HIking, Travel

Spain & Portugal


There’s never enough time and we went vegan in Spain!


November 16 we set off on a whirlwind through Spain and Portugal.

November 16-18 – We took off late on the 16th for a long flight to Madrid with what was supposed to be a short layover in Lisbon. It wasn’t short, we missed the connecting flight and were stuck for about 8 hours. That meant we lost 8 hours in Madrid which was already going to be a short one. So the moment we landed and checked into our hotel we headed out to wander the streets and see as much as we could.

We stopped by Palacio Real de Madrid and Plaza Mayor and then the rain came… So we grabbed something to eat and headed back to the hotel. That is about all we got done in Madrid and bright and early we headed off to the train station because it was time to move on!

November 18 – Córdoba is a cute little town just a quick train ride from Madrid and we spent a few hours taking in it’s wild history. Right across from the train station there is a bus station where you can store your bags in lockers for the day, but get there quick as there is very limited space.

Once we were bagless and oriented we headed to brunch at Maddow, an adorable cafe with awesome vegan friendly treats. We just chilled here for a while and watched the sleepy street.

Around one o’clock we had a guided tour of the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba, it’s the thing to do and the history of it is unreal.

After our tour we walked around Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos and then it was back on the train to head to Granada.

Ohhhhh Granada, this would be our longest stop and it was a wondrous place to linger.

We first stopped off at this little flamenco bar/restaurant, Le Chien Andalou, to pick up the keys to our Airbnb. The Airbnb was perfection, just off the Paseo de los Tristes–Granada’s most romantic street–with unbelievable views of the Alhambra from the roof-top terrace we couldn’t have picked a better spot. Even the little courtyard was something out of a fairytale.

After getting checked in and cleaned up we headed back to Le Chien Andalou to get some food, drinks, and authentic flamenco entertainment. This little hole in the wall was literally a hole in the wall, it’s a cave. It’s quite busy and small so you need to make advance reservations (ask for the front seats) but it’s such a good show.

November 19 – Alhambra day! This palace is just beautiful and historic. We didn’t do a guided tour but probably should have, there is so much information about how this place was built and I’m sure we missed things. It’s important to get tickets well in advance and be on time to your scheduled entry as they only let a certain amount of people in at a time. A very sad woman in front of us missed her entry time and was denied access she had come from Russia to see it.

It takes a good 4 hours to wander through the Alhambra so we spent most of the day getting lost in all the rooms and buildings of this fortress.

November 20 – Favorite of all the days. We had always planned to do a full day of hiking in Granada, we originally considered renting a car and finding some trails in Sierra Nevada but the weather was a bit against us and they were covered in snow while we were there. So we decided to not to rent a car and it was kind of awesome.

We walked quite a few miles just to get to the trail but we got to see so many small towns and just daily life along the way and it was totally worth it. The actual trail is Los Cahorros de Monachil and it is so cool. Loads of hanging bridges and interesting terrain. In all we walked a bit over 21 miles that day and by the end of it I was exhausted.

November 21 – Best laid plans, like getting up to watch the sunrise over Mirador de San Nicolas, go down the drain when you walk 21+ miles the day before. So we didn’t see the sunrise but we did see the view, the sunrise over the Alhambra would have been unreal so if you can get your lazy butt out of bed, do it. Our last day was spent wandering through markets, visiting the Museo Cuevas del Sacromonte (Cave Museum), and drifting around several historic bathhouses.

The end of the day was spent being pampered at the local Hammam. These Arab baths also include a massage and and special surprises that were perfect for our sore bones. It was a relaxing end to our beautiful adventure in Granada.

November 22 – Adiós Granada, hola, Sevilla. The trip between Granada and Sevilla is…interesting. We bought train tickets but it turns out that the train lines haven’t been built yet, so we ending up riding bus after bus after bus and then finally a train. We also had some trouble with our hotel reservation but after a bit of a rough start Sevilla became my favorite stop.

Once settled in our sweet, suite we headed out into the rain to do a quick stop at the Plaza de España, the best time to go is in the rain because no one else was there! The evening was spent eating and drinking and once night arrived we popped over to Metropol Parasol (heart eyes!)

November 23 – Back to the Plaza de España all morning. This city is just a fantasy, I mean look at that tree, and the dirt is mustard yellow (the color of my soul). We spent our last day getting lost in all the parks and touring the Alcazar of Seville. By evening it was time to say goodbye. Note: the airport in Sevilla took about a minute to get through so no need to arrive super early.

