First off, today was my Uncle Ted's internment back at home. He was on my mind all day, as I couldn't be there to say my final goodbyes & be with my family, but before I left Canada I did get to spend a memorable evening with him, and he told me to go out and have fun in Africa and to make sure I didn't leave anything uncrossed off my bucket list. So I found it very appropriate that today, Andy & Garry sort of 'surprised' me by taking me to walk with lions! Uncle Ted would have approved :)
Arriving at the Botlierskop Private Game Reserve, our guide (Mac Newton) went over the rules associated with walking with lions (never crouch down and never turn your back to the lions - no selfies! And never walk ahead of them. And no excitable shrieking - dammit!!) We also had four additional guides whose job was to simply monitor the lions and correct any behaviour should the lions become aggressive. It was quite the production! Heading out into the field, I honestly thought I was reliving an episode of the Amazing Race - it was exactly like we saw it on TV!! The lions, although only 2 years old, were already huge and very agile. We were even close enough to them at one point that we could hear them panting in the heat! (Have I mentioned, its HOT here??!). The walk lasted an hour through the South African dusty terrain and afterwards, the high was awesome! I JUST WALKED WITH LIONS! IN AFRICA!!!! Again, I had tears streaming down my face with happiness. What a rush!!!
Heading home we stopped in at a butcher's place to pickup some local game: kudu and springbok and wildebeest! I learned I am a huge fan of all of these meats - so tasty!! We also stopped in at the potato farm to buy some blueberries (yes, that confused me too!) and that night we were invited to attend our first ever braai - kind of like a BBQ but with coals and wood over an open fire. The party was great, the wine was flowing and the meats were all delicious!!