Location: Safari! St. Lucia, South Africa

Today was a favorite of many and an experience to remember for all. From the start, everyone was delighted eating yogurt and granola before hopping on the bus. Upon our arrival, we grabbed some good lunch to keep us happy on our boat tour of the river, which was full of grunting hippos and sunbathing crocodiles. With the pleasant company of some knowledgeable bird watchers, everybody got a chance to thoroughly appreciate the sea of bright yellow weaver birds that littered the reeds upon every bank. Back to the lodge, we went to take a dip in the pool and stow our bags, anticipating an extraordinary sunset safari. The stars were the white rhinos, water buffalo, kudus, waterbuck, impalas, a few stunning malachite kingfishers, herds of zebras, and loads of playful mongoose all climbing over each other. The drive back was spectacular; the sunset was nothing short of intoxicating as it bled out into the furthest reaches of the sky, so high above the richest and most vast land weve seen in months. The smells can hardly be described, the deprivation from the aroma of earth on passage let us experience the sense with such a refined complexity that it was at times overwhelming and even emotional. It reminded me of how I felt as a kid, smelling a fragrant dish that I hadnt eaten in months, being baked by my mother in the kitchen downstairs. It was a dessert for all the senses. All of the memories came back as the sun hid behind the clouds, the perfume rising off of the earth as it cooled. After the drive back, feeling the absence of the resistance of the strong wind which vacillated between soft warmth and unheated air, our skin was tingling, and our hair was blown back at dinner, where the most popular dish among our party was the 500 gram T-bone steak. Bellies full, we retired to our rooms for our first night of rest on land so far, recounting names of animals we learned and surreal scenes from the day. Everyone was quick to bed with the exception of a few night owls calling loved ones, all looking forward to the 4:30 am departure and the full day of safari we had hidden in the dawn of tomorrow.