Thursday, June 22, 2006

My Hluhluwe Getaway - Day 2

Day Two started with a 3 hour game drive around the Hluhluwe Game Reserve. We all got together in the parking lot at 6:30am with our jackets and a few blankets (included in the tour vehicle) but NOTHING could have prepared us for the cold. Mid-winter, misty air, whipping past your head and neck at 6:30am in an OPEN game-viewing vehicle is no joke. Please bear in mind that I was still on day 2 or 3 of my flu antibiotics, so I was sure that this cold was going to be the death of me. El then bundled me up in one of his jackets and rolled me up in a blanket, and by the time the sun decided to come out for sure, I was toasty and LOVING it.
Wow! What an experience. I’ve never been on a game drive before so it was all a great adventure to me. We saw three of the Big Five (elephant, rhino and buffalo) plus loads of little duiker, birds, giraffe etc. We sadly didn’t get to see any lion and leopard – that would have been the best! – but any self-respecting cat would NEVER have been moving around in that cold morning mist anyway. Trust me. I know these things. The highlight of it all, for me, was getting to see the hyena. I could never, in my wildest dreams, have imagined how big and ferocious they are. They came right up to the vehicle, one with a kudu leg in its mouth, and gave us the hairy eyeball. Shiver!
Then we had breakfast and a quick game of football on the lawn at the hotel and in no time at all we were off to the St Lucia estuary for our 2hour boat ride. I had to keep reminding myself that we were just three hours from my hometown. St Lucia is a world heritage site with good reason. There aren’t too many places on this planet where could you see a 5day old baby hippo playing in the water, while you sip on a glass of white wine and listen to the gentle waves lapping at the side of the boat. The pic you see is of the sun setting over St Lucia. Breathtaking.
A sumptuous dinner of fresh, steamed salmon and grilled wild boar made it a day to remember.

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