Traveling Africa over sixty has its challenges that’s for sure, but then so does sitting on the couch watching too much TV. Happy life. Life is good. Love your Life.
“Are you alright?”
His voice rings out in the still of the morning. “I’m okay,” I respond picking myself off the rock and straightening my back. I’d lost my footing and landed right on my tail bone. Surprisingly it hurts less than I expected. Are there risks of traveling Africa over sixty?
As we continue down the rocky hill above our camp I realize how often Russ and I ask that question now a days. When I see that tired look in his eyes. When I put my hand on my lower back. When he sighs unexpectedly. When I’m quiet for too long… And so on.
Is it because we’re getting old?
Is it because we’re concerned about each other’s well-being?
Possibly a bit of both.
“Getting old isn’t for sissies!”
Strange how often we’ve heard that in the last year or so. Nearing our mid sixties we’re beginning to understand. The mind isn’t as quick. The eyes are not as sharp. The muscles loose tone faster. The digestive system more sluggish… And so on.
“You don’t require a yellow fever injection,” the nurse said, “You are too old!”
The doctor tells us over the age of 60 the health risks from the vaccination increase significantly. So, I guess it’s lather up well with insect repellent.
Then there are putzi flies. They lay eggs on line drying wash. These hatch on your skin and you get little tiny maggots popping out of red bumps. Doesn’t sound fun at all. However, supposedly ironing kills the eggs or not wearing the clothing for 48 hours. Guess as campers we’ll go with the latter.
As far as malaria goes… It’s a mixed bag. Some have no problems with the anti-malaria pills, while others reactions are severe: from anemia to bleeding under the finger nails. We decide to be super vigilant with applying bug spray.
Climbing up and down on the Land Rover to open and close the rooftop tent can also be unnerving. Especially when I dance around the side to roll the fly back and I feel like a gymnast on the balance beam. Driving through water crossing. Traversing muddy roads. Going down steep rocky slopes. All of these make me white knuckled and frankly, that’s when I like to be on the outside of the Land Rover taking video.
We could forgo all the anxiety I suppose by staying home. By staying safely in our little cottage-on-wheels in the USA. But, heck! What would be the fun of that? Look at all we’d be missing! (You can watch some of our travel adventure videos here.)
We’re on the southern shore of Lake Malawi as I write.
It stretches for miles and the opposite shore is not in sight. Only a few islands rise above the still body of water. A hammer head (bird) walks along the shore. Kids from the local village are laughing and splashing, jumping out of a fishing boat. Men paddling canoes are passing by. The sky is blue. The sun is hot. We’re comfortably in the shade of a huge magnolia tree. Weaver birds chatter above us. I hope they don’t leave deposits on our wash. (We find these birds every where. Here’s a video of one making a nest in a single day.) A rock monitor (meter long lizard type) scrambles up the outcrop on the left. Had no idea they could run so fast! Yes, besides the worry about malaria, potable water, and intermittent power… this could be heaven.
“Are you alright?”
The answer is not always “Yes”, but the adventure, well, it is totally worth it. After all, we’ve only got one life to live. Love your life. Life is good. Happy life.
Be Brave. Only Believe. Just Do.
Margrit Harris loves nature and wildlife pretty much above all else… that is except her spouse, Russ.
Care to watch some of our traveling Africa videos? We’re about looking for people saving wildlife.