Last post – last words

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Travel [trav-uhl] verb, -eled, -el-ing: 1. To go, move, or journey from one place to another. She travels to improve her mind.  He travelled the country 2. to journey through or accross (and area or region). 3. to know not where you are going next (and be happy about it). 4. to stand at the top of a mountain and look down on a land you’ve never seen before. 5. to avoid the crowds. 6. to sleep in places not even on a map. 7. to eat food which you never knew before was food. 8. to discover more about oneself than you ever would have done at home. 9. to broaden your mind.

Thank you to everyone who followed our journey.

THE END

 

 

 

 

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A few friends we met along the way

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This trip wouldn’t have been the same if we hadn’t of met some wonderful new friends along the way, who shared laughter and a few wines with us. 

Then there were a few fury friends we met…

 

Home sweet home

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Our trip has sadly come to and end.  We are back in Australia with family and freinds, and last week we were reunited with our car, The Beast.   But a bit of a recap on the last month and a bit since we have been back…  stopped over in Perth for a few days for a reunion with a few bottles of Aussie red wine in the Margaret River region.  Then it was a quick two day stop in Brisbane for some of Mum’s home cooking, then off to see Dad and drive our other car back to Brisbane while we waited for The Beast to arrive.  Settling back in to work has been difficult, but we still have many memories to fondly think back on, and wonderful new friends to stay in touch with. 

 

 

King of the Jungle

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Our trip up to Kruger, for one last shot at tracking down some lions, was a success!  1 day, 2 nights: 9 lion, 3 rhino, 2 hungry hyennas, stacks of buffalo, zebra, giraffe, hippos, bucks, and of course elephant.

We were most impressed by two young lions who were sitting next to the dirt road just after sunrise, almost like they were waiting for us.  We turned the car off and sat and waited for a short while.  They walked towards The Beast, roared a little, and stared right up at Nic sitting in the passenger seat.  “Waldu, wind the window up, quick, he might jump in.”  No, they were only interested in hanging out around the car.  When a tour group came they walked ahead a little, turned and walked back to The Beast again.  One even laid behind the car and had a nap.

A few hours later we were stopped by a lion and lioness taking a casual mid morning nap on the side of a main road in Kruger.

Catnap

Lions weren’t the only animals to stop in the road, and cause mini traffic jams.  A rhino ran out right in front of us, as did buffalo and we saw our fair share of ‘zebra crossings.’  But it was on our first night in Kruger when we got up close to the wild animals.  While we were sitting around the fire, we spotted a spotted hyenna approach the fence that seperated the campsite from the wild life.  He was followed by another larger one.  They both proceeded to patrol the fence for hours, putting on a great show for us.  Was Nic scared?  Not at all, but…

Later that night we were woken up by a large crashing sound.  First thought: An elephant has broken down the fence (eek), second thought: an elephant has broken down the fence and will come for our water (alarm bells), third thought: We’re (ok, I’m) not leaving this tent to go see what it is.  We peered out the tent window and saw our neighbours return to their caravan so thought it couldn’t be anything too major.  Mind you, they had the protection of a caravan if indeed the fence had come down and the wild animals were coming through the campsite.

As the sun started to shine we could see the real situation.  A huge tree in the campsite next to us was rotten and its’ branch had falled down over the site and over the fence, pushing it half way down and creating a nice little bridge for the hyenna (or any other animal) to climb over.  Even more frightening was that we were going to camp at that site but at the last minute decided to swap sites for one with a bench seat and put up with the smell of sewerage water.  What a blessing – we weren’t flattened, and we got to see the hyennas up close.

All in all it was a great way to spend the last safari of our trip and spend a few more days camping together, albeit in pretty cold conditions. But who can complain when you get to see all this.

Water Babies

Warm Up

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We are heading off to Kruger National Park today to warm up after the cold Jo’burg weather started to set in last week.  To get back into the safari spirit (warm up – ha ha), we decided to head to the local Rhino & Lion Park for some wildlife spotting on a smaller scale.  We packed the car with snacks and invited Waldu’s nephew, Henric, along for the day.

We were not disappointed…rhinos right next to the car as soon as we drove in the gate, lions and lioness, cheetahs surrounding the car (not to eat us of course), wild dogs napping next to us, a snake show, vultures, lots of boks, zebra and then there was adorable animal crèche with South African baby animals as well as jaguars and tigers (Simon, tigers in Africa!).

 

White lion cubs

Male lion

 

Sleeping Wild Dog

 

Cheetah

What happened to Scottie?

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Scottie, from Scotland, is still with us.  With a constant threat of wild animals he is usually kept in the safety of the car, but every once in a while he pops his head out for a quick pic.

 

 

 

In Zambia we left out while we set up for dinner, and when we turned around a local lab pup had a firm grip on his ears and was taking him for a run around the campsite.  Thankfully no damage done.

End of our journey

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We are now at our end destination, J’burg South Africa, which means our amazing, thrilling, and at times, challenging, road trip through Europe and Africa (and that first leg on the Trans siberia through China, Mongolia and Russia) has come to an end.   We have a month left to enjoy time with family and friends, then a few days in Perth, and a family reunion back in Emerald and then in Brisbane.  Our journey of a lifetime is sadly coming to an end, but we have loved all of it…and doing it together has been the biggest reward.

31 countries in 9 months…with perhaps one more to go if we can sneak in Swaziland before we head home.  Sadly we missed our 39 country target due to lengthy delays (and costs) in shipping from Italy to Kenya, which have seen us drop our America leg, for now anyway.

Highlights, more pics, and some post trip comments will come, but for now, we are safe and well here in South Africa.

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