Second, you could sleep. You try. No, you can't sleep, bolt upright in an aisle seat. Scratch "sleep." Let it go.
Next, you could read. You have a good book, but everyone around you is sleeping, or trying to, and it seems rude to turn on your light. Hmm.
OK. What about watching movies? Well, you could do that, but after 1.3 of them, you're done partaking, because you'd rather be doing something productive than weeping over the plight of a young Irish immigrant, or trying to figure out what's so great about The Big Lebowski (dumb guys screaming at each other, far as I could tell). Let's face it. You're not equipped to be a movie buff.
I know what. You could edit photos. You can lose yourself for the eight-hour battery life of your laptop, sifting through the incredible images grabbed and saved by your Canon 7D. Yep. That's what you'll do. This is why I lug my laptop wherever I go. It alleviates suffering. It actually makes the flight home enjoyable!
So I'm going to try something here, picking chunks of photos winnowed in that endless night from the 2016 Zicktrip to South Africa. I'm going to try to keep it short and sweet and let the images do most of the talking. On this trip, I worked with Holbrook Travel to deliver six natural history freaks from America into the capable hands of Lawson's Birding, Wildlife and Custom Safaris for a trip none of us will ever forget.
First stop for the bleary, weary group was Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens outside Cape Town. It's the perfect anodyne to dark, stressful, cramped, and colorless jet travel--well-lit, soothing, spacious and colorful. You can wander and look and wonder at will. Off we go!
I could not resist this freshly-minted human and its attentive mother doing a photoshoot. And I remembered that particular tilt of the head that says, "I'm done posing for you."
The late-afternoon sun was setting behind Table Mountain as we staggered up to the protea gardens at the top of Kirstenbosch.
Cape sugarbirds, a much-sought endemic that depends on protea blossoms for its insect and nectar diet, posed atop enormous protea blossoms. This is a 20" bird, with tail, if you'd like some scale.
Heather flopped down with me to dig the pink Oxalis "weeds" in the lawn. We were definitely not in Pennsylvania any more!
Helmeted guineafowl remains vigilant, and screechy.
But there were birds amidst the botanical splendors! Oh! Oh! What was THAT singing in the Melianthus major?