Elephant drinking water at Addo
We left for Africa eleven months ago but my brain refuses to let me believe that it was so long ago. Travel days imprint themselves in my memories.
Watching elephants at Addo
The daily grind of working, writing, cooking, and walking dogs blends into one long uninterrupted day but the discrete hours and minutes while traveling stand out like bejeweled droplets in my mind.
Cacti at Addo National Park
You know what I mean, right?
Elephant with elephant baby
Everyone has those days . . . the first time you step across the border of another state, another country, or a place you have always wanted to go.
Tortoise at Addo
And, those sort of days aren't limited to travel: it's the first day you walk into your first place away from your parents or that first dance when you were so gawky and dressed in that skirt that nobody thought looked good except for you because, well, you didn't really have much of a fashion sense back then. You know what I mean.
Dung beetle (it is illegal to run over one of these endangered insects)
Those days are iridescent splotches that refuse to fade to bland nothingness.
The last couple of weeks in South Africa were like that. I've been putting off writing about them because, yes, I've been busy (and, by busy, I mean frantically checking my e-mail waiting for agents and spending my spare time obsessed with Jack of All Tribes . . . which if you have not found this game yet, you totally need to get on it. It's way better than Farmwhatever.)
Those South African days were just about perfect.
Coyote in Addo
We'd driven from Johannesburg through Kruger to Sodwana Bay (where we had dismal, cold scuba experiences), then Durban, and the beautiful haunting Wild Coast, before we reached Addo. And, Addo surprised us.
The elephants ! Yes, elephants! Oh, man, did we love these elephants.
Elephants in front of our car at Addo
Unlike Kruger , Addo is dry, dry as sandpaper scratching against newly sawn wood.
Elephants walking away
The elephants searched for and huddled around these teeny tiny puddles of water because there wasn't anything bigger at Addo.
Lion basking at Addo
The lions basked in the sun, far from the nearest water source, waiting for the rain to quench their thirst.
Lion and lioness at Addo
And we, we sat in our car, guzzling down our liter bottles of water, letting their sedate faces stamp our memories.