Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Feeling The Stress And Worry Melt Into The Surrounding Bush

I don't like people all up in my personal space and when we woke up on Saturday morning refreshed from a good night's sleep, Mark and I both agreed that having 8 people or even 6 would have reduced the lodge into a small little chalet with everyone on top of each other and we were glad it was just us. I had enough of that when we used to camp and our campsite always became the communal area. Obviously having Chad there and even a friend would have been better, but not anyone else. I would have been stressing over people damaging stuff, leaving marks on the table or breaking stuff. As it was Mark and the table in the kitchen were like bees and honey and I was constantly grabbing glasses just as he was about to put them on the table. That is a bit of exaggeration because I was not stressed one bit, but Mark did have a crazy attraction to the table. As we sat down for dinner the night we arrived the stress of the past few weeks just melted away.

Stranger things have not happened in our lifetime. Mark wanted to go to the restaurant at the Mjejane River Lodge for breakfast and I insisted that we make breakfast, because we were trying to eat healthy foods and we brought all this food with. To be honest bacon and eggs are far from healthy but a breakfast buffet that could have muffins and croissants and danishes would have been far less healthy and very tempting. I am normally the first to rather go out to eat than cook.  We had been sitting on the patio upstairs watching the birds in the tree on the other side of the tiny fence talking about how easy it would be for a leopard to climb up the tree and be on our balcony in seconds, because the branches of the tree in the Kruger Park came right onto our balcony. Whilst I was still sleeping Mark sat on the upstairs balcony and saw some buck. The only animals I had seen were the Wildebeest; Zebra and buck when we had entered Mjejane Game Reserve and thought it was highly unlikely that anything but a buck would come near the fence, but entertained Mark's imagination none the less.

Whilst I was showering and getting dressed, Mark made us bacon and eggs and Woolies Low GI Health Bread. I took this photo of my breakfast because it looked so good, put my phone down and started eating. Mark was on my left and tucking into his food and I was facing left talking to him. Something drew my attention to the right and there was this elephant you could barely see about 50 metres away. It was so exciting to see an elephant even though you could barely see it. It was  even more crazy that I was the one who saw it because I am the least observant person ever. I don't notice things at all. It made me wonder why I was so insistent on making breakfast and not going to a restaurant for breakfast and what made me look across to the right when I was facing left.

Three other elephants joined the first one and we could hear how they were breaking down trees. Next thing one came ambling down to a manmade watering hole right by the fence that had no water in it. It looked like he was coming straight for us and he knew there should have been water in the watering hole. We have since found out that they are no longer allowed to fill up the watering hole and although it seems cruel I guess it does affect the law of nature. I won't lie it was exciting and nerve wrecking at the same time watching the elephant getting closer and closer. We ran upstairs to watch from the upstairs balcony and obviously we were just that much safer if the elephant decided to walk right over the tiny fence - being electrified would not have deterred the elephant. Each lodge has a tiny plunge pool and what was stopping the elephant from coming to drink water out of the pool when he realised the watering hole was empty. He didn't obviously and just wandered back to the others.

After our exciting encounter with a wild elephant, we went for a walk to the restaurant, where I had a coffee and Mark had a Passion Fruit and lemonade as we watched the bird life along the crocodile river.

Mjejane Lifestyle is a premier reserve and the only residential estate that has a private bridge into the Kruger Park. The River Lodge is the commercial resort, the bush lodge where we stayed is a shared block and there are private stands and lodges.

We didn't go into Kruger - it is a 20km drive to the Malelane Gate and only 4x4's and SUV's can cross the bridge. Of all the cars Mark has he chooses my little Getz to go away in and we often go away in it if we go for the weekend because it is so much lighter on fuel. I don't think we missed out on anything by not going into the Kruger Park and we saw three of the big 5 and we were only there for a day, but more of what we saw in my next post.

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