This morning I woke up early to my usual wake up call of coffee. Then I went to breakfast and it was just Bigfish and I at breakfast. Monnie and Lizzy were there and Monnie kept telling me how much she was going to miss me. I was really sad. After a leisurely breakfast I went to my room and packed up my stuff and headed back to the lobby. Monnie and Lizzy were there and kept giving me hugs goodbye. They are 2 of the sweetest ladies I’ve ever met. They take care of their guests as friends and they seem sincere. I bought a basket from Monnie that she weaved from palm leaves. I always try to buy a piece of local art when I travel. This time it is a truly special piece since I met the artist. She is really talented. After some long goodbyes it was time to load up in the truck with Bigfish and go for a final game drive. There was only one other guest at the hotel today so it was a very slow day for them. So, they told me I was welcome to sleep in or have another game drive in the morning since my bush plane flight wasn’t leaving until 11:30, I had plenty of time. So I decided on the game drive and Bigfish was all about it.
So, we headed off. We have been tracking a mother leopard and her 2 cubs for a couple days now. Everyone seems to see them except us, so the goal of the morning was to try to find those leopard cubs. We stopped at one point to look at a herd of Impala, and when we went around a corner just a few feet ahead, there they were! Both cubs playing and wrestling in the road. They are probably the cutest things ever. The mother was not around. Bigfish said she was still out hunting. So we took some photos and just watched the cubs play and attack each other and have a great time. It was super funny. It was a really uplifting thing to see after the very first thing we saw this morning. We saw some other trucks parked so we decided to go and check out what they were looking at. We thought it was the leopard cubs at first. Then we a saw a huge female elephant with a little tiny baby. Another guide told Bigfish that the baby had been born in the night and the Hyenas had gotten to it and ripped it’s trunk off and injured it very badly. It was still standing under it’s mother and the mother was just rocking and pacing back and forth. The Hyenas were still in the area, sitting around waiting for the baby to die so they could go in and grab their prey. It was super sad. So, it was nice to see playing leopard cubs just a few minutes later. Lightened the mood for sure. We drove around and saw a bunch of other animals, and went back to where we saw the cubs but they were gone. The mother had moved on with them. So lucky to have seen them though. So, we just drove around looking at the landscape the the wildlife. It was a beautiful morning. At about 11:15 we made our way to the airstrip to wait for my flight to the Maun airport. The flight came in and just as he was about to land a bunch of Warthogs ran onto the air strip. So the pilot pulled up and had to circle around and try the landing again. Stupid Warthogs. I said my sad goodbye to Bigfish and got in the plane and got the co-pilot seat again. The we took off for the Maun Airport. I checked in for my flight to Johannesburg and waited around. We left 30 minutes late and I only had 2.5 hours in Johannesburg to make my connecting flight and recheck my bag. My travel dude arranged for an airport escort, so we got to jump a couple lines and made it through getting my bag, checking in for my flight to Paris, immigration and security in less than an hour. I’m not sure I would’ve made the flight if I had done it on my own. So, I am currently at my gate waiting for the first of 3 more flights to board. I’ll fly from Johannesburg to Paris. Have a 5 hour layover in Paris, then fly to Detroit from Paris. A 2 hour layover (I hope we are on time), and thenshort flight to Madison. It’s currently 5:45p.m. on Friday in Johannesburg and I will arrive in Madison at 4:50p.m. on Saturday. It’s going to be a long, long journey. Especially since I’ve been up since 6:00 this morning having fun times. Whateves.
I think I said it yesterday. This has probably been the greatest adventure of all the Great Adventures so far. I was alone and in the middle of nowhere in Namibia, then Botswana was so lush and green and the landscape and the animals were so beautiful. It didn’t hurt that the lodge I stayed at was super awesome and the people were even more awesome. It was an experience I will never forget. There have been some stressful times along the journey, but it wouldn’t be a Great Adventure if there wasn’t a range of things happening. Mostly it has been smooth sailing and I’ve been able to relax and really enjoy myself. I am usually ready to go home from a long Great Adventure but I would stay another week if I could. I really am sad to leave. Anyone want to come back with me next year?
Thanks for reading everyone!!! I appreciate everyone taking time to read my stupid adventures. I enjoy writing the blog when I travel and when people actually read it, that makes it even better.
Until the next Great Adventure!!!!!