Friday, June 24, 2016

Just Fun

The Galactics, watching wildlife
Well, courtesy of the patchy cell coverage that we have enjoyed in the out of the way places that we've been visiting, we're now nearly three weeks into our car camping trip through South Africa and Namibia and the chronicle of our doings in this space is hopelessly out of date.

I want to post this brief note to say that in spite of the inevitable hassles of putting in long days in the car with a six year old, and the occasional moments of travel uncertainty, we have been having almost nothing but fun, day after blessed day.

Now, having fun is about the only goal that some yachties need in their approach to sailing and life. (Thinking of you, Fatty Goodlander.)  But fun, to be perfectly honest, usually bores me to tears.  I outgrew fun, as a pursuit, right around the time that I flunked out of college for having too much of it. The idea of traveling the world in a small boat just to have fun seems completely ridiculous to me.  Why not stay home and watch You Tube? That would be more "fun".

I am not at all fit to keep their company, but the travelers who I look up to are the Ryszard Kapuścińskis of the world, the Bruce Chatwins and the Bill Tilmans.  I admire people who travel far  afield out of an overabundance of human spirit, who travel out of an incurable romance with the idea that whatever there is to figure out about life, it won't be figured out sitting at home.

What did any of those three men know about "fun"?

The land yacht
The braai

Nonetheless, that's what we've been doing on this trip - having fun. We've been hitting the national parks in a supremely comfortable camper and seeing the iconic wildlife of southern Africa. Every night we braai (barbecue) under the stars. The beer is cheap, the wine is cheap and good, and we can afford t-bone steaks. Both boys are mad for birding, and nothing makes them happier than spotting a species that is new to the family - in our lexicon, a "lifer". I have a good book to read, and just before this trip I finished up a huge push of science work.

So who wouldn't be having fun?

And, well. There might be something to be said for this fun stuff, after all. It's not like the gloomy and serious among us have all of the answers. So, for this month at least, I'll be satisfied with the company of my dear wife, and the hundred smiles that my boys grace each day with, and the supreme good fortune that sees us able to undertake this trip together.

But we take our fun seriously! Up at 0500, making sandwiches to see us through the day...
Eric and lion

All funned out

So, cross us off your things to worry about in the world.  We're having fun.

I'll post some specifics soon...

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