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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 9:46 am 
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onewithnature wrote:
Mellory, did you thank the dogs for displaying themselves to you?
without a doubt.

Going back to my March pic of the river here is the April pic the river was gushing over all the overflows.
March
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April
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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 11:45 am 
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Hi Guys ,

Some absolutely fantastic sightings and stories for the S29 & H10.

I have had a reasonable amount of luck on these roads.

In May 2008 after having been on the H4-2 and heading back to Lower Sabie and with still over and hour and a half before gate closing I decided to sho't right over the brifge onto the H10. Things were quiet both traffic-wise and game wise. After a few kms on the H10 I was greeted with this.

A beautiful but partly limping male lion and 5 females walking in the road.

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I managed to get ahead of them and get them coming towards me. They were headed north on the H10.

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The male would lag behind the rest of the pride only for them to stop so that he could catch up.

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Despite the injury to his back left leg he looked to be in great condition.

The pride must have walked on the road for about 20 minutes scanning the bush in the time I was with them with just one other car.

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This one decided to take a break and give us a show.

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Not long after this pic and with the light fading the excitement levels just kicked up a few gears. And guess what ?

My camera died :wall: :wall: :wall:

The pride had seen impala in the bush on the right side of the road and had all begun to crouch in the road and stalk the impis. It was unbelievable :dance:

Never lasted more than 3 minutes but really adrenaline pumping stuff. The impala had caught their scent and loud snorting was the order of the afternoon. The game was UP !!! :(

This was possibly one of my best lion-sightings ever. No fighting or jostling for places to get in on the action. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 12:59 pm 
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Had just left Lower Sabie camp just after 6a.m. Thinking which way to go we opted to head over the bridge.

Almost a year later to the earlier posting my luck would continue on the S29 just after the bridge.
The time is now 6:13a.m.

This is what lay in store for us.

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2 male lions lounging at the intersection of the S29 - S128.

A female was about 20m further in on the S29 roaring as she walked.

This is her not long after.

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The males had got up after keeping guard the intersection and decided to join up with their mate.

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We spent about 30 minutes with them and decided to continue along the S29 really pleased with the great start to morning. Little did I know it was about to get infinitely better.

We had continued on the S29 for about 20 minutes until we got to the point where the road turns relatively sharply to the left. Upon rounding the bend I could not believe what was before me.

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Five stunning cheetah lapping up the early morning sun.

They were still fairly young cheetah but a wonderful sight.

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After sitting in the road for a few minutes they decided to get up. With 2 other cars there before me I think they decided to find another less trafficked resting spot.

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They walked past the car and went behind me where walked in the road and then moved into the long grass and out of sight. Nonetheless my best cheetah sighting ever !!! :dance: :dance: :dance:

Hope u guys enjoy!!!

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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 2:17 pm 
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My just completed trip at the end of April - May 2010 gave me more memories to take home. Once again the S29 was kind to me. Had left camp and turned over the bridge and onto the S29. Had barely driven more than 2kms and noticed something running in the road a distance ahead of me and closer to me zebra galloping away. It was a big male lion.

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He moved off the road into the bush and rather anxiously kept looking back over his shoulder.

This was the cause of his concern.

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Another male lion walking purposefully down the road roaring and apparently hot on the heels of the 1st big male. He kept on looking out for him, stopping and sniffing and scent marking as he went along. The roars that he let out is some thing I will remember for a long time. It goes through you. Absoluely awesome experience !!!


onewithnature wrote:
BADGIO100: A very HOT welcome to the forums! :dance: :dance: :dance: Thanks for posting your pic: you certainly show much pride in posting this pride for all to share. :wink: :clap: :clap: I've actually heard of a male lion in that area with a missing eye, but have never seen him. Anyone else know anything about this male?


OWN : I think this is him.

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He was out looking for vengeance. Seeing his dishevelled state it is quite possible that the two of them had had an altercation not long before and hence his anxious and aggressive patrol at the time. He would be on the road and then into the bush and back on the road criss-crossing his earlier path.

