As always our time in the Kgalagadi was as special. It truly is 'Big Sky' country and it almost goes without saying that it is Big Lion country too.
We stay in Upington at Riverside Lodge on the Orange River where we enjoy our evening meal on the banks and watch the sun set. It is a great place to savour the journey and marvel at the largest river in South Africa.
The trans frontier park is well run and most of the camps have superb accommodation. We prefer the bush camps as there are fewer people and the units are not surrounded by formal fences giving a feeling of being 'out there'. So much so, that when lions surround the camps it is very wild and somewhat alarming.
We were fortunate to have friends in the park at the same time and we shared many a good sighting and delicious braai during our time together.
We had wonderful rains which cooled the air just a little (temperatures ranged from 32 - 42 degrees) and tortoises ruled the roads. To see the moon full over the dunes was heart-stopping and it shone over us while we were at Groot Kolk, creating shadow plays over the tented roof. One of the most endearing incidents we experienced was a crow (an animal I really don't warm to) warble and chat to us while we were watching a pride of 10 lion. His calls were liquid and gurgling and he kept us entertained for sometime.
On our way home we over nighted at the Kimberley Club, a little bit of 'old colonialism' in a crazy zig-zagged town. Cecil John dominates the club and one wonders how long his statue will lurk in the courtyard.
Returning home is always an adjustment. I allow myself a few days to ease into the on-the-edge freneticism of Johannesburg. My first calligraphy class was a delight as the students seem to be enjoying the theme for the year 'Pen and Ink Trails' and completed a number of projects while 'on sabbatical'.
Our outreach afternoons continue and we are having such fun creating a pink 'ombre' blanket for an outreach for cancer for a friend of a friend. We were also donated some beautiful German yarn which we are making into small blankets for babies. Killarney Pharmacy donated 50 baby grows for our Chris Hani Baragwanath outreach which is a remarkable donation. Thank you to everyone who helps in any way at all.
And so on we go as before. But having said that my husband David is busy planning more 'excursions' for us in 2017 which is most exciting. I continue to download books by the dozen and plan projects to take away with me. What I love about that is the fact that as I crochet or knit, memories are woven into the fabric of the article I'm making. I also manage to complete a whole lot of WIPs (works in progress) while I am bouncing along dusty roads.
But of course the best thing about coming home is family. My daughter Elizabeth and I shared a wonderful spontaneous Friday morning just after I returned. We had coffee, caught up on news, shared a great deal of laughter and re-established our connection. What more could a mother ask for?
More about classes, creativity and holidays soon. Until then, take care of yourself. A-MM