Journey to South Africa

Day Six: Mosaic Sanctuary

      It´s kind of funny how the accommodations I liked the best so far were where I felt the sickest. I haven´t really felt fatigue from my treatment on this trip, which is good, although Jon and I have taken our fair share of naps in Pepe´s car. However, I got the stomach bug of all stomach bugs during the first night I was at Mosaic. I couldn´t keep anything down.  The worst part was that I felt this horrible cramping in my stomach that would not stop and was very painful. All I could do was lay on the bed and moan.

Where I spent the majority of my time at Mosaic
View from the room

Jon and I were supposed to go to the nearby town of Gaansbaai that morning to do some shark cage diving. Who are we kidding… I never had any intentions of jumping in the cold ocean water and looking at a great white shark swimming around my cage with five other people. Hell no! I was firmly intending to stay on the boat the whole time and take pictures. So really only Jon was planning on diving with the sharks. Unfortunately since the wind has been so bad on the Western Cape a single shark hasn´t been sighted for the past 15 days. The passageway between the offshore seal colony and the coastline normally teems with Great Whites at this time of year. Due to the wind and rough seas, though, the sharks have gone somewhere else. So unfortunately, the company cancelled the shark dive. Probably for the better because there´s no way I could have gone on a boat that morning with rocky seas. But I know Jon was disappointed.

Luckily Mosaic Sanctuary is an all-inclusive lodge. They had two activities that day that we would probably have missed had we gone shark diving. I vowed that I would not miss either of these activities even though my stomach was killing me. I expelled all the nastiness I could and then took a few tablets of Immodium, probiotics, and Pepto Bismol pills. I hoped that would stabilize me so I could go on the morning excursion. The guide drove us in the bouncy safari jeep through the hills and up over some sand dunes to get us to our own private beach.


Our own private beach just beyond the sand dunes

Once we climbed over the tallest sand dune I felt like I had exhausted every last bit of energy I had, so I simply lay down on the beach while Jon took off down the coast to photograph the bird life.


A black oystercatcher- an endangered animal. Impressive balance!


An oystercatcher flies close to his potential food source in the ocean

Unfortunately, the wind was so bad that the sand was whipping me in the face, mouth, legs, arms: everywhere! The wind and sand wouldn´t let up… and it hurt. I was ready to go back to the lodge and lay down. Before I could do that though, I had to find my husband who was nowhere in sight. The other guests were also ready to go. I took off walking along the coastline to try and find him. About twenty minutes later I spotted a faint outline of a person walking towards us. It was Jon of course. He had lost track of the time while taking photos.

Anyway, we eventually made it back to the lodge before I had to go to the bathroom. I skipped lunch because I was feeling really bad again and cramping. I lay on the comfortable bed with my hands on my abdomen in the hopes that I would feel better before the afternoon activity. Well I didn´t really feel better, but there was no way I was going to miss driving a Four Wheeler (called quad bikes here in South Africa) up and down the sandy hills around the lagoon. The guide drove us to the other lodge on the property that had a few self-serve cottages that families could stay in and look out at the beautiful scenery. Jon wanted to photograph the birds and I wanted to sit on a picnic bench in the shade and feel somewhat alive before I got on the 4×4.

Pretending to feel alive

I had a few bites of a banana and was able to keep that down so I declared I was feeling well enough to do the four wheeling with the other guests. It was exhilarating! Zooming around the rocky terrain on a motorized vehicle was a thrill. Hills you truly didn´t think you could get up were yours if you simply held down the gas throttle hard enough.

Lookin tough on my quad bike


It got a little too bumpy for my stomach as we drove around on the potholed grass near the lake, but I willed myself to feel better since I was having so much fun. It was far better than shark diving, so we both agreed that it was a blessing in disguise that we missed the sharks and went quad biking instead.

The staff at Mosaic was so nice to me all day and kept asking how I was feeling while stocking our fridge with bottle after bottle of water and ginger ale.   I was able to eat a bit of dinner that night which is great, because it was absolutely delicious. We had a goat cheese and beet salad, as well as a beautifully cooked fillet with Madagascar pepper sauce and apple pie. After my few bites of dinner I headed back to our room to lie down some more and wait for my stomach to expel the delicious food. After it had done so, I took more Immodium pills and hoped I would feel better in the morning.

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