Where are we going in 2023?…Planning for the future…More of Tom’s great photos…

“The Eurasian hoopoe (Upupa epops) is the most widespread species of the genus Upupa. It is a distinctive cinnamon-colored bird with black and white wings, a tall erectile crest, a broad white band across a black tail, and a long narrow downcurved bill. Its call is a soft “oop-oop-oop.” It is native to Europe, Asia, and the northern half of Africa. It is migratory in the northern part of its range. It spends most of the time on the ground probing for grubs and insects. The clutch of seven to eight eggs is laid in an existing cavity. The eggs are incubated by the female and hatch asynchronously. Some ornithologists treat the African and Madagascar hoopoes as subspecies of the Eurasian hoopoe.”

We will leave Marloth Park in approximately eight months and may be gone for a year. We’ve decided we need to pick up the pace and visit those locations we’ve had on our minds for a long time. It’s been easy to settle into an easy routine in this blissful environment, this land of wonder, wildlife, and ever-expanding friendships.

Plus, the low cost of living for us in this country can’t be matched anywhere we’ve visited in the past ten years of world travel. (Yes, this is our tenth anniversary month which we’ll celebrate. We left Minnesota to travel the world on October 31, 2012).

Once again, Tom took some fantastic photos of this Eurasian hoopoe.

Of course, we’re considering what we’ll write about on that special day, four weeks from today. Instead of repeating places we’ve been in the past years, which we’ve mentioned repeatedly, we’ve decided to post a new itinerary and the most significant highlight of each of the ten years with photos, if available.

We are building the itinerary, something we haven’t done in a long time. So much has changed due to the pandemic, which has prevented us from booking venues beyond a few months in front of us, except for a few cruises, some of which have been canceled over the past two years.

Tom was excited to take photos of the woophoe.

At this point, engaged in research, we’ll avoid mentioning where we’ll be going until we are able to pin down some venues, pricing, and dates. By the end of this month, we’ll have an idea of what will work for us. As always, the cost of these preferred locations is a significant factor.

We lost a lot of money on bookings during the pandemic, and we don’t want to risk that happening again. Also, after paying entirely out-of-pocket for my heart surgery and subsequent surgeries in 2019, we’ve had to tighten our belts and be very selective about what we choose to book.

Several Big Daddies have been eating the leaves from this bright green tree in our garden.

Plus, we must renew our passports since most countries require a passport with at least six months left until it expires. We’ll have to start this process soon to be able to go on a few of our upcoming cruises in 2023. We’ll start that process soon. Since we began traveling in 2012, we’ve used up our ten-year passport, a two-year passport, and a four-year passport. We’ll explain why we had so many US passports in tomorrow’s post. Please check back for that information tomorrow.

It’s been a long time since we allowed ourselves to become engrossed in travel planning, other than going on those trips to obtain a new visa stamp for South Africa. As much as we’re enjoying our time in this country, we realize it’s time we can think about the future and fulfill some of our objectives to visit unique locations that have always been on our minds.

A female kudu was eating a potato we’d tossed into the garden. We had potatoes left from our recent friend’s visit. Many antelopes dig for roots and thus enjoy eating most root vegetables.

With the school holiday in full force right now with many holidaymakers in Marloth Park, we plan to stay put most of the week, except for a memorial service for our friend Bruce tomorrow at 11:00 am at Jabula, whom we visited a few weeks ago, before Connie, Jeff and Lindsey arrived, when sadly, Jeff passed away at our home. Bruce was suffering from COPD, a life-ending pulmonary disease.

It’s hard to digest that yet another dear friend has passed away in a mere ten days. We offer our love and prayers for the loved ones left behind in their time of great sorrow and sadness.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, October 3, 2021:

Multiple species in the garden. For more photos, please click here.

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