than these in the above video, we are seriously lacking in photos. After the first of the year, when most tourists depart the park, we’ll have plenty of new images to share.
Last night, on our way back to Jabula for our regular Saturday night dinner, there were numerous vehicles on the road, more than we’d seen in a long time. Walking into the bar, we noticed a couple occupying our usual seats. Instead, we sat to their right at two empty barstools. We started talking to them in no time, and the conversation was ensured throughout the evening.
We had a nice dinner again, seated at the bar close to one of the air-con units which was turned on when load shedding ended. Dawn was ultra-busy with the countless guests, but everything ran smoothly with her hard work supplemented by her competent and friendly staff. As always, it was delightful to chat with Dawn and Leon.
Load shedding is quite a challenge for restaurants and businesses. Constant attention to generators running, food preservation, and patron satisfaction creates a lot of stress for owners and managers. Often, customers are from South Africa and are used to load shedding since few areas in the country are exempt from the ongoing shut-offs. But still, when people come here for a much-needed and often barely affordable holiday in this magical place, they become frustrated with the inconveniences.
When paying for a vacation/holiday, guests often expect perfection, and rightfully so. But the ideal scenario is not to be had when visitors come here. Unbearable heat, much hotter than in the big cities, humidity, rain this time of year, insects, snakes, and a possible 11½ hours a day without power can result in complaints.
Also, every few weeks, there seems to be an issue with the reservoir due to load shedding, which only exacerbates the frustration expressed by visitors. Plus, with all the extra people here, the animals often go into hiding. This further frustrates tourists when they come for a long weekend and hardly see wild animals, inspiring them to visit here in the first place.
Since it’s so hot now, we decided to make a cold dinner for tonight, our favorite bread-free subway sandwiches, which we call “unwiches,” like the popular takeaway restaurant in the US, Jimmy John’s, where we first discovered these breadless sandwiches and copied the concept for our use, modifying them to our taste.
This morning I prepped the tomatoes, purple onions, cheese slices, bacon, and lettuce and made a salad to go with the unwiches. It’s a perfect hot-weather day meal. We have enough deli meats, cheese, and vegetables to last for three dinners. Each day, I’ll cut up more fresh vegetables, cook a new batch of bacon and make another coleslaw salad.
Today is a lazy day. The heat and humidity have taken their toll. With few animals visiting, we’re spending some time in our bedroom, staying cool with the powerful fan turned on with an occasional burst of cool air by turning on the air con when we have power for a few minutes. This will probably be our fate over the next few weeks while we wait for the holiday season to end and for things to return to normal.
Last night, after returning from Jabula, we watched the Minnesota Vikings game on Tom’s streaming app, NFL Game Pass. It was quite a shocking game, considered the biggest-ever NFL “comeback.” It was fun to see the turnaround in the second half and subsequent overtime.
Have a fantastic day, and be well.
Photo from one year ago today, December 18, 2021: