|From the window of the small airplane on our flight to Nelspruit/Mpumalanga/Kruger. We’re excited to be back in South Africa.|
We weren’t able to post yesterday when there wasn’t ample time between the three flights, taking us from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Sao Paulo, Brazil to Johannesburg, South Africa to Nelspruit/Mpumalanga.
|Beautifully aligned farms are scattered throughout the savannah.|
It was an arduous day, and by the time we made the hour-long drive in the little rental car from the airport to the holiday home in Marloth Park, we were both feeling like zombies. Neither of us had slept more than 20 minutes total during the flights and 24 hours.
|When our plane landed at the tiny airport, we immediately headed to baggage, hoping our bags had arrived from Buenos Aires. When the last bag came through, we stayed calm and surprisingly unworried with no sight of ours. Asking the solitary baggage handler, we were told they’d arrive on another flight arriving in 30 minutes.|
The time difference between Buenos Aires and South Africa is only five hours, but that’s enough to throw one’s biological clock into a frenzy of confusion. Once we arrived at the house, we unpacked a little, and both napped for 90 minutes. We decided to pay special attention to the time here, attempting to avoid jet lag.
|The bags arrived on the next plane a short time later. In the interim, we picked up the tiny rental car. We barely fit all of our worldly goods into the little vehicle and were finally on our way.|
It worked. Today, we’re fine, rested after sleeping over eight hours last night, and happy to be here in this beautiful home in this exceptional conservancy. After four years away from South Africa with many varied experiences in our wake, we’re indescribably content to be here.
|The nicely paved two-lane highway made for a pleasant and scenic one-hour ride.|
After awakening from our naps, we unpacked everything. By 5:30 pm, showered and finally wearing clean clothes, we headed out the door for dinner to the bush restaurant Phumula for dinner where we’d dined on a few occasions some four years ago.
|Bird of Paradise, a commonly found flower in Africa.|
The meal was fine, although not exceptional. But, we were still reeling from our drive through Marloth Park on the way to the restaurant, able to take many photos before the sun finally set, which we’re sharing with you today.
|Our first wildlife sighting, last night around 6:00 pm on our way to dinner.|
Based on the placement of the holiday home, the driveway, the lack of greenery due to lack of rain, we weren’t expecting a lot of wildlife at this time particular time. If not many come to call, we only need to take a two-minute drive to find wild animals that we’d come to love only a short four years ago.
We’d heard that there isn’t as much wildlife in Marloth Park as there was when we were here in 2013. They (the officials) had culled several breeds due to the drought. This morning our hosts, Louise and Danie, assured us that plenty of animals would visit us here. We must wait and be patient, and there’s no doubt they will come to visit us.
|Impalas are rarely alone, and in the near dark, we spotted these two youngsters.|
The last time we were here, it took a few days to see many visitors as if they knew humans were finally staying in the holiday home. In the interim, we’re content to continue to work on getting settled, cooking our meals, and driving through the park each day while sharing new stories and photos with you each day.
This morning, it was beautiful to see Louise and Danie once again. They are very special people, and we are grateful to have them among the other fine friends we’ve made here in Marloth Park. Their visit this morning meant the world to us.
|A male impala.|
We all have so much to share about our lives, and we look forward to many get-togethers with them and all of our other friends over this next year we’ll be in Africa, living in and out of Marloth Park to satisfy visa requirements.
After they left to get back to work, Louise, a highly sought-after property manager/owner, and Danie, a home builder and renovation expert, headed to Komatipoort to grocery shop. Tomorrow, we’ll share details of our shopping experience, costs, and more new exciting photos of South Africa.
|A burly wildebeest, the animals we saw in the Masia Mara in 2013 make up a large portion of the Great Migration. There are many of these large animals in Marloth Park.|
When we returned from Komatipoort today, we were both shocked to see it was 5:00 pm. Tom hadn’t worn his watch, and my FitBit’s time has been wrong for months. With the many hour’s time change, it will take a little time to adjust our appetites to the usual dinner hours. Then again, each time we reach a new location, it takes a few days to adapt to the surroundings.
Be well. We’ll be back with more soon!
Photo from one year ago today, February 12, 2017:
|Since we missed posting yesterday on February 11th, here’s the year-ago post from that date. Below is the February 12th, the year-ago photo enabling us to be caught up. Here’s a meal we made in Tasmania which we’re looking forward to making again: bacon-wrapped, hard-boiled egg stuffed meatloaf made with grass-fed meat; salads with red romaine (cos), celery, carrot, and homemade salad dressing; sliced cucumber sprinkled with Himalayan salt; steamed green beans and broccolini; oven-roasted zucchini; good-for-gut-bacteria probiotic sauerkraut; and my favorite…No carb flaxseed and almond flour muffins topped with grass-fed organic butter. Who says “low carb” dining isn’t healthy? (The red bottle in the center of the table contains homemade ketchup). For more details, please click here.