SA Trip, July 19-23, 2014

Attitudes. We all have them. So many are acquired unconsciously and generalized without direct experience.  So one of the most valuable outcomes of traveling is the opportunity to discover my unexamined attitudes, those that perhaps were useful in one setting, but when generalized are troublesome.

I came to South Africa wanting the experience of safari, but just to photograph and had an attitude about hunting or killing of the animals here, especially about game reserves designed specifically for people to hunt big game.  And there are many of those here.  So when we went recently to just such a place to take a friend for her game ranger internship there, I had to leave my attitude at the gate.  And I’m glad I did.  While it may not be true for all such reserves, at least this one was very caring of its animals, has an anti-poaching team and limits and manages its ‘licenses to kill’ very carefully and judiciously.  The lodge contained trophy heads, which I have to admit were quite beautiful, especially the buffalo and the rhino. Come to find out, the rhino was very old, had almost no teeth left, and had gotten a foot infection. Even with a vet’s care, it died, and that was the stuffed head on the wall.  Not everything you see is as it might seem.  I do understand that large herds need to be managed, even our deer population in California have a hunting season and limits, to keep the ecosystem in balance, and now I understand that the same goes for large herds here. The World Wildlife Fund South Africa has recognized this reserve for its conservation efforts.  So while I myself could not shot one of these animals, I can relax a bit about others’ choices.IMG_1975

IMG_1949  IMG_1939 IMG_1952 IMG_1957  IMG_1968IMG_1960IMG_1986IMG_1983IMG_1998

We will return for a drive around the 21,000 hectares, and I’m looking forward to seeing herds of kuze, bushbok, impala, some rhino and maybe a baboon or two and hopefully, if we can stay over, waking up to a beautiful sunrise over the hills, out in the middle of nowhere.  Heavenly.

Slipped Sunday morning and badly sprained my left wrist, this after a 2 day flu bug.  Some down time.  But Tuesday we made it out to our favorite market, Lavender Blue for some farm fresh produce.


20140722_140731And then after missing our normal turn off to EL discovered how to get to the Hemingway Mall which we had wanted to see.  Very modern with wonderful stores, lots of employees but very few shoppers.  Perhaps on the weekends is busy; it certainly wasn’t on Tuesday.

We discovered a Tuesday restaurant special: 1/2 price sushi, and it was one of those fun places where the sushi goes around on a belt in front of you and you take what you want. The wonderful thing about this arrangement is that you can eat the moment you sit down! The downside is that you can eat more than your stomach can hold.  Thank goodness it was 1/2 price.  Our bill including 2 beers was $23. Delicious.20140722_123051

20140722_123634 We love these restaurant discoveries.  And sometimes I love to fix lunch and eat by the pool on the patio when the breeze is warm.   20140718_140404IMG_1567Life is good.

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