Category Archives: A Year Ago
Today last year was one of the most amazing days of my life. We drove into the Okavango Delta in Botswana, sort of ‘lost” our way and nearly ended up stranded in water and mud, out in the wild. Luckily Gerrit, our driver knew what he was doing, and we were lucky!
We pitched camp, made a fire and ate quietly. Off to bed early to the sounds of the animals: hippos, hyenas, cats….nothing beats this!
The next day we left the Delta and headed back to South Africa, where we stayed at the Heia Safari Lodge outside of Joburg. Highly recommend the place – the zebras drink from the pool and giraffes and various types of “antelopes” run wild. A wonderful cross over back into the “real” world.
I know what a lucky girl I am (really). So in this spirit when I was going thru my photos from today last year, I had the pleasant memory that I was at a very special place: Elephant Sands Camp in Botswana. It was the second day of our big African tour last year and we spent a few nights at this really cool and low-key camp, where the elephants are wild and in the evenings walk thru the camp grounds to drink out of the swimming pool. I was astounded by how huge they are being so up close. At one point we had gone back to the 4×4 to brush our teeth when the elephants arrived to drink. They were walking thru the camp and we had to walk calmly from one tree to another, staying still as they strolled by us close enough to touch! They meander amongst the camping vehicles, with super light feet even managing to avoid tent lines. Amazing.
We had ended the day with ultra-light flights above the area, a really neat and sort of scary sensation, but the closest I’ve felt to flying.
The next morning we packed up the truck and tents, heading for the Zambezi River and the Great Victoria Falls!
If you ever need some addresses or tips on the area, I’d be happy to share my address book!
No snake here!
I can’t say that I’m complaining too much here in Cap Skirring with sunny skies and mid-80s temps, certainly compared to last year when I was walking the dogs amongst the vines of Burgundy with sub-zero winds blowing down my coat collar! Don’t get me wrong! I love certain aspects of winter: quiet snowy days and roaring fireplaces. But once the holidays are over, I can’t say that you’d have to twist my arm too hard to get me on a flight towards a warmer clime!
So, back to snakes: yes, I did see one, just yesterday! Bumpy and I were sitting on the terrace around 3 pm and I saw a “stick”. But I’ve seen those sorts of “sticks” before, it’s the kind that move! We called for Ibrahim (our caretaker) to shoo it away (another term for “please completely remove the creature as you best see fit”). He went after it, but the meter long reptile slithered away to safety. Ibrahim said it was not one of the dangerous kind, such as the spitting cobras which wander these areas, but I still am not a “Fan” of snakes! Are you?
In a week from now I’ll be at Charles de Gaulle airport, waiting for an early morning flight to the Casamance. What awaits is a beautiful beach, hopefully warm water, fresh fish off the “pirogues”, and lots of time to…..
“Wistful” is the word which comes to mind when I look back into last years’ images from this time. Not with sadness! But with longing for a stroll thru the ancient streets of Sienna, followed by what I can only imagine as an amazing lunch of pasta, meat and a rich red wine….
Lake Como, Italy at end of January is pretty neat: obviously not packed with tourists, just the locals. Sales were going on in the shops and restaurants had available tables!
Leaving France thru the Mont Blanc tunnel, on the way to Italy. The kennel where we wanted to leave the dogs was not open despite having made a reservation! So they came along with. What troopers! While in Como, they lived in the back of the car and in our hotel room. Lots of city walks awakened their
And two years ago we were enjoying the sunshine rays of Senegal, while under the watchful eye of our neighbor!
One year ago we were still in Beaune, about to leave shortly for our South Africa/Botswana/Zambia/Namibia trip. There was quite a bit of snow in the vineyards and I spotted these little fluffy snow flowers!
Two years ago we had just arrived at our place in the Casamance (Senegal) – this cutie pie followed our team of workers down to the beach, all the way from the village, and quickly adopted us. We gave her the name “Mischief”, which she lived up to!
It’s quite cold in the Periord right now, but we’re lucky to compared with many other parts of Europe, including Paris which has almost been shut down due to snow!
So, this time a year ago we were hunkered down in our Burgundy “home” – the snow was about to arrive….it was beautiful to see the surrounding vine-covered hills all dusted white. I particularly love how quiet it is when it snows….the dogs love the quirkiness of it all!
You know for the life of me I can’t remember where this is! I think it’s somewhere between the Dordogne and Burgundy, but I can’t be more exact. I also remember that there was a photo I wanted to take, but did not ask Bumpy to stop the car, and then really regretted it.
The top photo was of an Abbey that could be visited, but as usual we were there during lunch hour, so no luck.
Oh my! I got it! It was the abbey thing which got me going: this is in Burgundy: it’s the Abbey de Fontenay (website) – north west of Beaune and Dijon.
Whew! Now I know where I was! Well, I suppose since I’ve not really “been” there, it’ll have to be on my to-do list for next go-round “en Bourgogne”!
Funny how a year later I’m in a “home” not far from these dear friends of ours. They used to be our neighbors, became friends and now we consider them family. I am speaking of Jean and Yvette, not the chickens! But really, J & Y are salt of the Earth people: they have a “potager” (vegetable garden), heat their house with the wood that Jean cuts from year to year and Yvette cooks food for the fowl in a big heavy iron pot in the fireplace. They lead a good and simple quality of life.