Hit the ground running in Lisbon. We walked up to Parque Eduardo VII to watch the sunset and along the way spotted the best little trolleys. We also stopped to watch the Elevador de Santa Justa and . This city is so interesting and built on hill after hill so there’s not just trains to carry you there’s an outdoor elevator.

November 24 – First stop! Healthy breakfast at 8 Health Lounge. Amazing vegan options here. I will say that of all the cities we visited Lisbon was by far the easiest to navigate for vegan food. We grabbed tickets to Castelo de São Jorge and ventured around the castle with its sweeping views of Lisbon.

We decided to walk the length of the riverwalk to the LX Factory, a series of shops, restaurants, bars, and basically a 24 hour arts fest. This would have been the perfect time to rent a bicycle but we didn’t think of it until we were nearly there. At the LX Factory I purchased a yellow bike bell from Happy Bicycle and it’s now one of my most prized possessions.

We continued down the riverwalk to Padrão dos Descobrimentos where we took the elevator to the top for more awe-inspiring views of the city. At the top it started to rain a bit so we took an Uber back to our hotel to rest a bit before taking an evening stroll around the streets of Lisbon and picking up a too pretty to eat gelato (my one non-vegan moment on this trip).

November 25 – Our last day and so sad to leave we said tchau to our hotel, grabbed a breakfast crêpe and did as much more exploring as we dared before getting an Uber to the airport. The airport in Lisbon is kind of crazy and you need to get there early as boarding begins well in advance due to the way it’s set up; you’ll likely board a bus to get to your gate.

Chicago greeted us with a warm and beautiful sunset but even still Spain and Portugal left us wanting to return and spend much more time basking in their rich cultures.

HIking

Starved Rock & Matthiessen


Labor Day, the perfect time for a day trip to our southern State Parks, and apparently every family ever thought the same. We’ve visited these parks before (some of these photos are from our other visits) but I’ve never seen it so busy and filled with screaming children. I don’t love crowds; I love that more people want to get outside and enjoy nature but I usually go hiking to get away from the people.

Anyway complaining time over and lesson learned, we made the best of it. Patience was the theme but we could all use a little more of that in our lives. We hiked for a few hours and enjoyed the waterfalls and though I’d avoid both parks on high traffic days here are some other tips to enjoy your time.

1. Go early – This is true of every park but the earlier you arrive the more likely you are to, get a parking space, enjoy alone time, and get there before people start leaving trash around…

2. Wear shoes you can get wet – Much of the park trail is in or through the revines and if it’s rained the streams can be deeper than the stepping stones. Too many people spend all their time trying not to get their feet wet and I have a secret…they are going to get wet. A father spent 5 minutes yelling at his child because she fell in the stream during a crossing and her shoes got dirty. Kids can’t balance. Adults can’t balance. You’re hiking and you should be wet and dirty by the end of it. Be like Franklin and plow on through.

3. Visit both parks – Matthiessen is my personal favorite but both have waterfalls and nice trails and they’re 5 mins from each other so go to both, but start with Matthiessen.

Backpacking, HIking

Porcupine Mountains


It’s been a year since our last backpacking trip and I need to get outside!

July 20th we set out to meet a friend in the Upper Peninsula and explore the Porcupine Mountains.

We all met up at a campground in Hiathawa National Forest near Pictures Rocks National Lakeshore for one night.

July 20 – We decided to do a boat tour since we only had one day at Pictured Rocks and it was awesome. I highly recommend doing a boat tour, if we have more time I think a kayak tour would also be really amazing. The views from the water are so beautiful and you can see so much more in a short time. They also have complementary dog kennels so, though Franklin wasn’t thrilled, we had a place he could stay while on the tour.

July 21 – The next morning we got up early and drive the 3 hours to the Porcupine Mountains, picked up our backcountry permits, and headed up the Government Peak trail toward Mirror Lake. Around 8 miles and 1,000ft elevation gain. The trail was fairly muddy and somewhat difficult to keep our footing but overall a great start to our adventure. There is no view, at least in the summer, at the top of Government Peak but there is a sign that lets you know you’ve made it.

We ended the day at Mirror Lake (site ML-1). The camp site is not on, or even near, the water but it is a large site with a fire ring and bear pole and it’s up a little hill so you’re away from the trail. We went to sleep super early because we were exhausted by the end of the first day.

