Sunday, December 20, 2009

Africa Again

I’m in South Africa 4 days now!!

The trip from home to O’Hare in the Chicagoland area didn’t take any time at all. Has to have been the fastest ride to the airport I have ever taken. NOT a single orange road construction barrel out there!!!! It is an unusual occurrence for a Chicagoland Interstate Toll Road… and has to be a first since I’ve lived here. So I checked my bags, (which were considerably under weight), got through TSA without a hitch and proceeded to the gate; where, since I was early, waited 2 hours to board the plane. The flight was uneventful… on United which is saying a lot.

So for all the talk about long lines and cramped travel…. I noticed that both Chicago O'Hare and Washington Dulles are deserted. Not many travelers on the concourses; at least in Terminal C at O’Hare or Terminal B in Dulles. They say the plane is full going from N American Continent to the Dark Continent… but I did manage to have my seat switched from a center to an aisle…. Would have preferred a window, but I hate centers… You never get an arm rest in the middle.

The plane to Africa was full. There were 1 or 2 vacant seats, but of course not next to me!!! I don’t know if it is just me or what, but on flights in the US I just about freeze to death. I always take a light jacket to put on. The flights to Africa are warm, very warm; I just about roast. But I got here in one piece and in great shape. I landed at my final destination at 10 pm on Wednesday evening. I left O’Hare at 11 am on Tuesday!!! I did manage to get a fitful 5 or so hours of nap time on the plane which left me in good shape to catch up easily with a regular nights sleep.

On Thursday I got through the whole day without a nap!!!! Surprised everyone with the quick body clock turn around. I got unpacked and discovered that TSA had searched one of my bags and somewhere the other bags lock and the tabs the lock goes through were broken completely off, and the contents of my bag had been gone through…. Nothing missing as far as I can tell. But the one bag will be history when I get back to the states.

After I unpacked, I took a walk on the beach and promenade. It was hot and a bit humid. I even got a little sunburn. I took a couple of photos. One of the pictures is of the beach. This is the South African summer, so school is out and this is the major holiday/vacation spot for many South Africans and some from interior countries too. So the beaches fill up, the umbrellas are toe to toe, and there are lots of people on the beach, as you can see in the photo. (To see more photo detail or a larger version, remember, just click on the photo and it will take you to a larger view.)

I snapped a portrait of an African Daisy again, but this time with a bee. I like the shot.

On Friday, I had to go over to one of the local resorts to look into a rental car. They have a small pond with some Macaws (Scarlets and Blue and Golds) with a small pond with some Wood Ducks. I really liked the face on this guy.

The Indian Ocean is rife with sharks, but there are also Whales and Dolphins. So the other morning looking out the window I spotted a pod of Dolphins. Not that you can tell that much from the picture, but it is Dolphins.

And last but not least today, we went to a flea market/street market, where mostly handmade goods are sold. Mostly African, but there were some East Indian stalls with food and clothing, some linens and some Tupperware too! I picked up a couple of things… but I didn’t go hog wild. I know we will be going to some other places, so I save a couple of dollars/rand to spend elsewhere.

I took one other picture, a red hibiscus flower. It bordered an old garden along the waterfront. Since South Africa will be hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup (Soccer), they are in the midst of fixing up lots of public areas. I think that along with the waterfront, the garden is also getting some attention, it was fenced off and not really looking to well cared for.

Christmas will find us at a Farm, celebrating with a very large eclectic 'family' of friends. We will be semi camping in the wilds. I can't wait to see some more of Africa.

I hope everyone that reads this has a joyous Christmas!!!

and as always-

More Later!!!


Karen S said...

Love love love the colorful picture of the beach! Happy to hear that you arrived safe and sound -- have a wonderful holiday, yourself!

Becky said...

As usual, facinating pictures and stories! Have fun!!

Sherri said...

Hiyas Beth! I just stopped by to say thanks for posting on Ziva's blog. Axel is a VERY handsome fella! I am very curious to see how big Ziva gets. Our beloved Nina (she passed away this past April) was a little GSD, weighing in at 70 pounds. I think Ziva will be bigger!

Wolfie said...

Happy to hear you made the trip safe and sound and - will be spending the hollidays with the dh= yeayyy:-D As always your pics are outstanding, love the one of the beach and the hibiscus one...oh lala.
Axel is such a gorgeous boy and I love the inteligence shines through his eyes. Kind of happy you never made it to the bow, the Kong works great enough:-) Hugs and Love from us here in Sweden

Anonymous said...

Hi Beth. Thanks for the email that alerted me to this blog. Ilovebeing able to travel the world without actually having to go. The photos are terrific, and I look forward to more as the odyssy (sp?) continues. Chris Sass