Sunday, July 30, 2006

Zulu Nyala

Well we made it to South Africa. It was the longest journey I have ever taken to get to a destination. From the time we left our house to the time we arrived in Johannesburg it was 26 hours.... I think.

We left Seattle about an hour and a half late. There was a mechanical problem with the plan so we sat in the plane until it was fixed. Luckily our layover in Amersterdam was 3 hours, not the 1.5 I had thought. So we made our connecting flight which was a relief.

I can't believe how they pack the seats in the planes nowadays. Man. Talk about squishy. Its amazing you can sit a total of 20 hours and still feel somewhat human at the end. The flight from Amsterdam to Johannesburg was absolutely freezing. There were a couple of women next to me in short sleeves. I had a tee shirt, wool sweater and my Arc'teryx jacket on and was still freezing so I put on a blanket!

Enough of that. Johannesburg was freezing! I brought a fleece to sleep in just-in-case and I needed it there. C-c-c-c-cold!!!!

The next morning we went back to the airport to pick up our rental cars - a nice Mercedes sedan and Mercedes van. Mind you Greg and Mike had to learn really quickly how to drive on the left side of the road! Interesting! We had a lot of laughs on that experience!

We left at 9am to start our long trek to Zulu Nyala. It was supposed to take 5.5 hours and it took us 8. Those of you who know me know I don't like being in the car that long. (Especially after spending 26 hours travelling the day before). We drove with Ron and Evie and it was sort of like being with kids. We had this map and Ron kept asking where we were on the map. Evie kept asking how much longer. It was driving me crazy because..."we'll get there when we get there" is what I wanted to say but everytime Evie asked Greg said "about an hour and a half!".

We drove through this one shanty town. Absolutely horrible. There was raw sewage and it was so amazingly depressing the conditions they live in. The smell despite having our windows rolled up was just indescribable. We thanked our god for the lives we have. Here we were travelling from the United States, driving in a Mercedes and these people don't even have basic needs being met.

We got to Zulu Nyala in complete darkness at 7pm. We had dinner and then went to bed.

We got up this morning, had breakfast at 7am, started the Safari at 8am. Oh my gosh was it cool. Its our first day and I'm blown away. I was in this safari jeep thinking "no, I'm not at a zoo. I am where the animals actually live! How cool is that?". Right now it is almost noon and I'm starving (I know....big surprise there). We have lunch from 12-2 so I'll sign off for now so I can grab some grub!

The place we are staying is incredibly nice. Its amazing. Everything is so...extravagent. Leather couches, great accommodations. I wish all my family and friends could experience this. Its amazing.

I also visited Jamie's blog to see photos of my guys. I got tears in my eyes because I miss them so much. At the B&B we stayed at in Johannesburg they had this mutt little dog that was skittish like Beanie. He let me pet him and actually carry him. I guess I knew how to charm him after learning with Beanie. I got a small dog fix. I just love dogs, no matter what country they are in.

Gotta run. Jamie - I saw your email. I will write back soon. I'm glad regarding everything you wrote. That is a relief for me. Thank you and Chris for taking SUCH good care of my boys. They look happy. I think there is going to be a dog in your future very soon!

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