• Joanna

What Comes Down MUST Go Up Again...

Updated: Mar 21

Good morning!  Good evening!


... tired of hearing this all day and night...

Those are the things that GG says when he not only wants to ensure that he has our attention. On top of this, he reverses them with the view of playing a little game to see who’s paying attention  and “see who is awake”. I’m positive that not only does he think he’s being whimsical, but it’s got to the point where there might not be anything out there more irritating.


Nil. Zero things.

Anyone can tell when I’m exhausted (and I just can’t write anymore), because I end abruptly... which is exactly what I did last night.Spider in my bathroom... ... don’t care... ... out cold.

I really have to back up slightly... to the infamous Pizza restaurant that we went to, on GG’s suggestion / insistence. This was the place, where most of you may remember from my extensive GG summary / essay / thesisyesterday, where it would appear that the wife of the owner always flirts with him and GG is convinced that the husband thinks they are having an affair. As the world turns... in South Africa... on tour... with GG. The only reason we ended up at a pizza joint was because I made a feeble attempt to get Lisa and I out of what sounded like an absolutely hideous meal. Once again, the two of us were segregated and this time, at least we were both put in the same accommodation instead of leaving us in strange places, alone, having to fend for ourselves! Instead of walking back to the backpackers lodge that the rest of the group were staying in and enjoy a big pot of mystery meat sludge... I told GG that Lisa and I were planning on getting drunk and ordering pizza in.

It was all meant to just be funny....

Suddenly?


Boom! Pizza it was.

Lisa and I were the first to arrive and we took the outside table that the restaurant had reserved for us. The atmosphere was pretty impressive- they just utilized the sand and voila! there was their floor too. Enjoying an authentic oven-roasted pizza, in a beach town, with the sand between our toes. My only complaint was that it was a bit chilly and I instantly regretted not bringing a jacket, but we were situated right by the fire, so I quickly warmed up. We had not been seated 5 minutes, when the young cubby blonde waiter approached the two of us.

This is how the conversation went:


Waiter: This table is reserved. Lisa: Yes, we are part of the Hotspot Tours reservation. Everyone else should be here momentarily. Waiter: Oh... ok...

We noticed the puzzled look on his face as he struggled to find his words.


Lisa: Is everything ok? Waiter: Yes... sorry. I was confused. Usually this group is much younger.

As soon as the words came out of his mouth, he realized what bad form it was to insult us in such an ageist manner. I think that Lisa and I were more shocked than offended, but we did see the humour in it all. He made a feeble attempt to backpedal with tales of tables filled with toddlers... but there was no going back. GG was GG in true form all evening.


Our service, the food times and everyone’s meal was fantastic... and to be honest and fair, considering how busy it was., was nothing to grumble about.


BUT... when you’re a hospitality expert, you need to showcase your talents somehow... With GG... that talent was in criticizing.

The amount of mussels that Lisa got in her pot. The time it took to bring me a water. How many napkins were on the table. ... and more.

We begged him to stop... but there was no reasoning. I have worked in hospitality long enough to know a nuisance when I see one, and his behaviour last night led me to believe that his self proclaimed popularity may be only in his own mind. A true trait of a narcissist. The staff probably party every time he walks out the door.

At one point after dinner, he arrived with a tray full of Sex on the Beach cocktails... which he found amusing to no end. I suspect the restaurant gave them to him to shut him up after all his complaints, but nonetheless, they arrived in front of us. Not much excitement after that... it was back to the B&B and an early crash... again.

Garden Route Safari Tour... Day 3. Garden Route I have to say that it’s a sobering thought to be driving along and feel like you may perish at any given moment. Each moment in that vehicle, whether it was the slamming of the breaks, the squealing around mountainous steep & twisting roads, overtaking vehicles on the inside, the texting while driving... I sat in my little seat, quiet as a mouse, minding my own business and doing what I can only describe as the jerk dance. I jerk to the left. I jerk to the right. I jerk in an upwards motion. I jerk in a downwards motion. My arms go up in unison. I smack my face. My legs jump. I knock my knees together... the list goes on. What can I say?

He is a scary driver.

The Garden Route scenery seemed to curb my need to focus attention on my own demise.

Absolutely breathtaking views. GG pulled over once to allow us the opportunity to snap a couple photos. I could not help but laugh when he told us that we were not permitted to leave the pull-off parking area in order to go down the stairs to the actual view point... because it was dangerous. That was rich. I think that if I can handle four days with him behind the wheel, I’m up for just about anything. Botlierskop Game Reserve After my self proclaimed champion on wildlife conservation yesterday, (aka elephants doing tricks) I felt VERY apprehensive about visiting this game reserve. I am definitely learning the differences between private, public, sanctuary, zoo, rehabilitation site, game reserve, national park... and I’m sure there are more words out there to continue to keep me completely confused as I move forward in the animal kingdom. I got my safari!

This made the trip. Hands down.


I originally thought it was the milkshake... but I was wrong. I’ve been wrong before. I’ll be wrong again.

Finally- a real life safari with real live animals not being forced in to tricks meant to impress humans and drain our wallets! No exploitation. Just miles and miles of animals. Actually, that’s a lie. It was miles and miles of space for animals to roam. We were supposed to be doing everything with the other Hotspot Group van... but we were never introduced to them at all. Occasionally we would see them - whether it was at dinner, the gas station or passing them on the highway - and their guide really seemed to interact wth them, which I’m sure made a few of us twinge with slight jealousy.  We did get a milkshake though... so no real reason to complain.

Wonder if they did? I may carry that question to the grave. Anyway... All of us loaded in to a large Overlander vehicle to explore the reserve and search for wild animals. The game reserve was a 4,200 hector private reserve, equipped with luxury accommodation, restaurant, pub, gift shop, wedding venue... etc etc etc... though we only stopped for the day to do a 3 hour safari. No one got married and I think that I can speak for all of us on tour, that no one could fathom to afford the accommodation.

The truck was big and anything but comfortable... and each & every single one of us probably looks like we were beaten up on one side of our body, as we were bumped up and down over the dirt roads and thrust in to the steel bars that kept the side of the vehicle secure. The game warden stopped each time we saw an animal and got as close as he felt comfortable with - and would tell us little tidbits of information about them. Example: Did you know that the Rhinos will always dedicate in the same place. They won’t soil everywhere with their dung. They pick a location and that is where they go every time.


I loved it. Even watching the giraffes try to bend down and get water.

It’s so difficult for them. If they bend down for too long, they’ll pass out. Or they’ll be attacked by a predator... or both. The interesting facts are just rolling in for me today. But, truth, I did love it. Every minute of it... except for when it got a bit chilly when we headed up in to the hills. But the driver brought us blankets. Added touch. The other group was 8 Brazilians, who I hazard to guess, were more obsessed with taking selfies than listening to the guide and learning about the animals & area. They were all wearing a lot of makeup too... and very tiny, tight clothes. Odd.

But the selfies were out of control. Smiling, not smiling, serious, intrigued, duck lips, lip stick...on knee out, other knee out... hair up, hair down... And when the selfies ended, the other girls taking photographs began. Maybe they’re Vogue models.  I don’t know. We toured all over looking for lions, but alas... they hid from us


.Jerks.

The driver made a valiant effort and kept retracing his tracks in and out of one particular area, all eyes on deck... slowly, slowly, slowly.... driving over fauna and foliage... and not a bloody lion in sight. He must have been tipped off earlier to their location because he spent an astonishing amount of time in this one location, going back and forth, over and over again. In the midst of us all “Wondering Where the Lions Are”... someone in the Overlander piped up with the comment, “What comes down MUST go back up again.”

Everyone was silent... almost confused...and then I decided to speak up. “I don’t think that’s necessarily true... “ Unfortunate, but it definitely makes for some good thinkin’... We knew that the lions had to be somewhere, because there were an unusual amount of skulls lying about. At one point, we had to make a detour because an enormous male elephant, his mate and their baby were walking towards us. I think we would have been trampled had we opted to continue on towards them.

I am not too upset that I didn’t see a lion, as I know that I have a few more weeks of safari in my life.


My animal list so far...

  • Zebra

  • Giraffe

  • Springbok

  • Antelope

  • Gnu

  • Elephant

  • Hippo

  • Rhino

  • Ostrich


Not bad for 1 week!


When the truck returned back to the lodge, we freshened up and then sat down to enjoy lunch. I am definitely not shedding the pounds in this country, as the food has been nothing but 5 star delicious & decadent, and I am tempted by everything put in front of me.

From the Game Reserve, GG drove us all the way back to Cape Town. I think that the drive was 4.5 hours and he did it in 2 minutes. I slept most of the way, and as soon as I arrived back at my exceedingly odd accommodation, I took off in an Uber to the Waterfront to do a little sight-seeing, a little shopping and a little jet-lag-fuck-offing! More on that tomorrow...

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