We had watched him behave like this for about 15 minutes before he moved in too deep into the bush.

Once again a great start to the morning I decided to take a U-turn on the S29 and head back onto the H10. Got to the H10 and within a minute found a hyaena running in the road.

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Continued upto the right turn back onto the S29 that leads to Mlondozi dam.

Got to Mlondozi dam and got to see this from the viewpoint area.

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Three lionesses a distance in. We had watched them trying to ambush an impala but to no avail.

A first sighting of a cat for me from this wonderfully elevated viewpoint and a great morning had now turned out to be a wonderful morning.

Left the Mlondozi dam and got to T and turned left. Managed to get a nice pose from a kori bustard.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 2:48 pm 
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The next morning as the gates opened I chose the S29 once again (don't think I could be blamed given the the previous days luck).

Had not seen anything but did get to hear the barking of jackals in the distance. That was it. Nothing else. Zip. Not even an impi. Continued like this upto to the right turning towards Mlondozi dam.

Was halfway into the turn towards the dam when from the corner of my eye something far in the distance of the S29 ahead got my attention. I reversed and stopped and picked up my binos to get a better view.
Three somethings ? were in the road in the distance. Couldn't make out exactly what they were with the overcast morning. But one thing was for sure. They were CATS !!! :evil:

Cheetah or lions ???

After almost certainly missing them if I had turned to the dam and approached closer to them and eventually had to settle for LIONS !!!

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3 females walking in the road with not a single soul in sight. These are the moments that keep bringing us back to the wonderland called " Kruger ".

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They would walk and then playfully run up to one another and wrestle each other. A truly humbling experience to have these magnificent predators interact like this in your presece. Took more video than pics.

They had walked on the road for about 3 kms and finally moved off into the bush. I got to spend about an hour with them with not a single vehicle appoaching in any direction.

The S29 delivered once more !!! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 3:09 pm 
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Hi guys. My first official post here even though I've been reading for ages.

Coming back from the picnic spot down Mlondozi towards LS, we noticed 2 shapes in the road with another car following. For the next 20 minutes we moved with these 2, on and off the road. Sometimes so close I couldn't focus the camera (under a meter). Enjoy, and thanks for all the great posts on here.

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William and Harry I believe.


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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:07 am 
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Wow!!!!!
I have been waiting for you guys to reach the H-10 for this post - but my TR is locked so am posting a link to the relevent section. Hope it works

The MAGNIFICENT 7

About halfway down this page to post 7

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Rusky's Kruger Ramble Jun 08 - a 1st timers dream trip


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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:24 pm 
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This is video my SO took of our Cheetah sighting on the S29 22 September, 2009.



The males are Will and Harry, and it is my understanding that the mother Cheetah is their mother, though I do not know that to be fact.

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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:33 am 
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Special thanks to MAUXIE, BADGIO100, ESTO, ANNE CATHERINE, SHARIFA and DUKE, AAT, MELLORY, DONNY, PIG, NORMANA53, and RUSKY for some awesome sightings shared! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
Such an excellent area for especially cats, your pics and accompanying commentary kept me enthralled.


Marvellous ... let's drive around the same area, just extending our explorations a little further north:

One-and-a-half kilometres from Lower Sabie (on the H10), turn left at the S128 dirt road. For almost a kilometre, it heads westwards, then makes a sharp turn and drives northwestwards for around another 12km. After it makes that first turn near the beginning, the road for me is both a blessing and, sometimes, a disappointment! This has got to be one of the straightest dirt roads in Kruger, and at times one can see along it for at least a couple of kilometres at a time! So, one is able to see an animal crossing way off in the distance, and this increases your chances of finding that elusive once-in-a-lifetime sighting. The veld is also very open for a large part of this road, so one can see to left and right a good distance too. The downside of the road, for me, has been that, because the grass can be quite high here, an animal that crosses quite far up the road can be invisible by the time you get to them! At least twice, I have seen "something" crossing the road about a kilometre away and I had neither time to pull out my binoculars before it had crossed nor reach the crossing point in time to identify the animal. One was shaggy, the other lean and lithe - that's all I know. :(

Still, I find the S128 a particularly exciting road as the area is rich in game. At the junction of the top portion of the S29 - with Gabeni Waterhole on the left hand side - make a quick sortie to the tar road on the right, passing Mafotini Waterhole on the left.

