We have been so looking forward to a visit from Mark, Lisa, Spencer, Dallin, and James Astling. After weeks of counting down July 17th FINALLY came. And may I just say….WE HAD A BLAST.
Here is a run down of the places we visited:
- Kragga Kamma Game Park in Port Elizabeth (Rhinos, Zebras, Cheetahs, Warthogs, Kudu, Bontebok, Springbok, Ostrich, Wildebeest, Water Buffalo, Giraffe)
- Exploring the Indian Ocean
- Fish River Sun
- Hiking the Hogsback (The forrest that J. R. R. Tolkein roamed when he was a young boy)
- Spotting a herd of wild giraffe
- Many monkey sitings
- Dinner at the oldest tavern on the Eastern Cape, "The Pig and Whistle"
- Sunday Branch Meeting in Port Alfred and meeting with the great members there
- Staying in a Farmhouse at the Crags
- Monkeyland Park
- Birds of Eden
- Plettenberg Elephant Sanctuary
- Tenikwa Wildlife Reserve
- Plettenberg Game Reserve
- More Indian Ocean
- Visiting the World's second highest Bungee Jump (otherwise known as "A Dope on a Rope)
- Riding Segways through the Tiksikama Forrest
- Ziplining over waterfalls in the Tiksikame Forrest
- Eating a lot
- Teaching my grandsons how to play "Nertz"
Mark took over 2000 pictures. We took over 600. I will only post a few!
Who does not love the ocean? We found our first real live Starfish while exploring!
A highlight for me was when Marked screamed from the back of the van…GIRAFFE! We thought he was "pulling our leg" (not that he has ever done that before) but he was serious. As Paul and I have driven through South Africa, we have wondered if we would ever just see these animals running wild. It happened! This could have been a holding tank for some preserve, but we are going to pretend they were running wild. It makes a better story!
A family of baboons were playing alongside the road!
Two of our friends at Monkeyland!
This little friend landed on Lisa's shoulder. She motioned us over and he decided to take a turn with Grandma.
A dream come true for all of us. Walking with, touching (even rubbing his other end), and riding an elephant!
And a small sampling of some of the other game we saw.
"I had a farm in Africa"….well at least we stayed in a Farmhouse. It was charming!
Zipping through the trees and over the Falls in South Africa!
Whew! We made it. What an amazing adventure. President Wheeler and I felt so blessed to have our family with us to share all these adventures. This was the first time we had taken a break from our branch in nine months. "Oh the Places we Go" in South Africa. The beauty and bounty of this country is astounding. We are blessed. Thank you Astlings!