The next day we headed off (very early) for an amazing day in Hluhluwe/Umfalozi Park. Inside the comfort of our rented Honda Jazz, we cruised through the park. There are so many pictures in this post and I think they can speak to the amazingness of the day with limited narrative.
Impala: the most abundant of antelope in South Africa
Apparently, it's really rare to see a hyena. This one crawled out of the bush and onto the road right in front of our car. It saw us, stopped and posed and then went on its merry way.
Rhino! #2 of the big 5!
Giraffe may be my favorite animal. They are so beautiful and extremely graceful for a creature whose middle name might as well be disproportionate.
Eeek this one was so cute!
We watched this rhino trot across the street right in front of us. It was so massive and it's horn actually made me squirm a little but man it was adorable. I guess you get caught up in how chubby and cute they are until one tramples you.
Beautiful, beautiful zebra!
Elephant! #3 of the big 5! I was ok with it being this far away. Apparently they can be quite vicious close up and personal.
Ok ok. So we didn't get to see any lions or leopards. But 3 of the big 5 in two days is pretty good. I am pretty sure my travel buddies got tired of me saying "Where are the kitties!?" throughout this trip. Sorry dudes.
What really completed the experience for me was that we were surrounded by this beautiful landscape. I have sort of become a nature fanatic over this trip. When you're in a country this beautiful, you just can't help yourself. The animals were completely serene and at peace and the park itself was absolutely amazing. Keep in mind that this is winter!
After a couple of hours of driving we decided to go back to St. Lucia and headed straight to the estuary, the proud home of a pretty beach and some fat hippos!
The next morning we ambitiously got up to catch sunrise at the estuary. I have been seeing a lot of sunrises on this vacation and they have really put a lot of things into perspective for me. No matter how shitty things get the sun continues to rise and fall. The pure routine is ecstasy itself: no matter how bad today is the sun will inevitably go down and come back with tomorrow. Sheesh. Deep stuff.
You know what is just as beautiful as sunrises? New friends. St. Lucia also brought (the long awaited) entry of one Mr. Patrick Martin-Tuite into my life.
Pat is interning in Cape Town this summer and we had heard through mutual friends that we had to meet. We discovered that we were destined to be the best of friends over shared biltong pizza and sangria. You'll be hearing a lot more about Pat when I go to Cape Town (!) towards the end of my trip.
Honestly though, it's sort of been a tough week. As I look through these pictures, I can't help but smile because this is what my life is in South Africa.
dreaming (of better weeks, biltong pizza, and seeing penguins in Cape Town),