Le Petit Prince
Trip Start Jul 10, 2007
46Trip End Mar 11, 2008
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Dec 18-20, 2007
Throughout this trip, I am constantly reminded of a very special book I read as a child; Le Petit Prince. It was my first true understanding of philosophy and wisdom. Saint-Exupéry, the author, was able to animate and describe secrets that will forever be nestled in my soul.
Passages and characters from this particular book have followed us during our travels; this truly in Africa. On this continent, we walked the sandy dunes in the desert, saw the famous rose, a cunning snake, met a "Lamplighter" and even "a Geographer". I was even able to locate the fox, my favourite character.
A particular trip in Botswana in the Okavongo Delta, "Le Petit Prince" re-surfaced when we boarded the very small plane that would fly us over the vast delta. This magical childhood story was being told again.
How small we were in this plane but floating over elephants, giraffes and cape buffaloes...whoa, I think I heard some music?? Landing was exciting as our tiny plane hovered and bounced to finally stabilize itself on the dirt runway.
After a small walking excursion, we arrived at our camping site where one lone male elephant greeted us. He walked away with his two bird buddies at his side to knock down a very big tree as if to say: "Hey, yes, I DO own this territory".
We were quickly amused again by the crazy warthogs that took up residence in our washrooms at nigh and even accompanied us for some warm outdoor showers...EEECK! Our tent also had a couple of them residing under it...they would keep us warmer at night...if only they could keep quiet. Baboons also love tents. The Velcro closings as well as the locks on the zipper doors did not deter "baboonian" thievery as Ty and EDude found out when the three primates ran away laughing with a plastic laundry bag.
We also found out about the familiar snakes, the nightly wanderers (hippos, lions, hyenas) and hoped that they would leave us alone. At this time, the annoyance of the "Canadian camping trip" visits from swarming mosquitoes and frisky raccoons felt quite insignificant. In Africa, frogs chirp at an indescribable decibel level...a delta is a chorus of noises of symphonic proportions. Also, the darkness here permits one to see stars as far as eternity.
Our excursions in this delta were always by foot and brought about some excitement (anxiety in my book of definitions). We came quite close to ever so curious head popping giraffes, to hippos...too close to hippos and colourful kingfishers. I think these birds visit us at Lac Beauclair.
Evening dinners outside, nights spent on the terrace watching the stars, card games with our British friends and watching the Christmas tree glowing inside the common area were all surreal. We even had Santa (our white haired guide) sit at the head of the table.
The last morning, Ty and I tried to photograph the family of warthogs lazily stretched across the washroom floor. Papa warthog did not like the flash and his reaction prompted Ty and I to fly away like the speed of light. Luckily for me, I got to hop on the sink. This fun adventure inspired the crazy XDude to come up with a new game called "spank the warthog". I am delighted that this only became a " big dare".
Before boarding the plane, we were told that earlier this year, more than one walking guide met up with tragedy...some forms of arguments with big felines and other mammals. I, once again, thanked my lucky stars and was glad that this little factual tidbit was reported to me when we were about to leave.
Two absolutely enchanted days and nights were spent in the Okavongo Delta; I highly recommend it to liberate your soul. You can also read Le Petit Prince for added wisdom.
"And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye."
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.