Well the wait is finally over! Yes, this is the famous (or depending your disposition, infamous) "Monkeyland" post! I hope it lives up to your expectations!
But before we get to what can only be described as the most magical place on earth, first we have to tell you how we got there. Hehehe ;)
WORD OF WARNING: Those with sensitive stomachs, may want to proceed with caution!
|Maja in front of the Southern Cross Beach House|
One thing we did really enjoy about the Southern Cross beach house was that they had two dogs, Baloo and Toby, both poodles, one large and the other miniature. We aren't usually big fans of poodles but since we missed our own pets so much, we were excited to play with these two guys! Maja was a big hit with Baloo especially, as he jumped up next to her, cuddling with her as we both sat out on the patio, drinking complimentary champagne and reviewing our pictures. Once we were ready to go to sleep, the little guy followed us into our room and snuggled next to Maja in bed all night long! It was pretty adorable (but Mike was more than a little wary of fleas. It turned out fine though, lucky for us).
|Baloo the poodle making himself at home on our bed|
One of the best things about South Africa so far definitely has to be the prices. On our last trip to Las Vegas, the prices of everything (souvenirs, hotels, drinks, activities and food) was so cost prohibitive. We could basically only treat ourselves to one high-end restaurant during our stay there, and we felt guilty about it. Even on our trip to Southeast Asia, the prices at a lot of the fine dining restaurants were comparable to what we'd find back home (read: too expensive). After all those places, it's amazing to come to South Africa where not only is the Rand/Canadian Dollar exchange rate at about 8.82 Rand for every Loonie but the prices are also significantly lower than what we'd pay back home. SIGNIFICANTLY! During this road trip, we'd gotten recommendations from all the guest house managers as to what is the best, most high-end restaurant in town and once we'd arrived, we found not only could we afford wine with dinner but also a starter AND a dessert. Back home, we rarely order wine with dinner and ordering dessert is even more rare, starters NEVER happen, but down here, we've had all this and it's been cheaper than breakfast at many of the restaurants we go to in Ottawa! For example, the meal we had yesterday, an African Trio (ostrich, kudu, and springbok steak), an ostrich fillet, a crocodile grilled starter, two glasses of wine, a coffee, a crème brûlée and a glass of port for dessert only cost us the equivalent of roughly $50 plus tip! And this is at THE BEST restaurant in Oudsthoorn! There's no way we'd get away with that back home! Come to South Africa: Eat Like Kings!
|Nothing like eating three different animals on the same plate to make you feel like the King of Africa! :)|
|Doo doo, doo doo, doo da doo da doo doo doooooooo! doo doo doo doo da doo doo da doo, da da doo dooooooo! (Hint: Jurassic Park Theme Song)|
|Monkeys apparently hate apples|
|Hehehe, "Monkey Business" :)|
|C'mon, that's just ADORABLE!|
|Charmaine, that little troublemaker|
Mike's favourite, by far, were the squirrel monkeys. At full grown, these adorable little rascals are only about the size of a kitten but have twice the energy. There were probably about twenty of these little guys scampering around, squeaking and buzzing us as we walked by. The cutest thing about the squirrel monkeys was watching them wrestle. They would run and tackle each other and once they got each other down on the ground it was almost like watching a uber-minature version of UFC. Mike really wanted to smuggle one of these little guys home. The only problem was that they moved so fast, it was almost impossible to snap a quality picture. Other species we saw were tortoises, who weren't nearly as exciting, and a white gibbon, which was actually an ape, not a monkey, since it had no tail and super-long arms to compensate.
|A Squirrel Monkey: Quite possibly the cutest animal in existence|
Perhaps, the lemurs knew that the group were poking fun at their intelligence as one of them took to the trees. Mike, who was obviously infatuated with the countless monkeys surrounding him, moved closer and closer to the feeding table to snap better pictures and movies. He was so giddy that he ignored Maja as she called out for him to be careful. "I won't miss the chance to see so many funny and adorable creatures up close!" he thought. Well, next thing he knew, he heard a scream: "MIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIKE!!!!!!!"
He leapt back as quickly as he could but it was too late, the lemurs had their revenge:
|If you think that's gross, try walking around with that on your back with half a tour left to go!|
|Smelly, smelly Mike.....DAMN YOU LEMURS!!!!|