July 22 – The start of our longest (by miles) day we headed out to conquer the whole of the Little Carp River trail. We got up early and we were all still feeling a little sore so we decided to skip the trek up Summit Peak. I think for us this was the smart choice but maybe it’s worth it to go there, we may never know.

Other than a few river crossings the trail is fairly flat and even though it was 13ish miles relatively easy. Even the river crossings were pretty simple, the usually had stones to step on and it’s shallow so if you fall in just your feet get a little wet.

We got to our camp really early which was wonderful because it was by far our favorite site (site LS-7). Right on the shore of Lake Superior we were able to swim in the cool water. Filtering water from the lake was a breeze because it’s basically already crystal clear.

The only downside was the waves. At first you’re lying in your tent thinking “oh this is lovely, hearing the waves as they gently crash against the shore” and then an hour later you think “oh my gosh, waves can you please shut up!” We also had a storm roll in which was a little scary but no rain actually fell. Just huge bursts of lightning and thunder for maybe 30 minutes. I would not have traded those views for a silent night though.

July 23 – Day 3, the Big Carp River trail, another long day with a literal uphill battle. I like to save what I think will be the best views for the last days, when you’re tired and you don’t really want to hike anymore but then, bam, those views make it all worth it. Day 3 did not disappoint. We had a few more river crossings but by far the difficulty came in the elevation gain. The Big Carp River trail ends at Lake of the Clouds and you have to hike up up up to get here.

We picked campsite ES-2 and though it was fine I would absolutely recommend sites BC-1, 2, or 3 as they are right near the edge of the cliffside (not unsafely near) and still away from most foot traffic. Our site was right on a busy trail but with no view. It’s very busy at the Lake of the Clouds Overlook since there is a parking lot about a quarter of a mile from the overlook but that was about the only busy area we came across.

We hiked around 9.5 miles with an additional few miles back down to Lake of the Clouds to fill our water; I recommend filling while you’re still near the Big Carp River, the Lake of the Clouds water is super gross and took a long time to filter. It was an exhausting day and with just one last day to go we went to bed super early to get an early start.

July 24 – Last Day! With just 4 miles back to the car we started our day just at sunrise and it was lovely. The last leg was down (and sometimes up and then back down again) the Escarpment trail. If you were to only do one trail I’d choose this one. With sweeping views of the lake and river running mostly along the cliffside it’s just beautiful. We made it back to our cars fairly quickly and said our goodbyes. Until next time friends.

Dogs, HIking, Travel

Devil’s Lake


The dreaded July 4th, where our neighborhood exhales the sounds of war and Franklin cowers under a table for weeks at a time. While we can’t leave Chicago for the whole month of July–that’s how long the fireworks persist–we can leave for the long weekend and what better place to enjoy the silence than a little town outside of Madison.

We have a backpacking trip coming up and needed to get in as many straight days of hiking as possible to get some training in. We started set off early, as we usually do, to drive up to the Brooklyn Wildlife segment of the Ice Age Trail. We hiked 9 miles and it was horrible. The trail was insanely overgrown in most places with briars and thorns, the mosquitoes were the worst I’ve ever experienced (see photo below of me whipping my hair around to try to keep them off me), and though he had plenty of water Franklin got overheated which was a little scary but he came out fine. Still we made the best of it and certainly earned our showers and soft beds.

The next day we headed to Devil’s Lake State Park. It was a much nicer day and though it was hot we thought Franklin could swim from the dog beach areas if he got overheated. We were wrong, as soon as we go there we saw warning signs for “swimmers itch” I’d never heard of it so we did a quick search and it’s parasites that get under your skin and cause a rash. Yuck! And it hurts dogs much worse than humans so no swimming for Franklin but luckily it was cool enough and Franklin had no problem with overheating.

We hiked up the East Bluff Trail from the south which means a decent elevation gain with some rock scrambling. I love this trail, we’d done it once before and even though there’s no real risk–the trail is well maintained and they’ve built decent stairs from the rocks–it feels rugged.

Since it was a holiday weekend the park was fairly busy but we made the best of it and hiked around maybe 6 or 7 miles.

On our last day we wanted to get another long hike in so we started out in Madison and hiked the Capital City trail to the Capital Springs Dog Park, one of the largest dog parks we’ve ever seen. The trail is meant for bikers and we saw a few but since it was a grey day and had rained most of the morning it was fairly desolate. It’s a relatively boring trail along a mostly industrial area but it served us well for training. See you later Wisconsin!

