We woke up at 5am this morning because we were invited to go on an optional sunrise safari if we wished. Most of us said yes but there were 5 people who said no 2 who couldn’t see anything and who had said they had been on enough and the elderly lady a sighted guide who decided she had had enough of safaris decided she would also stay in bed and 1 of the other sighted guides a younger one decided it would take her too long to get ready so she still got up when Jo P woke up but she was able to slowly get herself ready not having to rush for the safari. We got to the meeting point at just before 5:30 and boarded the jeeps so we could set out on time. Off we went again to see if we could find the lions again which we managed to do and again they had recently had a kill but were still eating this time so weren’t so visible especially for us VIs but we could hear them eating and as soon as we got to the lion area I got this incredibly strong smell which nobody else could smell and it hit me it was that strong! I couldn’t believe that not many others could smell it but I asked Paul and he said he could smell it as well so it wasn’t just me lol! It was the smell of rotting flesh and bones which had obviously been rotting because of the heat of the sun and all the bones were piled up in a specific spot which is quite clever and something which I found fascinating. We then followed the lions to the watering hole but it was still dark so we could only hear them drinking but it was a lovely sound :). We then went onto see if we could find the elephants and we did find them, there were apparently 3 but they weren’t easy to see so I didn’t see a lot apart from when one of them walked across the path in front of us to follow the other 2 who had already gone through the trees. We then tried to find Giraffe and we found footprints but no actual giraffe but we then decided to go to the water hole as we had only seen 1 rhino when we arrived and lo and behold there were 3 just lazing around by the hole sleeping with birds cleaning their backs which was really sweet. It is incredible how the birds and animals work together. We stopped at the water hole and had tea/coffee and flap jacks which were really nice but I chose not to have any tea/coffee first because i don’t like it and I didn’t want to need the toilet. After we had had a break we made our way back to camp slowly watching and listening for any other animals. We got back just after 8 I think and went straight for breakfast quickly before heading back so we could pack our bags ready to leave for our long journey home! We were all really sad to leave and couldn’t believe our wonderful time in Africa was really over :(. We grabbed our bags with the help of Sicelo, Sunny boy and Dumi and we went for a brief walk before saying our goodbyes to Jenny and the guides and boarding the bus were we would have a 2 hour journey before our first break which was a glass blowing shop where they made all kinds of things out of glass but they also had other shops all locally made things so we went to order our lunch and then went to have a look because I wanted to buy some bracelets for my family just as a little gift and we then went to a shop and they sold prints so I bought a print with the big 5 on and the Zebra which is beautiful and will be going on my wall and I bought a giraffe keyring, a magnet and a warthog made out of soapstone for mum hoping it would all go in my suitcase lol! I blame my sighted guide as I was told off by Jo M because I said I couldn’t buy anymore and what did I do! Lol. We then had lunch and then headed to the ladies loos before hopping back on the bus for the next leg of the journey which was to be the service station we stopped at on the way to Africa so kind of bittersweet knowing it was the beginning but now also the end of our trip! We just had 15mins to buy what we needed food wise and toilet break and get back on for the last 2 hours to the airport. We arrived in good time and we got trolleys to carry our luggage and we said our goodbyes to Sarah who was flying to Cape Town the following day, that was a sad moment as I had really got on well with Sarah and we had some good times and good laughs together and she was such a lovely lady who had had a hard year but was still was so cheerful. We then went to get checked in which Jack had under control . Howard needed an extra luggage bag so he went to get that and we waited with everyone and talked about different trips etc and I just wanted to make sure that I didn’t hold anybody back which thank goodness nobody said I did :). We waited at the check in desk and in front of us were some diplomats who were faffing about having some fingerprints done which held us up so we were getting annoyed with them for making such a fuss and we were just about to go into the normal queue when they finally finished so we could go through security. I had forgotten about a can I had in my bag which came up on the scanner but fortunately the guy was nice but I didn’t realise at first what he meant I thought he had said “do you want your cane in your bag” lol but figured it out in the end lol! We then went and had a look around and bought some water etc before having something to eat and a much needed hot chocolate for me which was delicious. It was then nearly time to go so we went for a little leg stretch and had a look on the departures board where the time said 19:30 which really confused us so we both checked our phones and it was something like 19:50 so we then decided to make our way to where Jack was waiting and we were one of the first actually this time which we were pleased about. Once we were all here after people had gone to the toilets we began to board the plane as soon as it opened. Jack told us our seats and we were debating who should sit where so my sighted guide sat by the window I sat in the middle and a VI gentleman next to me in an aisle seat because of his long legs. People were piling on the planes putting bags up and finding their seats, we were asked to look after Chris because his sighted guide was sat quite a way away which we said was fine. We then had some people in front of us a couple and their daughter who decided near on immediately that they wanted to recline their seats now I was fine because the mother did it first and I was short so it was ok and didn’t bother me apart from at dinner time when it got a bit squished but I didn’t want to cause a fuss but then around 9ish or so not quite sure the little girl put her chair back or red anyway and I think it scared the gentleman so he fought back bless him and made sure she couldn’t put her seat back anyway I managed to calm him down by talking to him about why he became a vegetarian but then when the dinner came the people in front caused a complaint and he rung the buzzer for our flight attendant to come but the little girl also pressed hers so it created a massive problem and am uproar which lasted for hours and I really wanted to get some sleep but anyway in the end they went off to sort it out and bless Jo M who came to sit next me to keep me company whilst it was being sorted, I really appreciated that as I was getting really wound up by the whole thing cause I knew I wouldn’t get much sleep anyway but I wanted to get as much as I could but Jo talked to me and kept me company so that was really kind of her.
They then came back and basically he just had to accept that people are allowed to put their seats back which I didn’t really agree with but understood but people have to have a bit of respect for the people behind them as well which they didn’t seem to have. We also had people and a little girl who was really poorly and apparently had food poisoning bless her. Anyway we then went to toilets and got settled for the evening and finally in the early hours of the morning managed to get some sleep at least.
My last holiday blog post tomorrow…
Forgot to say yesterday that we had a couple of drinks for our last evening in Swaziland we had a meal together and I finally was able to buy Jack and Jenny a Sebebe which they were happy about and they so deserved it we then finished and went outside and Jo P got me to try some Amarula which I really liked so got another. It was a lovely evening and we had a wonderful chat together as a group and after the Amarula I felt a bit emotional and said I needed to give Jenny a hug so I did and we then went to bed.