Hotshot, I often stop at Halls on my way home to stock up on some very good fruit, nuts and biltong.
Hilda, strange things happned, but I learnt that gremlins and angels often come together. I now have a wonderful car mechanic I can trust.
Dalene, Millies is a petrol station on the N4 between the Belfast turn off and the Machadadorp toll plaza. It promotes local produce, has a really good restuarant well known for its trout dishes. It also has an above average takeaways, which I use. I often take my sarmie to the side of the lake and eat it while I watch the birds. I know of people who stop for a supply of their ground coffee and I believe it is also possible to buy trout. You cannot get yellow ribbon though
Ils, indeed, something was not right, but that was yet to come.
Puppy, this is my trauma debriefing
VVV, why am I
at your quick return to Millies?
I am going to say that there was no more rain. What a relief.
The next morning I fed the dogs, said "good bye" and left to take my mother to her retirement place, before leaving for my beloved Kruger.
On the way to my mother's home, my cell phone rang. We were still on the flooded graveyard route, so I could answer. My daughter's voice came over loud and clear.
"Hey ma," she said, bright and cheery, "guess what, I found your licence, it was in my car"
No wonder she had sworn that she had seen it
I had found a very old licence and a very old tempory licence, just in case I met up with a police road block. At least my story was now simpler.. my daughter had my licence.. on holiday in Cape Town
I did a weeks worth of shopping for my mother and left her to relax after her rather bumpy graveyard ride. I could see that the past few days events had shaken her and she needed a good stiff whiskey to get her relaxed. I did not take a good stiff whiskey,
but I certainly needed to relax.
I loved my new Trusted Beauty
she drove like a dream. At Millies I checked my bank account. The money had still not arrived, but I was not too concerned. There had been many holidays and transactions were slow. I also knew that I was waiting for a transaction from an overseas bank and that can take a couple more days.
I was starting to feel the freedom of the road. The happenings of the past few days were falling off me and I was allowing myself to feel the excitement of what lay ahead.
I passed Nelspruit, not able to stop for provisions. I had sardines and tuna to look forward to. This was the mild little tasteless blip on my radar.
I was really happy to have a good working air con after Nelspruit. Heavy, heavy clouds gathered on the horizon in a hot humid lowveld. I loved the comfort of my vehicle as the skies once more opened.
I usually take pictures of my arrival. By the time I reached Malelane, there was a heavy sheet of rain. My booking in was effortless and it was just lovely to see the friendly Malelane faces. Little did I know how well I would get to know those faces.
The receptionist fellow was very helpful, but concerned. "it is going to be tight drive to reach Lower Sabie in time" he said, "don't stop at sightings, not even lions"
Back on the road, I forgot every bit of good advice that I have ever received in my life, particularly the one about sticking to roads you know when in a hurry.
I decided to cut a few kilometres off my route and go via Renosterkop.
My first pictures close to Renosterkop. As you can see, it was indeed still pouring.
Oh dear, it did not take long for me to realise that I had taken a wrong turning somewhere and I was back on track for Skukuza
There was nothing to it but keep moving and pray for no sightings
My prayers were not heard, as I trarted down the Elloff street highway, Elloff street came to life. I saw a procession of cars that could only say, LION
Being late, I was one of the few cars facing LOwer Sabie.. a bit worrying, that.
Then there he was
he walked past my car, so close, so very close, almost aware of the admiration generated.
everything happened so fast, I was not able to get a picture of his two equally handsome brothers.
Still shaking from excitement, I saw another equally delightful sight..a yellow ribbon
it was Sparrow
Talking in a Lion road block on Elloff street is not the most comfortable, or popular thing to do. Sparrow had half of Kruger on his tail, so we just had time to pass a couple of quick words. It was wonderful to meet this witty forumite, finally, even if it was the merest of moments.
Now I had to drive with concentration and focus. My timing had to be perfect and please
no more sightings.
I passed so many creatures that would normaly have had me entranced. My biggest concern though was making it to Lower Sabie in time. I did not even have any money to pay a late arrival fine.
Then another sighting that had my adrenaline going..
crossing the road was a large, very large snake. At first it looked like a puffie, but I realised that it was too long and too slender to be a puffie. It also moved too gracefully. It was possibly my favourite snake a rock python
I took note of where it had disappeared into the bush and slowed down to look.
Yup, there it was,
I aimed my camera and snapped away
I then took out my binos
you have seen a lion rock
now you have seen a rock python rock
Suitably subdued, I aimed my chariot and hit the road for Lower Sabie, glancing anxiously at my speedometer and watch.