Running, Travel

Milwaukee


It’s time to give up summer, I know, I know, it’s nearly the end of October but I really like to hold on to summer for as long as possible. But the air is chilled and leaves are turning so I’m embracing the autumn with open arms.

For the last few years we have made the drive up to Milwaukee for one of our favorite 5Ks, the Milwaukee Beer Run. On our way, and in keeping with our new found love of fall, we stopped by Richardson Adventure Farm to eat some (ok a lot) apple cider donuts and take glamour shots of Franklin with the pumpkins, and he got to meet a goat!

We made it to Milwaukee and our Airbnb was so cool! Nestled in the middle of a beautiful garden we stayed in a little cottage off of the main house at Sanger House Gardens.

Milwaukee has so much to offer, beer, pretzels, markets, cheese, cheese curds, cheese everything. There’s more than just food of course but when in Rome as they say. We brought our bikes because Milwaukee is a wonderful city to explore by bike; though there are more hills than in Chicago so our fixies made us work a little harder.

After a wild 5K–think whipping rains, gusty winds, and getting smacked right in the face by multiple leaves…In. My. Face.–we stopped by Milwaukee Public Market for lunch and then it snowed! I said I was embracing fall not winter! It was just a dusting but quite unexpected.

Just a quick weekend trip so it’s back to Chicago for us three, hopefully it’s not snowing there yet.

Camping, Dogs, HIking

Ludington State Park


Fall camping trip! Just about every fall we meet up with our Michigan friends for a quick weekend camping trip. This year we visited Ludington State Park and it did not disappoint.

The perfect blend of forest terrain and sandy beaches Ludington is a great end of summer spot. This one falls under the “small adventures” category so there’s little to tell but we stayed at Cedars Campground, which is where most trails begin so we would just pick a direction and off we went!

The only trail I know we took is the Lighthouse trail which follows the dunes along Lake Michigan. We had a great time and I’m sure we’ll visit again.

Backpacking, Camping, HIking, Travel

Paria Canyon


Long road trip. Short hike.

Many of our friends are teachers so if we want to adventure with them we usually have to wait for summer or in this case spring break. We decided to embark on a 4 day, 38 mile backpacking trip to Paria Canyon which crosses through Utah and Arizona.

One of the best things about Paria (other than it’s remote and beautiful) is that you can bring your dog (off leash)! So that meant a tacking on a road trip from Chicago to Utah but it also meant we could travel around to visit a few national parks as well.

But Franklin, our dog, maybe had too much fun, too fast. Here’s a quick video about what happened to him.


You now know the untimely demise of our trip but this is how we got there.

We set out on a lovely day in March with our first stop at our local dog park since we had a lot of hours of sitting in the car ahead of us. We made a lot of stops along the way to make it fun but it still was a lot of driving. I used roadtrippers.com to plan our trip and loved it. On day one we stopped at:
– The Iowa 80 Truck Stop “World’s Largest truck stop”
– Thornberry dog park in Iowa (we went to a lot of dog parks)
– Monument to the First Train Robbery in the West
– A giant Volkswagen Beetle Spider (Iowa you’re a little weird)
– We meant to stop at Holy Family Shrine but missed the exit and only saw it from the road, it looked awesome

Road trip day 2 started at Fort Cody Trading Post but we also made stops at Bighorn Park Off Leash Dog Park and some Giant Soda Cans. Not nearly as many official stops as the day before but we stopped at some random quick hikes around Colorado (because they are everywhere) and pull offs in Utah, I couldn’t tell you where we were but no matter where we were it was lovely.

We made it to our first real destination on March 25th. Bryce Canyon was our first stop. There aren’t too many places where you can bring a dog at most National parks so we covered Bryce Canyon and Zion in one day. If you don’t have a dog with you give these parks the time they deserve, Bryce Canyon is my personal favorite.

Next we picked up our backcountry permits in the lovely city of Kanab, checked into our hotel and packed up our bags!

Hike day one where our small tragedy began. We met up with our hiking buddies at Lees Ferry campground (where we were meant to end our hike) and after picking them up we drove to White House trailhead to begin! I did quite a bit of research on the best path for us and decided to follow this awesome blogger’s plan (yay for other people doing the legwork!)

Everything was so beautiful and we really loved every minute. Franklin (our dog) just ran and ran and was so happy. Once we made camp we noticed that he was acting really strange and though he normally holds his tail up he was unable to lift it. He also wouldn’t poop because he couldn’t hold his tail up so that’s when we got really nervous.

