Saturday, April 28, 2012

Dinner Al Fresco

Duma Tau - Botswana

Dear Dorothy

I crashed for a while in the afternoon until a dream I didn't like awoke me. I was a little disoriented and really really wish I had been able to find a clock at the airport in SeaTac. This having to boot up the computer to find out what time it is, is not the most efficient way to know what time it is. And on this trip time is a very important thing. Wake up 5 am. Escort to the dining area at 5:30. Get on the bus Gus at 6. Return at 11. Dine at 11:30. Free time until 3:30. Tea at 3:30. 4pm "Bus Gus" again. 7 pm return to camp. 8pm dinner. 10 or so pm bed. And there is very little flexibility in this. I can understand because they are used to herding 20 or so guests at a time to various sights, but it still is a little rigid for my traveling style.

My Limo

Speaking of rigid. After this morning’s game drive for lunch I opted to sit at a different table than my Rover companions. The woman running the room was insistent that I sit with my group and not the current one. I told her I knew them already and these were new to me. She was very insistent so I got up to move and one of the guests at the table asked/told me to remain. 

 Okay back to chronology. After my nap we all met on the veranda for tea before heading out on safari. You know? I can't tell you what we saw. I think I fumed the entire time over it being "Sharon's Safari" and being totally an empty seat on the Rover. I mean good God woman, don't you ever shut up? Are you aware that there are animals in this area that are NOT mammals and are NOT over 100 pounds? You are missing out on the birds, the tortoises (sp?) and the flora (unless it is backed by a sunrise or set).

My bladder was about to drown the entire jeep before we started to head back to camp. I was looking forward to getting back to camp hitting the "loo" and washing up before dinner. On the way the radio crackled and Bobby said we are having a 'Bush Dinner". Sigh. There was a circle of Tiki torches around a fire pit, with the bar to one side and the meal preparation along side and the potty in the bushes (the potty at least wasn't a slit trench. More of a seat and plastic bag below. After a toddy or two and conversation clusters we were seated at one long table. Some big wheel from Wilderness Safari was there and Jim, who has been on several Wilderness Safari trips buttonholed him at the King's end of the table. My conversation area was a couple from Chicago on their honeymoon, a former rock band drummer from D.C. and the ever present guide.

The staff formed a choir and with women in front and men following began a call and refrain song as they circled the fire and danced before the guests. They sang a total of three songs and to be honest after visiting the 'loo' the evening was looking pretty good. Dinner was yam and coconut milk soup. Grilled pork chops (pretty tough but flavorful) also Bream fish and several vegetarian things like salads and such. Dessert was an apple something. Of course there was a white and a red served with the meal and then after dinner drinks. At the appointed time (possibly Sharon's time) Bobby found me and said it was time to go.

Back at the camp I made hasty feet to the shower and to bed. My Barnes and Noble Nook told me it was 1:12 pm in the US of A so it must be 10:12 in the Democratic Republic of Botswana. My math was fuzzy about then and I wasn't sure if it was the 10th or 11th hour so just shut it down for the night and called it a night.

I lay in bed looking out the screen wall to the delta watching the lightning flash on the far horizon. The next time I remember it is O'dark thirty and I have the makings of a sinus headache. I hit a low point then. I want to feel better. I hate the Eskimo's. I can't sleep. I want to go home right now. Oh, poor, poor me. Life is the worse it has ever been.

I took an Aleve and did my usual “try and stop a sinus headache before it turns into a migraine" ritual. By the time 5 am footsteps on the walkway sounded I was doing better and by five thirty I was almost human. After two doses of that magical elixir called coffee the crowd chanted "She Lives!!" and the birds sang and the angels rejoiced.

We started searching for the endangered African Wild Dog but years of ranchers killing them, loss of habitat and probably global warming have diminished their number to endangered status and we couldn't find a yip or a yap at all.  So we went in search of lion.  Mammal? Over 100 pounds? Sharon was orgasmic. Her daughter Robin was lost in her iPod. I was along for the ride.

Nap Attack

We did find a pride of half a dozen female, a few immature males and no King of the jungle. He was off at the bar or watching a football game I assume. I shot several pictures. The ones I hope come out are the ones with the lions yawing showing their pearly whites and the close up of the teen aged princes' balls as they lay on their backs airing their tummy's. We watched until we all got bored, even Sharon removed her eye from the viewfinder long enough to actually see something NOT through the lens of Japaneese glass. So Bobby called it good and we went back to the camp for Rest, relaxation and refreshment.

Lunch I've already covered so I guess we again up to date.

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