For the record, the setup for blogging here is the most irritating i have ever encountered. The tool bar is set up by an idiot.
The year was 1991. My friend called me long distance and said "Come"! I had not seen her in twenty years. I didn't miss a beat. I said yes.
So began one of the many adentures of my life. I have been countless wonderful places in the world since then but none of them....Russia, Hungary, Romania, England, Egypt, Israel, France, Mexico, the Ukraine, Jordan....touched the wonder of South Afrika.
From the beautiful presentation of a protea as a welcome to the beautiful mountainsides of planted tea, to the Indian Ocean's dolphins and whales, the tall Zulu warriors and the thundering wildebeest, the enormous elephants, wild cats, ostriches and hipppos, to say nothing of rhinos, enormous herds of impala,, cape buffalao and other exotics, Afrika was mind boggling. The scenery, the size, the night sounds, the amazing roads, the babboons on the car hood, the monkies, the dolphins and whales, the emus, the bird life, the LIFE of the place was overwhelming.
I fell deeply in love.
In Durham I learned the true meaning of Indian food, indulged and cooled my mouth with coconut. I ate impala in so many casseroles I hoped i could find impala in the meat market at home. I learned emu on the grill takes like steak and that alligator is not so bad.
We parked along the side of a medium sized lake where a huge variety of game on the hoof came to drink. Up the side of a grade at the top of the hill lay a young lioness trying to hide behind a fallen tree. She was crazy visible, but as she couldn't see down the hill, she assumed she was hidden. I could see the game ringed lake in my rear view mirror slightly behind us. Suddenly, in a flash, the lioness raced down the hill, her powerful shoulders fueling her enormous paws as her nails dug the dirt. She powered forward, her tail high and waving like a flag announcing her coming. She was running straight at us. I quickly put the window up, like that would protect me!...and she quarter-horsed on a dime and cut to the left of us, charging across the road in front of ecstatice National Geographic photographers and their huge telephoto lenses.
She raced around the water's edge and slammed into all that meat on the hoof, who were shocked and nervous but not running away. They seemed to know she was new at this, that this was practice time and that she wasn't even hungry. She stared up at them, then turned and trotted back across the road and up the incline to pretend-hide behind the fallen tree. My friend and I were franticaally shooting film the whole time, seeing this incredible sight through a lens.
The lioness made one more run before wandering off down the other side of the incline. This time we abandoned our cameras and just enjoyed her play, her well muscled body, her beauty in motion as she made her moves that would later mean she'd feed well, mate and have cubs. My friend and I felt we'd been let in on some life mystery as we watched this dance imprint on all her firing neurons. The memory is as alive in my mind today as it was 23 years ago. Gosh, was it really that long?