Wednesday, December 9, 2009

South Africa – Tuesday, December 1

Last night I flew from Cairo to Johannesburg, arriving at 8:10 a.m. and had a three-hour layover there, which was just about the right amount of time to get through customs and trek to a different terminal to catch my flight to Port Elizabeth. I arrived in PE at 12:50 p.m. and was greeted by an enthusiastic Elder and Sister Miller. It was so wonderful to see Dorothy and Raymond again! I know they’ve only been gone a year, but I just miss my sister.

12-01-2009 003 Port Elizabeth - beachWe drove down to the waterfront and had lunch at a lovely restaurant overlooking the bay. The water is a beautiful blue and the beaches are wide and clean. I will have to make time to actually go to a beach so I can touch the Indian Ocean. After lunch we headed to Dorothy & Raymond’s house so they could change into play clothes for the rest of the day’s activities. I think they have lots of great things planned for my visit, so I’m just along for the ride.

12-01-2009 001 Port Elizabeth - had lunch here 12-01-2009 002 Port Elizabeth - Elder & Sister Miller

We drove about 10-15 minutes from their house to the Kragga Kamma Game Park. Absolutely amazing! I couldn’t believe there is a place like that so close to town. Dorothy says there are game reserves, parks, and sanctuaries all over the place. They’re serious about their animals down here. Kragga Kamma is home to many species, including giraffe, ostrich, white rhino, cheetah, zebra, warthog, springbok, waterbuck, reedbok, vervet monkeys, wildebeest, and so many others I can’t remember. In this park you drive through and look around until you see something. You have to stay in your vehicle but you can stop and look as long as you’d like. Dorothy was thrilled that we got to see most of the animals because others times when they have visited they haven’t been so lucky. She says it’s because I’m here and have brought them luck!

12-01-2009 010 Kragga Kamma Game Park entrance sign

12-01-2009 024 Kragga Kamma Game Park

 12-01-2009 020 Kragga Kamma Game Park

We came around one bend and the road led us directly to a group of 5-6 giraffe. We were able to get within about 20 feet of them—so cool! When we went through the cheetah enclosure (they aren’t allowed to run free through the whole park like the other animals), the cheetahs even ran near the car and stopped long enough for us to get pictures.

12-01-2009 030 Kragga Kamma Game Park

12-01-2009 052 Kragga Kamma Game Park

12-01-2009 047 Kragga Kamma Game Park

After all that excitement, we headed home for a delicious dinner of crockpot stew and homemade biscuits. After cooking for Andrew & Nancy for five weeks, this was such a nice break! And Dorothy is a wonderful cook. Their little missionary home might not be ideal, but she is doing a great job with what she has. But I’ve got to say, it’s a thousand times better than what I’ve been cooking in in Egypt! Their house has two bedrooms, one bathroom, kitchen, and living/dining area, plus a one-car garage. Just about the right size for a missionary couple, but Dorothy says it can feel pretty cramped sometimes. I’m sleeping on an air bed on the office floor, and there’s barely enough room for me to walk down one side of the bed to get to the desk where my suitcase is laid out. No matter; it’s just great to be here!

12-01-2009 062 Kragga Kamma Game Park

12-01-2009 072 Kragga Kamma Game ParkOnce dinner was done and cleaned up, we did our favorite thing—play Hand and Foot! Raymond is a real pro and beat us both royally. I think they’re just glad to have someone else around to play with.


SA Travel Online said...

I love this blog post and some of your others of your trip in South Africa. I run South Africa Travel Online and each week choose a travel blog of the week to showcase to our readers - and I'm pleased to let you know that this week it's yours. What's more, this puts you in line to win travel blog of the month. I've linked to this blog entry from our travel newsletter.

Keep up the great writing.

SA Travel Online said...

Hi Karen

Congratz! We chose your blog entries as our winner for southern Africa travel blog of the month. This also means you're in the running now for our blog of the year.