It took most of the day to get here. We flew from Cape Town to a dinky little airport near our final destination, which is Motswari Lodge. The airport looks like a couple of narrow landing strips with a big house at one end. Indeed when you walk into the "terminal", the waiting area looks like someone's living room. We were met by a driver who transported us to the Lodge, about 1hr20min away. Although I was feeling better (than dead) I was still pretty rough around the edges - very little sleep and no food for a while (afraid to eat). When we finally got here we were just in time for lunch so we convened in one of the several dining rooms.
This lodge is bigger than the other two we visited, with 15 rooms, three dining areas, and a "gallery" (a sitting room). There are 60 staff members so there are always at least two staff to every guest. That's probably about the same ratio as in most lodges but it's really obvious here. Anyway, I picked at a few of the various salads offered, ignored the meat, and drank a lot of Sprite. After lunch is the evening game drive - I sadly chose to skip it. I missed a lot, but it was the right thing to do. Being bounced around on the back of a non-jeep for three hours would have been a mistake. Instead, I sat quietly in a common room, blogged, emailed, read, and drank more Sprite. (you know I was not feeling well, if I hadn't yet graduated to wine). As I sat, vervet monkeys entertained me by sneaking up on the patio and sitting on the tables and chairs. They saw me there but didn't seem to care. After a bit I went to the room and napped until my roomie returned from the game drive. In my absence, they saw a lot - including white rhinos, one of which is quite pregnant and due any minute. We're hoping the big event happens while we're here.
Dinner was held in another outdoor room which is defined by a wall made of thin bamboo poles. Were it not for that wall, I am sure that the monkeys would be a problem. They are very naughty and bold (good traits in a human, tho) and have become enured to tourists. I cannot believe the food here. There are always two meats, several salads and sides, a starter, a couple of desserts, cheese board. . . . .jeez. . . .it never stops. And you know it was all prepared here in the middle of nowhere. If that's not enough, we dine by candlelight at beautifully decorated tables. Amazing. I was very careful and nibbled on very little. But I did have some wine so things are improving.
I'm not sure if I have discussed the protocol for moving from the dining area to your room at night. To me it is rather a pain in the ass, but I guess you can't be too careful. ("Careful" however, has never been one of my strong traits.) There are no fences around this compound, so anything from a monkey to an elephant could meet you on your way to your room. Therefore, you have to have an escort. Therefore, you have to interrupt some staff member to walk with you. I am not entirely sure how much more effective 2:1 is than 1:1 when it comes to elephants and humans, but OK, I'll be good. As such, I did not linger over the chocolate and port course, instead I was escorted to my room and crashed.