We decided to wait for morning to see if we could go on but he was having the same problem in the morning so we made the hard choice to go back. We just didn’t know what happened; it turned out to be a sprained tail that just needed to heal on its own but we didn’t want to chance it in the backcountry. We hiked back and then scrambled to find a place to stay for the next 2 nights.

We ended up finding an Airbnb where Franklin could recover for a full day and then headed to Lake Powell for some much lighter hiking.

Since we lost some good hiking time we found some other gems to visit including a, most hidden, trail used by bikers that is on the back side of Zion National Park, a Dessert Botanic Garden, and the well known Horseshoe Bend.

We weren’t quite ready to head back to Chicago so our last major stop was to the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is not my favorite place. It’s fine, some people love it, I just don’t. Maybe it’s the crowds or how tourist-y it’s become but it’s never been a go to place for me; I’d seen it before and wasn’t a fan then either but everyone should see it once.

Our road trip home was through Route 66 so you know we made a lot more stops including:
– The World’s Largest Petrified Tree
– Petrified Forest National Park (an out of this world place with blue and purple sands
– The continental divide
– A giant red arrow
– Cadillac Ranch (super cool)
– VW Slug Bug Ranch (super creepy)
– Britten Leaning Water Tower
– The Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ (it’s huge)
– Wind Turbine Blade Display
– Oklahoma City National Monument
– POPS Soda Ranch
– The World’s Largest Praying Hands
– The Golden Driller
– Blue Whale of Catoosa
– Laumeier Sculpture Park & Museum
– Railsplitter Covered Wagon (giant Lincoln)
– Paul Bunyon Statue

There were a lot of giant things to look at.

HIking, Travel

Cape Town


Embracing the beauty of the beaches, the mountains, and the people.

In June 2017 we spent 15 days in South Africa.

June 24-26 – Travel! It takes a long time to get to Cape Town from Chicago. I’ve done some long flights but this was exceptional. Here are some tips on a long flight: 1. Get this neck pillow, it’s the best and there are 1,000 ways you can wear it (no one paid me to say this); eye masks and ear plugs are also pretty awesome when it comes to flying. 2. Bring snacks – seriously airplane food is kind of the worst. 3. I am now old enough to require compression socks; I found this out on the trip.

June 26 – After seemingly 1,000 hours of flying we arrived in Cape Town, found our friends who took a different flight, and picked up our rental car. We found out the hard way that you should ALWAYS get an automatic shift in Cape Town. Not only do you need to drive on the wrong side of the road and car but the hills are insane and you’ll break down 5 minutes from your Airbnb.

I will say this about our car rental, the employee who we called to help us not only dropped us off at our Airbnb (taking 2 trips to get us all there) but also drove around Camps Bay to find us at a coffee shop so we could sign for the new car he brought us.

June 27 – We all get up fairly early, and headed to “the center” which is what IES Abroad calls it’s offices in each city they are located. One cool perk of working for IES Abroad is that there are centers all over the world where the staff there can give me tips on what to do and give me a local’s perspective. After a visit with the director we stopped at Bo Kaap–a neighborhood with really rich culture and beautiful buildings. Following a quick dinner we started our first trip up Lion’s Head. Lion’s Head is a small mountain in Cape Town, it’s about an hour and 45 min hike up and is fairly easy to do; it’s popular to go up at dusk with a bottle of wine and hike down with a headlamp!

June 28 – Cape Town’s history is really interesting and really is currently dealing with a lot of similar issues to the U.S. On day 5 we took a walking tour through downtown and were able to see and hear about the colonization of Cape Town and how it is effecting the culture today. Later we walked through the Kirstenbosch gardens, one of the great botanic gardens of the world; we head back there day 8 for the trailhead up Table mountain.

June 29 – This day was interesting; we started out head to the V&A Waterfront because we had tickets to tour Robben Island but though the day was beautiful and it didn’t seem to have even a breeze the fairy boat was cancelled due to strong winds. This is really normal and you should make sure 1. book in advance and 2. have a backup date and time so you can reschedule. So with that cancelled we did a little shopping and I was picked up by a taxi to tour/photograph some of IES Internships new housing options and a tour of the University of Cape Town campus. In the evening IES Internships had an event to celebrate it’s first semester in operation and we gladly tagged along for the party!

