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 Post subject: CC & Lockie's trip of a lifetime!!!!
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:09 pm 
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Just a teaser for you all....still uploading photos....

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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:21 pm 
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OK you guys...you're wearing me down!!! :roll:
Here goes....



February 27….at last!!!

After weeks of packing, re-packing and packing again, we were ready to go. Sister & sister in law arrived to collect us & deliver us to the bus depot for the first leg of our African Dream Vacation. :D
It was hard to leave my youngest son at home (with girlfriend) but there was food in the freezer & oil in the tank…inverter was charged up for power failures and he had cash for emergencies….so we were ready to leave.

After an uneventful bus ride to Halifax (3 hours), we were in the airport at 11:30 for a 0620 flight. Hohum Image …..packed a fifth of Canadian whisky to help pass the time while waiting. I must say at this point, I was starting to stress over clearing US customs Image ..I had a problem last time I flew internationally and was anticipating the same issues…also concerned about all the maple syrup I was carrying in one case. Would it clear customs…were my bags overweight….would the syrup break and leak….were my tickets in order as it was a first for me not using a travel agent.

The gate finally opened at 0500. Why we had to be there 3 hours ahead is beyond me, as there were no agents around 3 hours ahead of time…(?). Image
So…checking in…not a hitch here…ticketed thru to J’burg!

US customs Image …stomach in total knots now. Customs agent is rude, think he is unhappy about being stuck in Halifax NS in winter. Do they take courses in how to be uncommonly rude, do you think? :roll:
Suitcases on the x-ray machine and VOILA! We’re in!!! Phew!!! All that stress for nothing, but that’s how it is with me.
I got yelled at when they checked my carry-on as I did not have the proper see-thru bag for my liquids, but it was in a Zip-Loc bag. Lockie sailed thru without even removing his shoes, and we had ditched our lighters already as you can’t have them in your possession on Canadian flights.
Ok we’re through that ordeal now, and boarded a cigar tube of a plane for Newark NJ USA. Flight Attendant looked like she just got up and forgot to comb the bed head out of her hair. By the time she got down to us, she had no coffee left and had to go make more…HELLO…it’s 0600 and people want coffee!!! Image She finally remembered our coffee and we added our Bailey’s to it in celebration of the first leg! Pretty boring flight, luckily it was a short hop.
We de-planed in Newark and had to change terminals which meant back thru security…..wonderful….but it gave us a chance for a smoke before continuing.
Back to security…now it’s time for the shoe removal and my underwire always sets off the alarm. :shock: Into the secure area again and on to Atlanta, Georgia.
Had to change terminals again, but this time we were on a commuter train and we stayed in the secure area. Also had to get new boarding passes for Dakar-J’Burg.
Had a bit more of a lay-over in Atlanta, huge airport and we met a nice fellow from Germany to talk with to pass the time. And of course after crappy airplane snacks, we had to have something to eat! (and a beer). Managed to get to duty-free for some gin for Dad /Jo. :D

Now we get down to serious flying. From Atlanta to Dakar is 9 hours in the air. Huge plane…767…I had a window seat, my preference. Lots of stuff to play with in the seat back in front of me. And actually not bad food. I slept off & on but Lockie can’t sleep on a plane, even if he had been up all night the night before. I’m not concerned about that thrombosis from sitting as I always have to go to the bathroom, especially since the drinks were free. 8) I guess that the South African gov won’t let the airlines charge for alcohol on flights to their country, so that was an unexpected bonus!….and a bit about the bathrooms on a plane. There is barely enough room for 1 person in there, so how do people get to belong to the “Mile High” club…? (pms welcome) :wink:

Midway thru our flight to Dakar, the Flight Attendants sprayed the plane with some kind of insecticide. Image (upon opening my luggage later, it was also sprayed, had the same scent)
The Captain came on a few hours later to inform us that we would be in Dakar shortly and that we would be there for 1.5 hours. Lockie was cracking badly for a smoke by now and had decided to de-plane in Dakar. Image Not me! I had had enough of security checks by now!

Alas…not allowed to get off the plane. :x We were boarded by a team of security men in Dakar, who searched the plane top-bottom! :big_eyes: Each passenger had to identify their carry on luggage and then step aside for the men to rip up the seats and check for …what? The lady behind me said that because some people got off in Dakar as their final destination, they were making sure that nothing from them got left behind….the men are walking up & down the aisles shouting “whose bag is this….who owns this bag?” , until all bags were accounted for. They finally left, satisfied, and we were on our way again to J’burg!

Another 9 hours of not sleeping much Image …had some Amarula (since I was awake anyway) and watched Juno on the tv in front of me. We’re getting really sick of this plane by now. The Flight Attendants kept us busy eating.
Finally!!! Approaching J’burg!!! I’m getting so excited, I can’t even stand myself! :dance: Off the plane, on to immigration….baggage claim…again I ‘m stressing about my bags…did the syrup break and make ALL the luggage a sticky mess Image ….no…there they are..INTACT!!! And they both got there with us….Hooray!! and now..customs. (Stress meter up again) Image

Well, we just walked out…(?) no customs..no search…just out of security..easy peasy. And just like that…WE ARE IN AFRICA!!! :dance: Incredible.
Dad & Jo are there holding up a big welcome sign….and it’s HOT! Airport is under major construction for the World Cup and I think that the aircon is off. We changed some cash and hired a cab to take us to a hotel for our first night in Africa, and he was driving on the wrong side of the road…..that was really freaky! :shock: And he drives FAST.

Got to our hotel and the first order of business (after setting our watches 6 hours ahead) was to request some Windhoek! Image

Tomorrow…out of J’burg in a hired car and on to GGHNP…..

To be continued…..

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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:33 am 
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February 29…On the road


After a great breakfast at the hotel, and getting all the luggage packed into the car we are off from Jo’berg. The traffic is horrendous and the fact that Joanne is driving in this insanity has me a bit flustered. :shock: We are on the wrong (left) side of the road, with me navigating and CC and Dad in the back seat. Everything is soo different in this strange new world. Even the speed limit signs..(which I mistake for route signs) :roll: are different than in Canada. It did become apparent after a few turns and we were still on route 70 that Joanne clued me into the fact that they were speed limit signs!!! Eish! :doh: :redface:
As we leave the bustling city behind us we can all relax a bit and take in the breathtaking scenery. For locals I’m sure this stuff is routine but for us everything is taken of note. The houses, the fields of strange crops, the ever changing landscape...the endless sky… it is all new and all spectacular… and we’re not even close to the park yet! :dance:
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We turn from the N1 to the N5 and arrive at a small town known as Bethlehem. The guide books say this is not of note as a tourist destination, but we found it a very nice town and a perfect place to stock up on provisions for our first night in Golden Gate. As we leave the town and head on a secondary road to GGHNP the country side again changes to rolling hills and the mountains in the foreground.
The view is fantastic! :clap:

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Ohhhhs and ahhhhhhs abound as I madly click off pics. And around the next bend…We’re here!! GGHNP gates

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The scenery here takes your breath away. Around another bend in the road and there it is…in all it’s glory!

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Golden Gate!
We carry on to admissions and CC and Joanne purchase wild cards for our upcoming fantastic adventures in the Sanparks. Settled in now but too late for a braai we decide that fried bores and beans are in order, and of course some refreshments :dance: to wash down the dust of the roads!

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It’s early to bed for all of us, looking forward to a fresh start tomorrow. What wonders await us? I fall asleep beside CC and dream of Africa.

To be continued…

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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:26 pm 
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Thanks guys :D for your kind words and encouragement.
Happy I could make you laugh Gwennie....
Hawk...no worries about the call of Africa..but I did worry about the syrup :wink:


OK...

March 01-
Joanne’s birthday!!! I had brought birthday cards from Canada & she was surprised & happy! (I even had one for Dad to give her) :wink:
We checked at reception and found out that Lockie & I could go horse riding at 0930…fantastic! :D Had to get Jo to drive us there as it was a bit down the road, close to the Golden Gates. The horses are all in really good health, shiny coats and well fed. Well, except maybe for this one! He is still hungry.
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Interesting saddles here, must be for the heat as there is no leather down the middle of the saddle.
I now have an understanding of “Africa Time”. :roll: We were supposed to mount up for 0930, but actually got going closer to 1030. No worries, we watched a blacksmith trim up some hooves while we waited.
We had a nice small group and headed out into the mountains.
The mountain trails were breathtaking, but narrow and I was afraid that I would drop my camera if the horse stumbled, :shock: so I left my camera safe in the bag. The grasses are huge and have a fragrance that reminds me of salt & sea. The mountains in the distance are velvety smooth & green, except where jagged rocks break through. The day is starting to heat up and the aroma of horse is everywhere, it is indeed a wonderful day!
We saw some beautiful flowers, but alas no pics! We didn’t see any game on the ride, I was disappointed, but it was great to be on a horse again. The trails are too narrow for any galloping, so the horses settled in for a nice trot, which is great for them but not so great for us….*ow*. :evil: They really pay attention to the guide when he hollers out their names and are always aware of where he is. While walking again on a larger trail, I manage to wiggle out my camera. You can see the trail we are taking.

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Soon after, the camera is stashed away again as we are walking along a very steep ledge. I just laid the reins along the horse’s neck as I’m sure he knows the way better than me! :wink: Almost back to the stable, we have to jump over a bit of a stream, the horses are very sure-footed and they wear no shoes.

Off the horses now and walking like drunken sailors, 8) we make our way over to the shade of a tree and have a seat in the grass, waiting for Jo. Sure enough, that must be her, making a u-turn and coming back. She is truly the queen of the u-turn! She brought beer!!! :D Fantastic, as we were a bit parched by then. On our way to the rondeval, we made a stop at this beautiful cemetery. The Van Reenens, who settled here originally are remembered at this spot.
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Back to camp to get out of our jeans and into swim suits. The natural swimming hole was a must at this point, so Lockie & I packed a cooler bag and off we went. It was amazing!!! :D Beautiful & cool, with a waterfall. We cooled off nicely and chatted with some people from J’Burg. It was their first trip
here as well.

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It was starting to get crowded, so we went back to camp to see what was happening there. Dad was sleeping & I could see that Jo wanted to go swimming, but didn’t want to leave Dad, so Lockie stayed back and Jo & I went for a nice dip. The girls had a great time swimming.

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Later we went on a couple of game drives, but game was scarce. :( Caught a glimpse of antelope(Grey Rhebok?) very far away.

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And we found this amazing flower.


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The mountains in this park are spectacular!

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Now it’s time for us to crash after a wonderful braai of lamb chops…..we moved into Dad/Jo’s rondeval the second nite and we going to be sleeping upstairs…yikes!!!

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Sweet dreams smelling the scent of the thatch! :D

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Last edited by CuriousCanadian on Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:17 pm 
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Thanks peeps! :D It brings it all back as I draft out my report...

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March 2…

Navy son’s 21st birthday!!!

With much anticipation of what might come next…we packed up the car and proceeded to leave GGHNP. Snacks & cold drinks 8) in the car with us, we headed out for the other gate. The views are wonderful, such vast open spaces. :D

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Lots of game trails, but the game is elusive. :(

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And then….we saw him. Not really sure what he was at this time, but he was beautiful!

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A black wildebeest!!! All alone….now we’re pumped and can’t wait for more… :D

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Spotted some impis and waterbuck in the distance but too far for a pic.
And then this lone blesbok. He was interested in us too. 8)

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Now just for some background info. We are 4 in the car…Lockie/Jo in the front & Dad/me in the back. Lockie is manning the camera, Jo is driving. Dad is game spotting, and I’m supposed to be making notes in my journal. 8)
All the essentials are in the back seat with Dad & me. So….we have a sighting!!! :D We’re pulled over & stopped. And then it begins..” Trish, did you tick that one….pass me the binocs…can I have a muffin….did you look that one up in the book….here, take these back……pass me the map….could I have a drink….are you writing this down…take this trash.” :evil:
:roll: OMG..if I had 4 arms, I still couldn’t keep up…..it was too funny. :lol: It became a standing joke between us all.