Then, back again and continue up the S128 (which now swivels northwards) for another 5 km until we reach the junction of the S129. Phambana 1 and Phambana 2 - two pleasant pans - can be seen on the left here.

Take a sojourn out along the S129 for its 4km length, then return and continue up the S128 a further 13km to the H10 tar road - the last part of the S128 turns sharply eastwards as we drive in the direction of the distant Lebombo Mountains, the natural border between South Africa and Mocambique.

The entire length of the S128 - about 31 km - is known as the "Old Tshokwane Road" as this was the route through to Tshokwane before the largely parallel H10 tar-road was constructed. Still one of my favourite routes, it traverses sweetveld savannah grasslands and is home to large grazing herds - buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, impala - and their stalking predators. Elephants and giraffe herds are also regularly found. Knob-thorn, umbrella-thorn, marula, ebony jackalberry, and red bushwillow trees are all to be seen around here. Because much of this area is dominated by clay soils on basalt, the rainy season sees pans fill up quickly and retain water well into the dry season.

To summarise, this part of our trip covers the S128, the S129, and the top part of the S29.

Let's share those animal stories and pics, friends ... :dance: :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 10:54 pm 
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Location: KZN South Coast-Just too far from Kruger
Must admit that I haven't done all of this area but was really looking forward to seeing what other people had seen on these roads.

The best I can offer, is of these Ground Hornbill I saw on the short stretch of S29 between the H10 and S128. They facinate me and I find them quite comical and so inquisitive. They have such huge eyes with beautiful long lashes.

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Really hope to see more from other 'mites.

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KRUGER, my happy place!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
BIYAMITI - 28th/29th Sept. 2014
LOWER SABIE - 30th Sept.& 1st/2nd Oct.
OLIFANTS - 3rd/4th Oct.
SATARA - 5th/6th Oct.
SKUKUZA - 7th/8th Oct.
BERG EN DAL - 9th Oct.


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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:29 am 
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The S128 is a road I just have to travel. You can drive it every day and 8/10 times it seems barren, and then out pops the most amazing sightings, calling you back again.
These pics were taken at Rietpan, a natural water hole(has been dry for a while now).

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The tree in the foreground drove me crazy!! There was no where else to park - and this tree was the only one for miles - go figure!
One day I sat at this waterhole for 6 hours and saw almost everything Kruger has to offer. A stunning day(apart from a protesting bladder).
I have more pics from this road, a wonderfully humbling sighting from my last trip, will try to post later today.

Bornfree.

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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:03 pm 
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This from my last trip, I have seen this female on and off for the last 3 years and during this time she has sustained horrible injuries. Her jaw was damaged and dislocated but she has managed to survive. She cannot open her mouth properly or widely but she obviously is coping rather well. Her left foot was also damaged as can be seen.
This trip she stood calling gently for ages and I just waited:

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This was the reason, her son now about 2, and sister(I believe) with new cubs. She led them off and I left them. The next morning I saw the little family crossing the H10 and going off towards the mountains.
I felt my heart soar at her success and determination, and humbled by her ability to overcome against all odds. A true Queen!!:

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A lovely pride living in the S29 area a few years ago:

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Bornfree.

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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:53 am 
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We hardly take these roads OWN as we do not have much luck on them. Having said that one morning in June 2006 the H10 was rather busy so we decided to turn into the S129 and it was as quiet as it always has been for us.

We then turned right, heading north on the S128 and met 2 lionesses and a cub on the road.

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One of the lionesses than took up the stalk position and when we looked back, a herd of zebra, which were not there a minute ago, were crossing the road.

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We watched for about 10 minutes but she lost interest and moved on into the long grass.

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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:24 pm 
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The roads mentioned by OWN are, I think most definitely the road " less travelled " at least according to my experience.

