about We are Akila and Patrick. Our minds (and waistlines) expand as we travel, cook, and eat our way around the world with our two dogs.
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surprising addo
elephants and dung beetles

Elephant at Addo National Park

Elephant drinking water at Addo

We left for Africa eleven months ago but my brain refuses to let me believe that it was so long ago.  Travel days imprint themselves in my memories.

Watching elephants at Addo

Watching elephants at Addo

The daily grind of working, writing, cooking, and walking dogs blends into one long uninterrupted day but the discrete hours and minutes while traveling stand out like bejeweled droplets in my mind.

Cacti at Addo

Cacti at Addo National Park

You know what I mean, right?

Elephant with baby at Addo

Elephant with elephant baby

Everyone has those days . . . the first time you step across the border of another state, another country, or a place you have always wanted to go.

Turtle at Addo

Tortoise at Addo

And, those sort of days aren't limited to travel: it's the first day you walk into your first place away from your parents or that first dance when you were so gawky and dressed in that skirt that nobody thought looked good except for you because, well, you didn't really have much of a fashion sense back then.  You know what I mean.

Dung beetle

Dung beetle (it is illegal to run over one of these endangered insects)

Those days are iridescent splotches that refuse to fade to bland nothingness.

Warthog kneeling Warthog kneeling
Warthog kneeling Warthog at Addo park
A couple of warthogs

The last couple of weeks in South Africa were like that.  I've been putting off writing about them because, yes, I've been busy (and, by busy, I mean frantically checking my e-mail waiting for agents and spending my spare time obsessed with Jack of All Tribes . . . which if you have not found this game yet, you totally need to get on it.  It's way better than Farmwhatever.)

Bird in Addo

A bird in Addo

Those South African days were just about perfect.


Coyote in Addo

We'd driven from Johannesburg through Kruger to Sodwana Bay (where we had dismal, cold scuba experiences), then Durban, and the beautiful haunting Wild Coast, before we reached Addo.  And, Addo surprised us.

Elephants at Addo Elephants at Addo
Elephants at Addo Elephant at Addoo
Elephant at Addo Elephant at Addo
Elephants at Addo

The elephants !  Yes, elephants!  Oh, man, did we love these elephants.

Elephants at Addo

Elephants in front of our car at Addo

Unlike Kruger , Addo is dry, dry as sandpaper scratching against newly sawn wood.

Elephants walking away

Elephants walking away

The elephants searched for and huddled around these teeny tiny puddles of water because there wasn't anything bigger at Addo.

Lion at Addo

Lion basking at Addo

The lions basked in the sun, far from the nearest water source, waiting for the rain to quench their thirst.

Lion at Addo Lion at Addo
Lioness at Addo Lion at Addo
Lion at Addo Lioness at Addo

Lion and lioness at Addo

And we, we sat in our car, guzzling down our liter bottles of water, letting their sedate faces stamp our memories.