Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Londolozi Day 3 and Cybele Lodge

Photo of our swank cottage at Cybele

(posting by Andy)

I had a terrible night's sleep last night; in fact many of us at the camp had a horrible night's sleep...why?   Because the lodge was invaded throughout the night while we were asleep  by lions, hyenas, and hippos.  The rumble of noises kept me awake but Rhett slept through most of it.  It was THE talk during breakfast by all about what we heard and what was out in the dark of night.  During the night, WE CAN NOT leave our room unless escorted by a gaurd so you couldn't ever go out and see what was out there because it was literally outside our doors and terribly dangerous to explore. 
Today our deck was bombarded by little monkeys that if you walked close enough to the glass window they would charge you and slap the glass...little buggers are mean and have no fear of humans.  They have been more of a pest than the mosquitos believe it or not.  Unlike mosquitos there is no repllent for them, nothing but a gun that shoots air..not allowed to shoot primates here in South Africa although very tempting. 
Yesterday we spoke to several locals about our next trip to Swaziland and they ALL told us that it was not a good decision to drive there - in fact very dangerous.  People have been known to be stopped and have their windows broken while in the car and robbed and killed.  This is not a joke, very dangerous.  I could not bear the idea and almost felt like throwing up while they told us the stories and their warnings.  Although the ride was only going to be 4 hours long and during the day it was still very dangerous.  Had we known this when planing our trip we would have never considered it but thank God I asked around and got the information from them (we don't mean to scare you at home, I am just being honest and want to share our complete experience).  Our passports will not alow us to enter into Mozambique until Thursday (today is Tuesday) so we needed a place to stay for the following two days.  Because the hotel we were at was extremely expensive it was impossible to budget into the trip.  So a change of plans......
We sat down with the general manager and explained our situation and she completely understood and offered some advice.  She knew of a couple of bread and breakfast areas out of the bush for a different experience about 2 hours away and a much safer place to explore. 
So here we now are, unexpected but still *very* beautiful.  We have driven into the moutains and river area of South Africa at a forest lodge called Cybele.  Cybele is situated 300 miles east of Johannesburg and is 3000 feet above sea level.  Unlike the bush it is a bit cooler and less humid.  Here we can hike, explore trails, rivers and waterfalls...a much needed rest from all the days of activities under the hot sun and dust in the bush. 
Now that we are here, it is spectacular and quite lovely.  We are surrounded by tall forest trees and the place is very private with only 12 private chalets.  Our cottage (much like a private little house) is gorgeous with a bedroom, living room and a private yard and we are very happy we made the decision not to go to Swaziland.  We will lose the opprotunity to go whitewater rafting there but our lives are much more important and my sanity has been once again restored.  So much that Rhett and I have booked a 5 hour day spa that includes a massage, a facial, mani and pedi, and a lovely bath to boot.   Paris and Nicole are back in their element!
Anyways, we wanted to let you know that our environment has changed and that our plans have as well.  We will be here for two days and then off to Maputo, Mozambique to continue with our original plans in which we will keep you posted. 

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