Personally I had hardly made it a point to travel these but after trying it over the last couple of years I have been drawn to it more.

Here are some of the reasons why :

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These lions were seen on the northern part of the S128 at the Rietpan watering hole in July 2009 sitting in the shade of the only tree to be seen in the immediate surrounding. A visit to the same place this April showed no sign of the tree. Probably the work of an elephant.

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There were 2 females and a fairly youngish adolescent male were to be seen. The obvious extra dimensions of the stomach of the the female that is standing can be attributed to this :

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They had killed a zebra some time earler and had clearly had a feast of it close to the edge of the watering hole.

Not far from them the clean-up crew were patiently waiting only after having a charging lioness reprimand them for not behaving.

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First time these roads had produced a cat. :D

Since then like I said I give these roads a go.

In August of 2009 I decided to go for a quick just over an hour drive before gate closing. Hit the H10 then left onto the S129. Not seeing much as I was doing a fair speed I rounded a bend and amazingly in front of me stood a SERVAL !! :o :o

I had time just to drink in the sighting as seeing that I had rather surprised it I watched in awe as it slinked its way into the tall grass. No pics but my 1st SERVAL :mrgreen: :mrgreen: . One to put in the memory bank :cam:

Thrilled with the sighting I next came upon these two just standing around the little afternoon shade that was present.

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Continued to the end of the S129 and the left on the S128. Not long thereafter I came across one of the biggest herds of ellies I have seen in the Kruger. There were in excess of 40 of them.

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Continued on and passed the S29 turn-off and not far from there, believe it or not a 2nd SERVAL in the space of about an hour just on the side of the road. It got off the road and stood on a mound staring at these human invaders before doing its best to be invisible in the long grass.

With time & light running out I managed to fire off my camera as best I could. Not the best of pics but I managed to get it on record.

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As I they are rather shy & elusive especially if startled it lay in the grass observing us.

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At the same time directly on the opposite side a BBJ was doing his rounds.

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Had watched the serval for about close to 10 minutes before I had to push to camp. More fortune greeted at the Sabie bridge as a leopard was marking the concrete pillars just before the bridge. :thumbs_up:

As mentioned have driven these roads more ever since then and the next day got more action at Rietpan on the S128.

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Rietpan watering hole.

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A black backed jackal that had been sheltering itself within the depression of the watering hole and bolted on our arrival .

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 Post subject: Re: THE ALL-MITEY KRUGER-PARK TRIP REPORT
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:02 am 
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Following the BBJ sighting I returned to Rietpan the following morning and was greeted with the sight of these behemoths.

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They were slaking their thirst at the H20 hole.

[imghttp://farm5.static.flickr.com/4006/4683562736_2676746fb1.jpg][/img]

My April 2010 trip had me driving these roads once again despite the grass being very high.

The S128 bit just after camp has almost always guaranteed me a sighting of these guys.

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A drive on the S29 one afternoon yielded these characters.

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Another afternoon drive on the northern S128 just after where the road takes a sharp left bend and then heads south found me watching a hyaena running in the road.

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Had him running for a good few kms.

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Would check the bush and then back on the road.

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Think he was training for the upcoming Comrades :lol: :lol: :wink: :wink:

Not long after this in fading light on the S29 got to see this female feline sitting on a ridge.

Image.

These roads can be rewarding but a lot of patience is required as is the case with most roads in the bush.

The day before the S129 also brought a sighting for my brother of a cheetah having a leisurely stroll for a good few minutes before moving into the tell grass with no one to spoil the sighting.


And then of course the picture perfect sunrises that greet you.

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Image.

On the whole S128 delivers plenty of the grazers i.e zebras,buffs, wildesbeest as well as ellies. Kori bustard quite ofteen seen as well.

In conclusion these roads can be frustrating but at the same time equally rewarding and the real reward is more often than not you will be priviledged to have a sighting all by yourself.

Hope you guys enjoyed my recall of some of my experiences. :D :D

Many thanks once again to all !!! :clap:

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