When I was re-diagnosed in June with metastasis in my brain, I quickly wrote up my travel bucket list. Number one on the list was an African safari, so when I found out in October that my treatment worked and that I was healthy, Jon asked me where I wanted to go most in the world. A safari in South Africa with a tour guide who specializes in photo travel was soon planned. Pepe Jones, the owner of Nature UnCut, sent us a proposed itinerary that looked so amazing that I cried from joy when I received it. We were going to spend three weeks travelling through Cape Town, the Eastern Cape, the Garden Route, a game park near Port Elizabeth, Jo-burg, and Sabi Sabi ( a world renowned safari destination outside Kruger National Park). The list of exotic animals that we might see was absolutely amazing: I decided I was one lucky girl to have such a patient and loving husband willing to spend a lot of money to make my travel dreams come true. And who are we kidding? He really wanted to go too!
On the morning of January 9th the two of us boarded an airplane to South Africa, loaded down with safari clothes and all of Jon´s new camera equipment that he got for Christmas. Hopefully the pictures that I plan to post each day on this blog will be proof that the camera upgrades were worth it. Our first flight to Sao Paolo was rather uneventful. Unfortunately, when we arrived we were informed that in addition to our already planned four-hour layover, our plane from Jo-burg was delayed five hours. South African Airways put us up in the airport hotel so we could rest for a few hours instead of trying to sleep on the hard chairs in the terminal. When we eventually boarded our flight, it was really late at night and we were so delayed that there was no way we were going to make our connection to Cape Town. We also had to take a bus to the giant jumbo jet as there were no places left for it to park. We had to walk under the wings and it was then that I realized how huge the aircraft was. I also did not enjoy walking up the enormously tall stairway to board the plane. Unfortunately, there was no space in the emergency exit aisle so Jon folded his mile long legs into the tiny Economy middle row for the nine-hour journey. I would imagine he was very uncomfortable. We encountered a TON of turbulence for the first few hours leaving Brazil which, as those who read this blog know, is NOT my favorite. It caused me to drug myself with Melatonin pills and two glasses of white wine. It must have worked, because I actually slept a few hours. Finding a new flight to Cape Town wasn´t a problem because flights between the two cities go every hour so we got on our new plane and I managed to sleep on that flight also. We arrived in Cape Town around 6:15 during that magical time when the coastal mountains were bathed in that pre-sunset glow. Pepe met us at the airport and she turned out to be young and very friendly, so we were both excited since we were going to be spending a considerable amount of time with her.
Our hotel is located on the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and is very nice. The rooms are big and comfortable and we are so near to all the restaurants and shopping that the city has to offer. We have a concert of African musicians outside our window every afternoon and evening as they play to the tourists. After freshening up a little and unpacking after our 33 hours of travel we headed out to the waterfront and found a Lebanese restaurant, which was very tasty. The surprise belly dancing made for an interesting meal. It´s hard to concentrate on falafel when you have a body gyrating in your face. After our hummus, we braved the wind and decided the blustery image on my phone´s weather app was pretty accurate. The wind gusts here sometimes get up to 30 mph. I don´t know how anyone rides the Cape wheel We slept well. I had finally arrived in Africa, the last continent (besides Antarctica) for my footsteps to darken.