June 30 – The one day it rained we drove about an hour outside of Cape Town to visit a few wineries. It’s not very well advertised but South Africa has amazing wine (and sells it super cheap at the grocery store, like $2 a bottle). The first one we visited also had an olive oil tasting which I really recommend. I don’t think I realized how different olive oils can taste until we did that.

July 1 – We finally had the perfect hiking day! Depending on which route you take up and how much you explore around, the Table Mountain hike can take between 2 and 6 hours. We took the longer route that starts in Kirstenbosch garden and head up and across the mountain. We also hiked over to Maclear’s Beacon before heading to the cable cars.

The experience is really awesome; you hike through all types of terrain, starting in a forest-y environment with waterfalls through to rock and boulder scrambling and ending up on the flat rock top of the mountain. The weirdest part for me was that you hike alone and rarely see anyone for the first 2-3 hours and then because of the cable car you start seeing tons of people, some in dresses and suits, at the top!

July 2 – We got up early the next day to drive outside of Cape Town to a few of the smaller towns and Cape Point. First we visited Boulder beach, a beach where you can hang out with penguins! We bopped around a bit there, the penguins were all nesting so we couldn’t really get close but we did get to see a ton of baby penguins with their families.

Cape Point is like the tip of South Africa and it has a little bit of hiking with beautiful scenery. There are just a ton of baboons at the point; they are super scary and will grab any food you have right out of your hands. We also saw wild ostriches which were huge and amazing. Our last stop on the way back to Cape Town was Simon’s Town, a small fishing village which was super cute and fun to walk around in.

July 3 – Back at Robben Island the weather was good enough to sail out to the island this time and I made sure to take a Dramamine because I get pretty motion sick on planes and boats. The island was really cool and the our tour guide (like most of them) was a former prisoner so we got to hear his story as well. The forgiveness and redemption that happened there is just unbelievable and inspiring to hear. After returning from the island we headed to Signal Hill which is just a quick drive up and has more beautiful views.

July 4 – It was our last day in Cape Town so we took one last hike up Lion’s Head to watch the sun rise. When our alarm went off we weren’t sure it was going to be worth it but we got up and drove to the trailhead. I’ve never seen a thing so beautiful. The sun coming up over the ocean and hitting the side of Table mountain is a wonder. It is 100% worth the early wake up call! After hiking back down we got coffee and took the cable car back up Table mountain one last time as well. Cape Town is such an interesting city because everywhere you look there is something beautiful to see.

July 5 – We left Cape Town to finish our trip with a safari on a private reserve, Africa On Foot, near Kruger National Park. The safari was perfect at this point on our trip. Meals and itinerary decided for you, time to relax, and a much slower pace while still being really exciting. We only had two half days and one full day on safari and we probably should have planned a few more to be able to see more animals but it’s fairly expensive and I’m sure there are cheaper ways to go (you can rent your own car and drive through Kruger on your own I think) but when it comes to wild, man eating animals I want professionals involved.

On the first day we got there just in time to drop our stuff and hop on a jeep, I say on because it’s just a big open vehicle. Our guide was awesome and I can’t tell you all the things we saw but giraffes were involved and I love them; we also tracked a lion but didn’t get to see one. In the evening we had dinner and drinks and some honey badgers harassed the kitchen staff!

July 6 – Our first full safari day we got up early, had breakfast, and headed out on a bush walk. This particular safari is interesting because it’s one of few that will take visitors out walking in the wild. The only downside of walking is that you don’t get to cover as much ground as if you were driving, but it is much more up close and personal to be in a formation with guides in the lead and end, carrying weapons I’m sure would just slow down anything that wanted to eat us. We ended up in the middle of a huge heard of Cape buffalo which look to me just like water buffalo, but I’m told there is a difference.

When we returned to camp we had lunch and had a bit of rest time before heading back out on the jeep to look at more animals and have a snack and drinks at the watering hole; a literal watering hole not a bar called “the watering hole”. I think it was this day that we saw a rhino and elephant, huge and gross and kind of scary.

Later in the evening we would go out on a night safari and I don’t know how he did it but our guide would find the smallest little nocturnal monkey in a tree a mile away while driving while I looked all around and saw……..nothing.

July 7 – Our last time out on safari we opted to drive rather than walk so we could maybe see a lion, we never did and Brian is very sad about that but we saw a ton of things and if you are planning a trip to Africa anywhere near a safari place you should do it! We left in the afternoon to fly back to Cape Town and began another 1,000 hour flight home.