We’ve been trooping around in our Kombi-like vehicle for a week now, and while it is a fantastic, easy-to-clean, easy-to-drive eight seater vehicle, it’s still challenging to be cooped up with five of the male species for such a large part of the day (sorry guys, but I have to be honest!). Our wonderful nephew Lance has the unenviable chance to see our family at it’s best and it’s very worst – farts and all, you might say.
Driving The Garden Route has allowed us to see some beautiful places and we keep saying to each other that we wish we had longer at each place – that is when everything is peaceful and we don’t feel like wringing each others’ necks!
Yesterday we finally arrived in Zimbabwe! With great relief we managed to navigate customs easily and locate the four bags that mysteriously made it onto the previous days’ flight without us. Once outside the airport was the most welcome sight of our hotel bus and a friendly man, with a huge smile, holding a sign that said “Grant”.
This was to be the ‘luxury’ part of our holiday. It was so great to arrive at our “hut” with a thatched roof and all and hear the kids squeals of delight (and yes, fighting) as they sorted out who would sleep where. Andrew and I rolled up the canvas at the back to see a family of Pumba’s (warthogs) grazing just outside. We whispered to the kids to come and see them and tiptoed closer to get a good photo. We were so enthralled with this bit of wildlife that had come to visit us! Then we stepped outside to see about a hundred more and suddenly it didn’t seem quite so special!!
Upon waking yesterday morning, we opened the wooden shutters on our windows to see that it was snowing on the alps around the village! It’s summer here!! Now some of you will know that one of the boys’ main aims in going to Switzerland was to see real snow. We had so much fun tramping through the fresh snow and hurtling down the mountain on these funny toboggans (kind of like a boogie board with handles on the sides). Joseph threw snowballs at us the whole time and I didn’t manage to hit him once. Have you ever heard of Marmets?? I hadn’t. They’re these funny animals that look like huge guinea pigs! Mum, you would love them! We saw them running through the snow, along with squirrels and a few deer. Poor Tim! He missed out on a lot of the excitement because he felt exhausted and sick and couldn’t get warm, but when he recovered he did have some fun too. Elijah has settled in amazingly well and hasn’t seemed affected by Jet-lag at all.
Here’s Tim to tell you about what he found fun:
Andrew writing today. I’m the only one in the family who has travelled outside Australia so for several weeks I have had a smug satisfaction knowing just how much the rest of them would be blown away by the experience of waking up on the other side of the world with EVERYTHING so different to anything they’ve ever known.
And I have to confess I LOVE international travel. I hadn’t been outside Australia for 18 years before last year when I went to Canada with work, and that was probably what lit the fuse for this trip. So here we are.
Two sleeps to go before we fly. (Well hopefully sleeps because my head is swimming with things still to do.) We have made another video to show the schools we’re visiting, this about the campsite we live on.
The trip means our boys will miss nearly three weeks of school back here in Australia. An overseas trip will be a great education anyway! But they will get to go to school. We’re arranging for them to visit a school in Davos, Switzerland and hopefully one in Zimbabwe too. So they can share what their life is like we’ve made the following video about Australia (apologies to Aussie readers for gratuitous references to dangerous animals).
Click on the link below to see the video.
Since the boys love Bear Grylls so much we’ve adopted this as our theme song for our journey of discovery to Asia, Europe and Africa!