Sunday, January 3, 2010

No More Elephants!

Not all that much happened today. Well that's not entirely true. We saw some interesting things, but mostly today was dominated by Elephants. Which would have been amazing a week ago, but – you know how it is – just like Giraffes and Springbok, these big guys are totally played out.

Isn't it strange how jaded you can become? I mean when I get back to the zoo in Toronto, I'll either yawn at every cage, or think about how delicious they taste. Seriously – that's how I travel. If I see it, I want to eat it. I'm told Elephant bush meat is quite good, but only the locals can obtain it. Curses.

We drove along the road known as the Elephant Highway. Every thirty minutes we would stop for elephants just off the road, on the road, or crossing the road. And every time, more and more pictures would need to be taken. I mean, sure, we'd seen a good number of them already today – but they were still elephants. So shot after shot was taken, as we watched the giants eating, bathing, doing their elephant thing.

Sleep was always reached for on the truck, but then BREAK! More elephants, and it was back to being awake.

We spent the last of our Pula in town, getting ready to cross over into Zambia tomorrow, and then headed out for a sunset cruise to view more wildlife.

On the cruise we saw a great number of hippos, some antelope of all kinds, a crocodile here and there, and then – of course – more elephants. This time there was a great herd of no less than twenty of them, making their way in parade down to the water to drink, and splash and play.

Yes, yes, I'd seen elephants – but there they were again, and so another fifty or sixty shots were taken. All of us on the cruise were thinking of just how many we'd already seen, but – you know – there they were again, so one could hardly avoid snapping a few more shots.

Truth being told, on the boat I more remember Hamish's bottle opener being broken, and Courtney's strawberry cookies. I mean, the animals were good too – but the little things like that are starting to stand out more and more.

Not to downplay what we saw – because it was amazing, but...

On the way back we saw one more elephant. This one had come to play. It ran into the water, at a hippo, thrashing at the beast with its tusks, as the hippo dove for safety. The boat driver told us we needed to get back to dock, but Eric's words seemed to sum everything up nicely: Apparently you don't realize that there's an elephant fighting a hippo!

The diver was compelled to stop. One wonders how much trouble he could have got in for leaving the park an hour later than he should have. Still – elephant hippo fight is almost as cool as a man vs. baboon monkey fight. And one never forgets their first man vs. baboon monkey fight!

Back at camp we stayed up playing spoons, and then headed off to bed. Tomorrow would be a very long, very late day.

After all, tomorrow was New Years Eve.

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