Our first full day home

It was quite a trip home. We started in Sossusvlei in Namibia. Took a chartered flight to Windhoek, which is the capital of Namibia, and then a commercial flight from Windhoek to JoBurg. That was something like seven hours, including drive time. Chartered flight means a small plane; we were the only two passengers. Took me some getting used to but now I think it’s the only way to fly! Impractical for anything but short hops, alas.

We spent the night at an airport hotel in Joburg, and then spent about four hours touring the city. I am not impressed by Joburg. It seems to me the only reason to go there is economic. Maybe you’re a poor black African from a rural village, looking to get onto the bottom rung of the economic ladder. Maybe you’re a millionaire looking to become a billionaire. I hear parts of South Africa are wonderful, particularly Cape Town. JoBurg does not seem to me to be one of those places.

Then 28.5 hours from JoBurg to home. And I can’t sleep on planes

My routine when traveling to Europe on business is to arrive a day early, in the morning, and force myself to stay up all day until past 7 pm and get out and walk around the city in sunlight Then I crash for about 10-12 hours. This goes a long way to mitigating the worst of jet lag. I had hoped to do something similar yesterday. Instead I slept from 1-7 pm, woke up for 2-3 hours, showered, shaved ate, and went back to sleep until about 5 am. Still, I’m feeling like adjustment to local time is well under way.

Home

Julie and I are back from a wonderful, 25-day safari through Botswana and Namibia, with brief stops in Johannesburg.

We bounced along dirt paths in African jungles for hours every day, and navigated rivers in small boats, viewing exotic animals, birds and plants with local guides.

We visited a rural school, and a tribal village where people live much as they have for thousands of years.

We flew in smalll planes with spectacular views of the mountains and deserts.

We saw lions and leopards devour their prey, as well as baboons, giraffes, monkeys, cheetahs, hippos, rhinoceroses, and elephants. So many elephants. Never got tired of the elephants.

We slept in comfortable tents on full beds, with showers and toilets open to the beautiful landscape outdoors. We woke up and were out on the trail before dawn, with temperatures in the low 40s – all but one of those tents and cabins were unheated – and temperatures climbed above 100 some days. This was in African winter.

We ate copious quantities of delicious food, much of it as good as you would find in any fine dining restaurant. I developed quite a fondness for African porridge with dried fruit. Also, my pants, which fit fine when we left, are now snug; I think it’s because they use metric measurements there.

And now we’re happy to be home.