We were at my sister’s house in KwaZulu Natal for the week before we left. We decided we need to combine all our clothes into one suitcase and “travel light” because after all..as so many people believe..its doesn’t get cold in Natal. Now I was born there and will always have “green blood” as most Natalians do. I KNOW it gets cold there..but I was travelling light and it was November… My sister lives up in the clouds (literally and sometimes figuratively 🙂 ) in Monteseel and it was really chilly. I was the only one in our family of two who packed some swat pants..very convenient for early morning tea making and going along the corridor to the bathroom. After a few close calls..the early morning conversation, frequently and rudely interrupted by the rooster outside, went something like this….
husband: “I really need the bathroom!”
me: “mmm do you want to borrow the pants?”
husband: “I think I better..”
grey sweat pants are rummaged for and sleepily handed over
husband: “brr it’s chilly…I made some tea while I was up”..and snuggles into bed…
me after a few sips: “hand over the pants…I need the bathroom now”
husband cleverly manuovers body and bedclothes and hands over the pants…
..and so it went through morning showers and evening teeth brushing..the continuous swapping of convenient easy-to-pull-on sweat pants which have now taken on a unique and interesting shape!
And then the moment came when we packed the doggies into the car, packed their cages and last minute bits and pieces and said lump-in-throat goodbyes. I felt awful watching the mutts leave in the back of a little van to go from the cargo section to the airport holding section but it had to be done and I had to be practical about the whole thing. Airports and goodbyes really pull at the heart strings and I began to wonder what the heck we were doing leaving wonderful friends and dear family for a year.
After a long wait in the airport lounge (the mutts had to be at the airport five hours before the plane took off at 11.30 pm) and a very welcome shower we boarded the plane. I was SO impressed with KLM..I’ve never been in a plane with such a high ceiling and feeling of roomy airiness. At about 7 in the morning I opened the blinds and my eyes nearly popped out of my head. It looked like we were flying across the moon. A desert that looked like dunes of wet rippling mud for as far as the eyes could see and a sunrise as red and orange as a glowing fire..truly amazing.
The rest went smoothly, landing in Amsterdam, collecting luggage, sorting out paperwork for the dogs, fetching the hired car and then waiting with butterflies for Tass and Ted to walk through the door. And such a grand reunion it was! Licks, wags, smiles, (a few relieved tears from me) and two very young kind Dutch girls saying…”aaah..so cute!” “Oooo so sweet!”
They slept on the backseat through the Netherlands, through Belgium and into France with frequent stops along the way and a chance to run around. We got to our accommodation on a farm in the middle of no-where at about 7 pm. Thank goodness for Garmin and a now slightly squashed cheese and tomato roll from the plane which tasted like heaven.
A la …forgotten and very tired…