December 11, 2012
My mother and Oliver’s mother just flew from America to visit us, and with them they brought summer holidays from school and a whirlwind vacation. Even by Oliver’s standards, the man who never sits still, we’ve been busy.
We only spent one night together in Swaziland before heading to South Africa. The plan was to drive from Swaziland all along the coast on the N2 until we arrived at Cape Town. Almost every night has been in a different city.
After leaving Swaziland with a heartfelt see-you-after-and-only-after-I-have-a-blast-on-vacation type of goodbye, we drove through KwaZulu-Natal on the East coast of South Africa. Besides driving the different game parks, the big activity was to see leatherback and loggerhead turtles nesting on the beach. The leatherback was 6ft long! It was amazing to be so close to an animal so huge.
After our wildlife ventures, we drove to Durban, to see the beach and eat some seafood. There was a bit of screaming in the car as we accidentally drove through the Durban bus rank in our little white car, but other than that we got to relax a bit. The four of us went to SeaWorld, which I was originally opposed to. It seemed like a kitschy thing to do when on vacation to Africa. But I was wrong, it was really fun. Fun and unfair. Oliver got to dance with the dolphins and get splashed. I was waving my hands and screaming louder than him, and he still got picked by the staff. I guess I was the one who didn’t want to go to the park in the first place. But still.
On our way out of Durban, we went to some arts and crafts centers and I made my first non-household and non-travel related purchase. A year and a half in and I finally bought a souvenir! This was big news in my life. I bought hand-sewn Christmas ornaments and I keep taking them out of my purse to look at them.
After Durban we headed out to Addo Elephant Park to do some more game viewing. We stayed in a tent in the bush and then a cabin but we really spent most of our time in the car, trying to spot some game. We saw a lot of elephants, jackals, turtles, lions, birds, buffalo, and mongooses. We took a lot of great photos, but got a bit close to a lion on one of them. Two male lions had been laying in the grass all day, and on our last visit, one of them got up and started walking down the road. Our car was in front so my mom was twisted around in her seat to take some photos with the window partly down. The lion didn’t seem to notice us until suddenly HE DID. He ran at the car, we all shrieked, Oliver stepped on the gas but the car didn’t seem to be moving, my mom was trying to roll up her window, and the lion was getting closer and closer. And just as suddenly, the car pulled out of the lion’s range and our yelling became laughter and Oliver had to stop the car again so we could regroup our wits which had been left on the road behind us.
Today we left Addo, and made our way further along the coast to the Garden Route and are spending the night on the beach in Plettenberg Bay. Oliver is cooking Kudu with rice and veggies, our mothers and getting caught up with their internet and I’m typing this. It’s been a really great vacation so far, we’ll update about the other half of the trip and post some more pictures in a few days.
Rebecca is Currently Reading: A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire