To the East NYC and Africa

We always spend some time in New York when traveling east.  This time we took a “walk on the wild side” to Harlem and the next day attended “Something Beautiful” the Carol King story a smash broadway hit. We loved the music and she had a great story to tell. We shamelessly have become foodies and enjoyed Italian food at Eataly, a reasonably new block long complex of small restaurants.

This African trip was visually astonishing, culturally rich and  educationally sobering. The 22 hours of dreadful flight time home was worth every minute of misery. 

We saw many sides of life, including a visit to Soweto and spending a sad day at the former residence of Nobel Peace prize winner  Nelson Mandella, and the Hector Peterson memorial for the victims of civil unrest of the 70s. We also visited the Apartheid Museum and had an in depth historical look at the system of extreme racial segregation from 1948 until 1994. 
We took the time to visit a local children’s home that provides shelter for abandoned babies, many of them HIV positive. It was heartbreaking!
We met Martha…one of the saints that provides care for these underprivileged kids. 

Our time in Africa included 4 days in Cape-town, where we visited the historic Malay quarter, Table Mountain… a striking landmark recently announced as one of the world’s new Seven Wonders of nature.  We dined at some really fine restaurants and shopped at the Cape Town Waterfront and enjoyed an excursion to beautiful Stellenosch located in the heart of the Cape Wine-lands.

From here we flew to Johannesburg and drove to Hazyview located just a few miles fro Kruger National Park where we went of a safari and viewed many animals. From here we went to Blyde River Canyon for some hiking  and then on to our lodge in the Karongwe Private Game Preserve. We did three safaris here and a “bush walk” Our guides carried rifles. 
We had many nice sightings….that included the “Big Five” …  elephants, cape buffalos, leopards  lions and the extremely endangered white rhinos.
For dinner, one evening, I feasted on crocodile, warthog, kudu, and worms. Delicious!! Gerry loved the warthog. (for no good reason)

Back to “Jo-Berg” where we stayed in an elegant 5 star hotel for three days and shopped till we dropped at the incredible Nelson Mandella Plaza.

Next… we flew to Victoria Falls  and checked into a fabulous safari lodge, where we stayed for four days and visited the falls on the Zimbabwe and Zambezi sides. We had great views from our room of a watering hole on a plateau of Zambezi National Park. The animals would come down for water at dusk and in the evening.

We crossed the border without much delay into Botswana and did a land and water safari. In Chobe National Park we must have seen over 200 elephants. There are 50,000 elephants in Chobe and the rangers “shoot to kill” all poachers. 

We flew back to Jo-burg for our torturous flights back home. The atmosphere in the airport was tense, there was a high level of security and the police would check and recheck passports, and carry ons. They continuously searched through trash cans. 

We arrived in New York at 6 A.M. and In Phoenix early afternoon Thanksgiving day, in time for Thanksgiving dinner….. Chinese take-out - Perfect!! 

No comments: