For the last two days, the team stayed at the Bakubung Lodge outside Rustenberg that is situated in the middle of a game reserve. Within 50 feet of the restaurant patio you can see warthogs, exotic birds, and the occasional elephant grazing and drinking from a waterhole. Exotic birds wander comfortably in search of scraps. There's even a television channel dedicated to a live camera of the area in front of the hotel so you can keep an eye on whatever animals may be wandering by.
And then there's the monkeys. As friendly as they are fearless, these little guys would sit next to players in a chair by the pool, and then snatch any piece of food that wasn't guarded. And then have the nerve to eat it right in front of you! It made for some very interesting moments, particularly for one member of the staff who appears to have a phobia about animals of all shapes and sizes. That made for a two-day effort of trying to scare him at every turn.
The environment turned out to be a perfect tonic for the players to get rested and focused for the Egypt match. The weather is simply excellent in this part of the country at the moment, with day-time temps in the low 70's and not a cloud in the sky. So far we have witnessed cold and rain in Pretoria, varying temperature swings, and now the move to Bloemfontein where it is supposed to be 10 degrees cooler. All part of the total experience that hopefully gives us a leg up if we make it back next year.
Oh, what the heck. We'll give you another chance ...