Continuing down the tar road to the exit gates, we spot this tree full of nests….

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And this huge termite mound :shock: …..wow…how many termites would live in that?

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Out of GGHNP now and continuing on our journey towards the Drakensbergs.

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Last edited by CuriousCanadian on Sun Mar 30, 2008 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:39 pm 
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March 4

On our way to Richard’s Bay!!! :D I can’t believe that we’re going to meet up with a whole bunch of forumites!!! :dance:
It was a very hot day & Dad was having a few issues with the heat, so we decided to cut our afternoon activity short & drive to RB.
LL had called us earlier to find out what time we thought we’d be arriving. We thought after 5, but we actually arrived earlier than that…oops :redface:
Despite having detailed map instructions from SC & SO…we got lost anyway :roll: ….(Ralphie..we could’ve used a rescuer) We did get turned around (U-turn) and found our way back to ZZ’s place, she was just pulling in and was talking to Ralph on the phone..”They’re early” :shock: was what she was telling him….
Great big hugs all around and we go inside with ZZ…beautiful place!!! :clap:
She got us all sorted with sleeping arrangements and got us some cool drinks, and it was just like we had all known her forever!! She is amazing!
She had put up yellow ribbons on the fences around her neighborhood to guide us to her place, rolled out THE red carpet, and you must’ve seen the banner!!! :D

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LL and her son arrive and it’s hugs all around again..the Canadian men are getting spoiled! :lol: It’s so great to be meeting these girls!!!
Then the cat herself walks in with a cane!!!! :shock: SC!!! :shock: What has happened?
More hugs all around and SC tells me she is afraid that she can’t come to the cricket!!! :( Not the end of the world I tell her as she has to take care of herself now!!!
Now all the SOs have come in and we’re all yakking away as a big feast is being put out on the table.
We talk & drink & eat until almost midnight…..but we have to get to bed as ZZ’s SO is taking us out on the Indian Ocean to deep sea fish at 0500!!! :shock:

What a great time! :dance:

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Last edited by CuriousCanadian on Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:56 pm 
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I'm so relieved that you are liking my report!!! :D
and yes...we do have wonderful memories!

Last posting for awhile...I'm pooped!!


March 5 - 0500

True enough…ZZ’s SO was bright eyed & bushy tailed and ready to go!!! :shock:
ZZ was up as well and packing some snacks for us.
We headed out for the marina and the fellow we were meeting was not there yet. So we explored around, looking at the fabulous yachts moored in the bay.
Now the other guys have arrived and handshakes all ‘round, we head for the boat.
The water was very calm in the marina, but as we headed past the breakwater, there were swells. It was a beautiful morning…warm, but overcast. I don’t usually get seasick, but the sea was a bit rough. I certainly didn’t want to be sick with only guys on the boat. :roll:
So I put that idea right out of my mind. :D
We motored out for about an hour and land was distantly visible. The guys decided that they would put the hooks in the water and it looked like a scene right out of “Jaws”, with the rods mounted and trailing line out behind us.
The bait fish was actually mackerel, about the size of the biggest fish I’ve ever caught! :redface:
No luck…the swells are getting larger and I am now sitting on the ladder with my arm hooked around one of the rungs. The skipper decides that he is not liking the look of the thunderclouds building off in the distance :shock: …so we pull in the lines & turn around to go back in. No pics as we didn’t want the splashing seawater on the camera!
Oh well…it still was great to be out on the Indian Ocean on a lovely boat. :D And no seasickness!!! :dance:
We got back around 11 and we yapped with ZZ for awhile and then crashed for an afternoon nap.
There was to be a spit-braai later on, and I wanted to be on my game to meet the other forumites who were coming over.

To be continued....

