………………………………………….and so our evening of hilarity proceeds…..Flashing, accidental voyeurism and a snake or none
We arrived at Tambotie close to dark and had tent no 40. Tried to open the door but it was locked!!!
This after being told not to worry we did not need a key….. So we tried to find the reception area and got lost instead
We ran into a group of Italian tourists who between hand gestures and a few key words we discovered did not know which tents were theirs and had not in fact checked in at Orpen prior to closing time. We managed to get hold of the duty manager at Orpen on the phone who helped the tourists with the correct unit numbers. He helped us by saying that the doors were not locked and that maybe it just needed a good shove….so off to our tent we headed in now near darkness…..We tried the door again with a bit of a shove and Lo and behold it opened…. Apparently Christies make you weak AND stupid
Any way by now it was seriously getting a bit eerie and as tent 40 is the very last one in the camp and on the perimeter we wanted to unpack as quickly as possible….. Next to the steps leading up to the tent there was also a big hole……a big hole could only mean it was home to something big as well….
So if you can close your eyes and picture it the scene would look something like this….. Lynnb and Shi loaded down like camels, staggering toward the tent, whilst we are staggering under the collective baggage we are trying to high step it to miss any “gogga stuff” that might be lurking, eyes swiveling from big hole to fence to tree and back again
….doing recon with cooler boxes and luggage is not recommended…we looked drunk or demented or both I suppose….
After this we were huffing and puffing but ready to have a (by this time) night downer and check out our new spot for the night. It was when we put on the lights that I realized there were more bugs inside our tent than outside…… Now I am a big fan of grasshoppers……when they are a few kilometers away from me…
so mom once again saved my nerves and shooed all the little critters out of the tent.
We also both have a penchant for snakes….as in how to avoid them
So I am thinking of the forum member who found a black mamba in the bathroom of their tent and my mom is thinking of an incident where a puffie was sleeping on the bed on of my brother’s sojourns to Maclear…. This is on our mind as we prepare to go to sleep after a chilled out dinner on the verandah…..
Once mom has inspected the bed gingerly we determine that it is safe to sleep there that evening
Now only having camped twice in my life I am a complete novice to tent etiquette and the evening quickly needed PG guidance. Because whilst the tents are thick canvas the mesh is see through when lights are on… a fact my mom thought it might be prudent to point out to me after I had taken my shirt off….
But I in my blonde wisdom am convinced that our tent’s bathroom extends past our bedroom and shields us from our neighbors….So convinced of my recon excellence whilst hot footing it to the tent in near darkness that am I that I whip out the torch and proceed to shine it out into the pitch blackness surrounding us! Well I can’t see our bathroom but I can’t see anything else either…..
Mom “See, I told you….the bathroom does not come that far out”
Me “Maybe I was wrong, but at least the neighbors are further away”
My mom calls my dad to tell him about the day’s events and what we have seen. I proceed to tell him that we miss him a lot!...
My mom’s response…."Shi misses you lots luvvie even more so cause she is scared witless”
Lights turned off and ready for sleep…. We hear the hyenas whooping in the distance….every so often one of us sits up looks out the tent to see if we can see anything next to the fence….But nothing. An hour or so later I need to go the bathroom….
Me: “ Mom” in a whisper….then louder “Mom”
Mom: “Go to sleep”
Me: “Are we sure there were no snakes in the bathroom”
Mom: “ Hmmph”
So off I go with a little lantern that was next to the bed…..on the way to bed back it strikes me…
Me: “I look like Klaas Vaakie” I say in tandem with
Mom:“You look like Klaas Vaakie”
Hysterical laughter is tamped down so as not to wake up the neighbors whilst I snort away and almost rupture my oesophagus in the process….. Eventually we settle down and fall asleep to the sounds of the African bush zzzzzzzz
We wake up to the sounds of bird calls the next morning but it is still pitch dark outside. I semi sit up and check out the window to see if anything is next to the tent and then look out the other side…..Straight into the softly lit tent of our neighbors….. As I am watching this a slow dawning realization sneaks up on me….
Me: “Oh no” I groan
Mom:“Told you so”
Me: “Maybe they were outside”
We are not quite our stellar selves before we hit the road as we had very little sleep. So by the time we head off out of camp it is about an hour and a half after the gates have opened and some of the people are coming back from their morning drives already. One such couple passes us on the narrow road out. We wave our thanks as they have moved over to give us room to pass and the man smiles broadly at us and winks but the woman shakes her head at us and makes what looks like a tssking sound.
Me: “What on earth is that all about??”
Mom: “Those would be our neighbors from last night”
Me: “Could I have a Christies please?”
And so our last morning in the park starts……………….
"I have a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Lebombo mountains"
Nov 13-14 Lower Sabie, 15-18 Satara, 19-22 Skukuza,22-27 Biyamiti
Dec 24-27 Biyamiti, 28-29 Orpen, 30-31 SkukuzaThought for the dayTR March 2010