We set out after breakfast in a small pontoon boat to check out the Delta’s birds and wildlife. The birds were prolific. We spotted, thanks to our guide that morning, More, so many species, that it was difficult to remember them all. Fortunately, he did.
We also saw elephants giving themselves a dust, or water bath with dust, so they could be covered in earth or a clay-like surface that helps them keep cool in the noonday sun. They looked like they were having a ball, too. They really knew what to do to stay comfortable.
Many crocs to see, some large and some small. We laughed when we saw something that looked like a croc, but was actually a log. Pretty typical, I guess. These logadiles are very common, but harmless!
Just as we were about to return to the Camp, there was a large crash of hippos (yes, that’s what they are called), in the tall grass, making their way to the water. I would say that there were at least a dozen, bobbing, snorting, coming out of the water and going below. When they snorted, the water sprayed everywhere. I was able to catch them in process and we all loved it!
Time to head back, get washed up a bit, collect our luggage and head to the “airport,” which is still a dirt runway with only one terminal and no gift shops. Although I was still apprehensive, the 45 minute journey to Maun, Botswana, was smooth. I didn’t clutch hardly at all. It doesn’t mean that I will go on a small plane again. Maybe drugged!
The Maun Airport is small, with many light aircraft taking people to the various lodges and camps. There are a couple of larger jet planes, going to Johannesburg or other important cities. The wait was only a an hour and a half, about as long as the trip to Joburg itself. Smooth sailing…
We went through immigration with no difficulty, and then headed to the gate for the two and a half hour wait for our plane to JFK in New York. A little lunch, a bit of touring the stores for any last minute buys and we were off. While the long flight from JFK to Joburg was full, this plane was not. we were able to snag two seats together each, giving us some room to spread out and get some sleep.
Jim took a sleeping pill and slept like a baby for two four-hour stints. I usually can sleep anywhere, but the person at the other end of the four seats decided that he needed to have his light on as he watched the in-flight entertainment! I guess I should have said something, but politeness, and my half opened eyes, persuaded me to just close them and do the best I could. I slept…
The fifteen and a half hour flight actually went fairly quickly. It was smooth and I loved that there was a camera mounted on the tail of the plane, so you could see what the pilot sees. Since it was night time, all I could see were the runway lights at takeoff and then the approach and landing in New York. It was like a GoPro on steroids!
We gathered our luggage, said a fond farewell to our traveling companions, and headed to the gate to await our Aeromexico flight to Mexico City, then on to Guadalajara. In the end the travel time was about 40 hours, including the layovers. Once home, our dogs greeted us with great enthusiasm. Doug and Johanne, our house sitters spoiled the dogs rotten, with lots of walks, petting, hugs and treats. Pancho was sad to see them leave. They had a 5am flight to Equador for their next house sit assignment. What a life they are leading.
I will post a lot more pictures in a separate blog posting.