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Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:47 pm 
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March 5…cont’d

After a good couple of hours sleep, we were refreshed enough to be considered human again. :roll: So we showered and went downstairs to see what was going on. While we were sleeping, Zippy had organized everything for tonight…the food and refreshment had all arrived and she was ready for the evening and so were we! :D Dad & Jo came down soon after us and noticed that the banner had been put back up for the rest of the forumites to see.
Sure enough the other RB ladies and their SOs arrived and after some more hugs, (Saffies are as bad as Canadians for hugging 8) ) we all fell into comfortable conversation again. ZZs SO had gone into work after fishing and he had come home as the in laws were arriving.
Lost in a conversation, I didn’t hear the doorbell and I turn around and there is RALPH!!!
This is all so great!!!
And with him is ELSA!!!
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Amazing that these two drove up from Durban & ‘Toti on a weeknight for this meet. :dance: It was like a room full of very good friends, the noise level, the laughing and the excitement of finally meeting. Dad & Jo jumped right in as well, and now realize what a special place this forum of ours is.
Then another friend comes over…Bennevis :D !!!
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It was time for a forum toast, with…. what else…?

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Uh oh…if any of you have ever been to Ralph’s Watering hole, then you know that a few of us angels, who shall not be named, have developed quite a liking for Amarula. :redface: (Much like Gwennie… :shock: :lol: )

Now before we eat & drink too much, it’s time for some publicity shots.
Dad & Jo, having a great time!
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Do you think we’re happy to be here? 8)

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And finally…the whole meet! What a happy bunch!!!
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We had so much fun that night, lots of food & drink, amazing wildlife & Kruger stories, plus I even got to try Brutal Fruit. :D (altho I’ll never be able to say it like SC…Brrrrrrrutal Frrrrrruit :wink: )
The braai was delicious, the salads - wonderful and we even had Malva Pudding!!! WOW, no wonder you all are crazy for it! We tried it at a few places after this, but there was no comparison to how good LL’s Malva Pudding was!
Elsa had brought us each a gift! A wonderful hand made Kudu pin! They are indeed beautiful and mine has hardly been off my clothing since I received it. Thank you Elsa! :D You all will see it later on….
Well, we drank, ate, talked, danced & laughed until the wee hours! Some of us didn’t go to bed at all :shock: ….plus had to work the next day! :naughty:


All in all a fantastic mini meet in Richard’s Bay!!!! :D :D

To be continued....

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Last edited by CuriousCanadian on Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Miss you too..SC.. :(


March 6

By the time Lockie & I got up….LL & Zippy’s SO had already gone to work, Dad, Jo & Zippy are in the kitchen sipping coffee (with Amarula, I think :shock: ) . This was a packing & resting day for us as we were pulling out early the next day. :(
We really hated to leave. It was so wonderful at Zippy’s, such gracious hosts and such a beautiful place.

Later on in the morning, Ralph & Elsa came back to say goodbye, so we fell once again into the comfortable conversation of old friends. We talked about everything under the sun, but mostly animals, Kruger & conservation. :D
All too soon, it was time for Ralph & Elsa to leave….I knew I would see Ralph again soon at the cricket, but it was hard to say goodbye to Elsa, not knowing when we might ever meet up again :( . They left, after much hugging, and went to Looney’s office to see how she was coping today and to say goodbye to her, too.
Later on that afternoon, SC & SO came over to say goodbye. We were all going out to dinner later but SC declined as she had been quite busy over the last couple of days and had to rest her leg for the cricket.
She brought gifts for us!!! :shock: Wonderful placemats that she had made for Joanne & I, a fantastic book for Lockie and she also had my birthday gift!! :D

WOW, I couldn’t believe my eyes! She had made a painting for me…it is so beautiful! She painted it from a photo she liked and it is so incredibly personal!! I will treasure it always!

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Isn’t it gorgeous…I just love it so. Thank you so much SC!! Words cannot express how much I love your paintings especially this one!
Well, soon enough, it was time to say goodbye to SC & SO as we prepared to go out to dinner. I had very mixed emotions as I was unsure as to whether I would see SC in a week’s time at Skukuza. :? We hugged hard as I'm sure she was thinking the same thing.
Out to dinner on the waterfront to a place called Zack’s. ZZ, SO, and their two wonderful children, LL and her handsome son, Dad, