Friday, February 20, 2009

Home at last!

We arrived home on Friday the 13th. Although all the snow was still here, at least it was a bright sunshiny day. We unpacked, took a nap and then decided to leave for Boise to pick up Boo (our dog). I think we were home for about seven hours and then back on the road. We arrived in Boise about 4am, slept for a couple of hours and started a dew day. Amber and I tried to tally up the total number of hours we were traveling and the closest that we could come up with was about 65 hours since leaving Dar es Salaam. We left Boise on Monday afternoon and arrived back home later that evening. We look forward to reliving the many many memories of Africa. I have plans on keeping the BLOG going, so feel free to stop in from time to time.
Eric, Amber, Angelina and Cassie

The Dog Whisperer

Before leaving to Seattle from JFK, Amber recognized Cesar Millan just a couple of gates down from us. Cesar has a show on the National Geographic Channel on rehabilitating bad dogs (like ours). It was neat for the girls to see him as we have watched a few of his shows.


After flying all night and all day the girls were still tired. They slept on these concrete benches for about five hours. We had planned on going into New York.....maybe next time.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

After a Starbucks hot coco, Cassie drifted off before our flight to JFK

Dubai Intl Airport

Dubai Airport is crazy! Our flight to JFK left at 2am so we had a couple of hours to kill. You would have thought that it was 2 in the afternoon the way that everything open and there were thousands of travelers.

Bongoyo Island

We flew right over Mom and Dad's house as well as well as our favorite day getaway...Bongoyo Island.

Leaving Dar es Salaam

It was a sad day to say the least. The month went by way to fast.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Time to go!

Well it has been a fantastic adventure. Africa has given plenty to remember for years to come. Thank you all for enjoying our trip with us. This will more than likely be the last post until we get home. We leave From Dar to Dubai tonight at 5pm. Gent into Dubai at midnight. Leave for JFK at about 2am. Get into JFK around 7am and don't leave until 4pm. We arrive in SEA at 8pm and stay the night. Leave for Spokane at 8am on Friday the 13th (that doesn't sound right) and get home a short time later...............we hope. Bye for now.

One last trip to the Yacht Club tidal flats

One day left.......:-( It was a great minus tide, and we found many wonderful creatures.

A beautiful Lion Fish and a Cow Fish

Cassie finds a Harpa Harpa

This is what I did all month

Helping Grandma with laundry

Another trip out to Bongoyo Island

With only a couple of days left we went to Bongoyo again. Such a great place that is so close.

Another fine lunch on Bongoyo

Playing in the surf

The tide came in pretty quick while on the island, making some good waves for the girls. They played for about 3 straight hours.

One last family picture on Bongoyo

Leaving Bongoyo

Tinga Tinga Shopping

We scored a couple pretty big pieces of Tinga Tinga. Amber has become a master at bartering with the locals!

South Beach Trip

With one week left we went to South Beach which is about one and a half hours south of Dar. We spent 2 night and 3 days exploring, playing games and getting sun burned! The journey involved catching a very short ferry ride. The best part about the ferry ride was that when we went to pay, they thought that Amber was a we didn't have to pay. She was pretty happy. That also happened on the way back home, I guess the anti-ageing cream really does work!

Our accomodations on South Beach

We had a great place to stay while in South Beach. A great view and a beach all to ourselves to walk and play.

Sunrise on South Beach

Pretty nice to watch the sunrise at 6:30 in the morning.

Just Chillin'

Doing what we do best......hanging out in 80 degree water

Grilling some good eats!

We had our caretakers get us some fresh fish for dinner our last night, I had the honor of cooking it.

A Fish Eagle

Almost Full!

Pretty good picture of the moon on our trip to South Beach

A mango a day........

We lost count how many mangos we ate, sure are going to miss least the price anyway.

The girls next to a huge Boabab tree!

Baobabs can live a very long time, 400 to 1000 years. They can grow up to 90 feet tall. Their trunks can be up to 22 feet around and they are big like that because they are for water storage for dry times when there is no rain. They can hold up to 31,000 gallons of water in their thick, cork-like, fire resistant trunk, which is like a very big water tank! That is enough water for the tree to survive at least nine months without rain. During those dry months there are no leaves on the tree.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Safari to Mikumi National Park

First a bit of information for you all.

Mikumi National ParkSize: 1,250 sq miles, the fourth-largest park in Tanzania, and part of a much larger ecosystem centered on the vast Selous Game Reserve. Mikumi National Park borders the northern part of the Selous and is divided by the road between Dar es Salaam and Iringa. Mikumi is the most accessible part of a 47,000 square mile area of wilderness that stretches east almost as far as the Indian Ocean.

Location: 175 miles west of Dar es Salaam

Okay. Just forget everything that is grand and exciting about going to your favorite zoo. The animals there are no doubt fantastic to view, but are much better seen when driving slowly through the bush with nothing between you and them but your camera. Okay maybe there was an occasional pane of glass, but we were in the middle of their home. Want to see a herd of African Buffalo….look over there (click), how about Elephants……watch them drink out of the nearby pond while we have lunch (click), oh look at the Giraffe merely a few feet away just staring at us (click), how about Zebra (click), Wildebeeste, Eland, Hippos, Crocodiles, Reedbuck, Warthogs, Baboons, Impala, Jackal,(click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click……….and oh yes finally some Lions (click). In all some 2500 pictures were “clicked” in our five days at Mikumi. I think we came away with some pretty good shots and a truly saturated feeling of seeing wild animals (that’s a good thing). Our accommodations were great. Amber put it best that we were “five star camping”. The Banda’s had running water, electricity for a couple of hours in the morning and evening, beds (with mosquito nets), and best of all great sound effects at night. We were amazed at how loud it could be one minute, and the next……dead silent. The days began early with a Safari before breakfast. After breakfast another trip out to see what we might have missed. After lunch some digested, and others “safaried” some more. Before dinner everyone saddled up for the evening hunt for lions. Dinner was served overlooking the waterhole where we were forced to watch various animals come and quench their thirst…….what a bummer. I think we averaged about eight hours a day in the car. I will leave you with the pictures to view. Thank you all for leaving your comments. They are fun to read and enjoy knowing that others are interested. Kwaheri!

The Beautiful Mikumi National Park