Departure day.Multiple shuttles left throughout the morning to make the four-hour trip Durban and our subsequent flights into Johannesburg.
Crash – staging a sunrise fly-by for the photograghers
Somehow – and I’ve no idea what transportation Gods blessed me for this small miracle – I lucked out and secured a spot in Nic’s pickup truck rather than the smallish minibus the rest of the group would travel in.John and Amy, two divers from New York, sat in the back andJohn – a retired journalist – joked about our auspicious transportation, “I’ve learned through the years that you should always travel with the Generals.They always have the most comfortable mode of transportation.”
Amen to that.
Once the seventeen divers-turned-safariers arrived at the hotel in Jo’burg, we met for dinner The Butcher Shop Bar and Grill.The restaurant was a cavernous establishment with meandering rooms and walls covered in wine bottles. A butcher counter was available for those diners who wanted to select their own cuts for dinner. On the counter was a selection of biltong – dried beef – of various game and flavors. My favorite was the chili beef, though the ostrich was tasty too. For dinner, Evvy and I split a sirloin and a baked potato, though quite by accident since the kitchen had forgotten to make E’s steak. Luckily we’d ordered the exact same meal and neither of us were particularly starving. John ordered an appetizer of sardines which he shared with me and I was quite surprised to find it so delicious. Ironic (or perhaps fitting), considering we’d just spent the last week swimming with them.
The mood of the group was surprisingly cranky tonight – a factor of the early morning wakeup, the long drive to Durban, the flight to Jo’burg, and a few logistical complications. It will be nice to get to Botswana where we can bike off some of this excess energy.