Restio, Mgoggard, Elsa Ralph, Sharifa, Pumbaa and Wanderw, thank you for your kind words.
I spent an hour on my trip report last week. When I made the posting, all hell broke loose on my computer and I had to switch off.
My report was not saved
I find the biggest problem with my computer is that it listens to me, but I don't always know what I am telling it to do.
So let me tell you about our first evening.
When we arrived at P'kop, there was that sticky, oppressive, my legs are filled with lead feeling. Its the feeling that says, despite blue skies, "storms on its way".
When Explorer and I left for our sunset drive, we could hear the distant roll of thunder and refreshing gusts of wind were breaking the heat.
We decided to do the Shabeni route and stop for a while at Mestel dam.
What a magnificent drive. The darkening skies and the ghostly light made it very atmospheric. Every so often a short shower would coat my windscreen with mud.
Animals seen, Kudu, Waterbuck, Buffalo, Impis, Hippo and a most lovely Fish Eagle at the dam.
Now, just to give a little background to the next bit.
The Monday before we left, G'teng had been almost paralysed by a panic email warning people of an impending "hurricane".
Businesses closed early, schools cancelled sports, the roads were grid locked as people rushed home. Even a couple of banks shut their doors so that staff could get home to tie down their belongings.
My tummy was starting to get very hungry and all it could think about was braai. We had planned lamb cutlets, boerrie, braaied sweet potato, braaied sweet corn and braaied onions.
I also realised that should it rain, all that we had to eat at that point was a bit of cheese, tomatoes and a can of peas, but we had no can opener.
As Explorer and I approached P'kop, the skies seemed to be playing with our hunger. On the left were angry black clouds, to our right the clouds were pouring out their contents, but down the middle was the most perfect ribbon of blue sky.
Explorer and I had to make a call about, "to braai or not to braai"
With the G'teng fake hurricane in mind and a very determined hunger, we decided that, "after all a storm is only a storm" and we would risk a braai.
The fire was lit and the wine was poured, the chairs settled into their evening reflective mode and
the first drops of rain started.
I looked around to see what others were doing.
To my left, a fire was busy heating a potjie, to my right people sat, fire less, drinking beer, waiting for the storm to pass.
"Isn't that typical of life", I thought, "on the left we have the optimist, to the right the pessimist, and in the middle the ignorant".
I must also tell you, MM does not know how to braai. I think it has more to do with lack of patience than lack of opportunity.
Well what followed was a comedy of how not to braai.
Usually one braais from the slowest to the quickest in order to have everything ready at the same time...
we were starting with everything together and we would eat as the food was ready..
so there was a lot of laughter and a lot of hunger as MM and Explorer raced the fire..
every so often, as if to tease us, the heavens would send a few drops of rain.
we would in turn, "count our blessings" one by one.
Lamb cutlets down... yummy.
. boerrie done.. yummy.
sweet potatoes down
then sweet corn and onions as desert.
We felt suitably replenished and we had beaten the storm.
The storm as if to say the last word, cleared up completely the moment our last portion was cooked.
Later MM took Explorer for a lesson in meandering.
On our meander, we saw that ignorance and desperation is not a bad thing at all. We were feeling satisfied and happy, on our way there were lots of unhappy faces and unlit fires.
My pessimist neighbour had been to enthusiastic with his beer and I could see that he wasn't doing a very good job at starting his fire at this late hour in the dead of night.
"Sometimes one has to take risks", MM thought.