Wednesday, 21 September 2011

A poignant start

Before setting off on the road tous seules, we stopped at a lodge called Hochlands Nest for the first 2 nights of our trip to acclimatise to the heat and rejuvenate from our journey.
Hochlands Nest is a stunning lodge and our thatched wooden lodge is set up high among the quartz and granite boulders and faces the Namibian sunrise.




We awoke on 4th September to a beautiful sunrise and yet we soon learnt; they all are.
It was a personally poignant day, 1 year since my Dad passed away. I was very mindful but not maudling, he never did maudling and so I wouldn't either. However, this is the one continent he never got to see and right from the start I felt him with me on this trip.

At breakfast that morning we were accompanied by Bill and Ben, 2 resident Meerkats who had somehow become separated from their group and had made Hochlands Nest their home. Such cuteness should be illegal. I soon discovered that Meerkats have no interest whatsoever, in branflakes but bacon is a different matter. I dont recall eating much of it myself.

Keep your eyes peeled. I think they are coming!

Now listen up, this is the plan, your super cute face ok?
She will be putty in our foraging fingers and the bacon is ours!
They were hilariously entertaining and the bacon was theirs!
After a long morning's walking safari, we chilled out that afternoon, the exertion from the travel still with us and a pool with such a lovely vista, had to be appreciated.




At around 5pm that day we headed out in Lilly Landrover to catch the sunset over the lake and dam from a viewing point upon the ridge. I took a candle with me and at an appropriate spot, (checking it was snake and scorpion free!), I made a small stone pyre and gathered a few yellow spring flowers.

I lit the candle (careful not to start a bushfire!!!), in memory of my Dad. As the sun ebbed and glowed a beautiful golden flickering dance of gold, orange and red, I dedicated the day, that "Now" to him.

Gareth hovered as I fumbled with the match. The grass is so dry one tiny spark and the
whole lot can catch and be out of control in seconds.

Christopher Leslie Cottam
30.12.1938 - 4.9.2010
Gareth stepped away, I didnt cry I just wanted him to know I hadn't forgotten.
"He would have been proud of you" Gareth whispered "especially as you didnt set light to the whole savannah"

Very funny!

THE HARDEST PART IN ANY DECISION IN LIFE IS MAKING IT, JUST DO IT, IF IT STAYS JUST A DREAM YOU CANT SAY YOU HAVE LIVED IT CAN YOU?

No Dad. I will live as many as this life affords me I promise.

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