I am a planner when it comes to our vacations. I research the heck out of places trying to find the unique experience, the once in a lifetime moments in places generally obscure. The road that is not only not travelled, but likely can’t even be found on a map.
One of the things I have learned is that sometimes, between the magical moments you need to have a vacation from your vacation. Despite what is planned for the day, or the location we are in and the must do’s on the list – a day off from it all generally is one of the most refreshing moments.
After getting up at 5 am every day to bolt down breakfast and jump in an open jeep to see some magnificent animals in their habitat for most of the day – we decided that a day off was warranted. Instead of the aforementioned grueling schedule to ensure our time and money were well spent, we just hung out in our little cottage for the day.
Our deck has a view of the river which is teeming with life. Huge bull elephants lazily stroll by, mowing the grasses and sucking up the river water in their trunks. The occasional pushing and shoving takes place as the boys try and establish dominance, but soon enough they are rolling in the mud and splashing themselves with water. Cattle egret stretch their wings out, and fish for the small river perch, breem or tadpoles in the tannic waters. Tree squirrels curiously run up and down the posts, sometimes jumping on the thatch roof while chirping at the lizards. The ongoing buzz of the mosquitoes competes with the hum of the fan laboriously trying to keep us cool. Our bottles of cider are sweating in the heat, leaving watermarks on the teak table.
Leaves rustle in the mopane trees as the doves squawk their cry that sounds like “work harder, work harder”. Not likely. I needed a day off from the bouncing jeep, the game watching and the focused determination to make this an amazing experience.
Sometimes it is the pauses between the notes that sound the sweetest.