After many nights (months) waiting, plotting and planning, (and purchasing
) Christmas had eventually arrived! The turkeys were cooked, the tree was decorated and the presents were wrapped.
Christmas Eve was spent with my mother’s family, joking and eating (lots) and present swapping!
Santa had visited during the night (I’m positive that he drank all my milk, and some of my Jack Daniels was missing too!
) he did fill up the stockings though!
Christmas day was spent with my dad’s family, eating (even more
) and swapping more presents, although Santa had not seemed to visit this house
. Christmas took on a completely different meaning however when my father gave me his present! A 3 night stay at Sirheni, starting the next day. (Good thing I was on leave then hey!)
My SO was unfortunately working and could not therefore join, but my sister could! We left dad’s family, (not before desert however, ice cream, not that Christmas pudding stuff- do you know why they put money in there? So that people will eat it!) and raced home to pack! I still had to visit the SO’s family for Christmas dinner (again lots- I don’t wanna hear about anyone’s leftover turkey!
Seriously!) and then returned home!
My sister had done a fantastic job,
the car was half packed with all her goods, my camera gear, and PADKOS (road food)
! I packed my bag, made sure that we had all the other vital equipment and tried to catch a couple of hours sleep!
We departed JHB at about 01.30 and drove off to collect the old man from Nelspruit! I was still elated about the padkos, until the time came for a sandwich- wretched leftover turkey!
After arriving at the farm at 05.00, we climbed out of my car and into the old man’s, and continued our journey to Phalaborwa! None of us had had any chance to do any shopping, but dad reassured us that there was a good Spar and PicknPay at Phalaborwa where we could stop and get supplies.
I’ve never driven to Phalaborwa in the daytime before, so this was a real experience! The mountains, views, waterfalls, steep drops and just scenery are breathtakingly beautiful!
We arrived at the Spar in Phalaborwa at about 08.30 and found to our delighted surprise that they were open- but just about cleaned-out.
Because of Christmas, their supplies were very low and they hadn’t taken deliveries for a good couple of days. They did assure us that they had plenty turkey though!
With limited supplies but an intense feeling of excitement, filled up with a moment of panic when we “accidentally” got “a bit” lost (dad’s words, not mine, sure looked like a sign-reading error to me!),
we were greeted by (armed) guards at Phalaborwa Gate, where we were booked in, in no time at all! With the guards smiling and waving (& eating turkey sandwiches
) we drove though!
I’m afraid it was rather quiet the whole way up to Sirheni, we saw ellies in the distance, impala, buffalo in the distance and a couple of Zebras but not much else. This changed however, when an elephant greeted us at Sirheni, from just in front of our Bungalow- number 13, lucky for some!