Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hot Air Balloons Over the Savanna

I have to admit, for an area that is only one to two degrees south of the equator, it is much colder than I ever expected...or packed for. Rather than a hot, humid rain, this was a chilling rain that soaked through cold very quickly. When we returned to the lodge and dried out, we went up to the bar for a drink. One of the men very nicely built a fire to warm me up and dry out my jacket that had gotten quite soaked. It was quite pleasant sitting by the fire, typing on the blog, and watching the bat flit around the room, snatching up mosquitos. Everything is open air here, doors open as well as open spaces ventilation and air circulation so critters routinely check out the insides of the buildings.

We woke up bright and early the next morning for an early game drive. We stepped out of our tent to discover a brilliant sunrise. Absolutely breathtaking. Walking towards the lodge we were able to enjoy the changing skies. It's one great advantage to being in the country. The drive was still crisp and cool with the wonderful scent of rain. Sadly, it also meant that there were more watery, muddy roads but fortunately, they were not churned up into a huge mess at that time.

The early morning is also when they take people up for hot air balloon rides. There were five balloons in our area, floating through the sky, searching for animals. I had wondered why there were so many vans following...but then saw the breakfast setup for them. They brought tables and chairs, tablecloths, napkins, the works. Also the meal was hot, prepared, not the box meals we always get on the road. A very different dining experience out in the plains of Africa.
Although we did not soar through the sky, we did get to see cheetahs on the ground. These two were sauntering down the road, I believe just for the benefit of the extreme number of vans tagging along. They rolled on the ground, cleaned themselves, talked to each other and then continued their stroll, knowing they had satisfied their adoring fan club.

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