Page 7 of Laura421 Travel Blog Posts

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Okavango Delta February 16th 2017

Geo: -19.0933, 22.4451 Another rest time, unplugged from the internet, which is very enjoyable until I think about the thousands of accumulated emails I'll have to begin to deal with once we reach Victoria Falls, still a week away. Most of the group seem to nap during these hours, but I prefer to shower in the heat of the day, meditate, and write. And, of course, just gaze out at the beautiful landscape, and listen to the sounds of Africa. It is a paradise here, different from anyplace else I have travelled. When I was a camp counsellor in my late teens, the young staff used to meet by the lake at rest time, swimming and lying on the dock, resting and chatting in the sun, enjoying our break from the children, our 24/7 responsibility. This ... read more

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Okavango Delta February 15th 2017

Geo: -19.0933, 22.4451 All night long we heard hippos bellowing not too far outside our tents, plus -- one of my favorite sounds in all the world -- frogs singing for mates. I had my best sleep of this trip so far, waking at 5:30AM only when one of the staff walked by, calling a good morning to each tent. Dressing quickly in the dark, I walked to the main hall and learned that two lions had visited our camp last night, right after everyone had left for the evening. There were their tracks, and where they had lain down, in the mud at the foot of one of the short stairways leading into the dining area. So it is good we are told that no one should walk around at night, although of course, lions ... read more

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Okavango Delta February 14th 2017

Geo: -19.0933, 22.4451 Waking up at 4AM today had not been my plan, but going to bed by 9:30PM ensures adequate sleep. Plus, an elephant was trumpeting and snorting outside, not too far from my cabin. What a treat to celebrate our last night at Baobab Lodge! It was sad to leave this part of Botswana and all the lovely, friendly people at this lodge. But more African adventures beckoned, and another group was scheduled to arrive this afternoon, so our group had to leave. While two lucky members on our tour got to fly in a 4 seater, the rest of us flew in a little 12 seater SSW to the Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta waterways in the world. I've always enjoyed flying in small planes. When I was little a friend of ... read more

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Chobe National Park February 13th 2017

Geo: -18.5421, 24.5105 Drums waking us again at 5:30AM, our typical wake-up call, our Chobe National Park safari again began as we boarded the jeeps an hour later. But this time we were searching for animals for the whole day, not returning to lovely Baobab Lodge for lunch and quiet time. The Baobab Lodge staff promised to provide PB&J sandwiches for our picnic lunch, but we should not have been surprised by the amazing feast that was presented instead, and served to us in the wilds of Chobe NP. Moses was the driver and guide on the jeep I was riding in today. Even as the jeep was climbing up the severely rutted road from Baobab Lodge, we saw two giraffes, a mama and her big baby. Like the kudu, giraffes seem to use standing still ... read more

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Chobe National Park February 12th 2017

Geo: -18.5421, 24.5105 Since first reading Alexander McCall Smith's books on the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency series years ago, I have wanted to come to Botswana. What a stunning country it is! We arrived yesterday, a group of twelve of us travelling on OAT's Ultimate Africa trip. The Baobab Lodge is our home for three nights; this is a beautiful, remote camp in the wilds of Botswana, in my opinion much too elegant to be called a camp. Our tour guide is Sku, a very handsome, delightful and enormously knowledgeable guide. We are lucky to have him as our leader on this trip through these African countries. When I woke up this morning the almost full moon was pouring its light through my big front window. I just stood there looking out, watching this beauty ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg February 10th 2017

Geo: -26.1951, 28.0339 I have no sense of what time it is, although my adjusted clock says it's 8:10PM, South African time. After spending the last few days travelling halfway around the world, the better part of today and yesterday in planes, I am again on the ground, almost ready for sleep, and most definitely ready to begin a real African adventure. I've been to this continent before, my youngest daughter and my exploring Egypt and Morocco on our own, but this adventure will be seeing some of the real Africa, with safaris into the wild national parks and private wild expanses in the bush in Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. I almost didn't make it here to Johannesburg today. A massive snowstorm sprung itself on Boston early Thursday morning, the morning of my departure. Bill and ... read more

North America » United States » Maine December 24th 2016

Geo: 44.9653, -69.1086 Christmas Eve is magical, always my favorite day of the year. As a child, the anticipation was heightened to an extreme level; Christmas Day could not approach the delights I felt the weeks, and especially the day before. Now, of course, the anticipation is much muted, but Christmas Eve remains my favorite day of the year. But why? The concerts are over, the presents either mailed out weeks ago or wrapped, sitting safely hidden for distribution late tonight or early tomorrow morning, most baking has been finished, the tree trimmed, all of the "chores" done, so why do I love Christmas Eve best of all? Because it just happens that when we are so focussed on one specific day, that day usually disappoints in comparison to all that led up to it. We ... read more

North America » United States » Maine September 28th 2016

Geo: 44.6111, -69.335 This past weekend (September 23 - 25) we spent both Saturday and Sunday volunteering at the Common Ground Fair in appropriately named Unity, Maine. The fair is one of the events offered by MOFGA, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, and has been running since 1977, although it's moved to three different locations over the years, mainly to accommodate the increasing numbers of people who attend. In this tiny rural community, over 60,000 people can be expected to come over the Fair weekend. I love the Common Ground Fair! Its focus is to celebrate organic living, farming, and gardening; it appeals to alternative type people, people who basically buck many typical American approaches to life, people who use herbs and homeopathy instead of allopathic medicine, people who homeschool their children, people who ... read more

Europe » France August 1st 2016

Geo: 43.9486, 4.80597 It is August already, and our last days on this tour are being spent in ancient Avignon. I have wanted to come here for decades, since a slightly older friend of mine (she was a junior in college, but I was still in high school) spent a semester studying in southern France. Her travels were unreachable for me back then, impossible financially, and, at that time in my life, mentally as well, although I could vividly imagine all the wonders she described, places that I dearly wanted to experience for myself. As a teenager the way I travelled during the summers was by hitchhiking, expanding my borders by hitchhiking all the way north to Canada, and south to Kentucky, with friends I'd met (as a counselor) at summer camp or even a few ... read more

Europe » France July 31st 2016

Geo: 44.0563, 4.83163 As of last night we are in Chateauneuf du Pape, in the region of Provence. Our boat has docked in a most beautiful spot on the Rhone River, pulled into what looks like a little byway where no other boats could possibly moor. At least for awhile. And we are on the river side! So lucky this time, as we look out over a green peninsula on the other side, fish jumping, no trace of civilization, and no lights. Such a gift! I kept the door/window open so I could look out at the beauty of the night whenever I awoke, which was frequently, as lightning storms played over us while most passengers slept. It was a glorious, happy night. But this morning I awoke to noise, and saw another boat pulling up ... read more

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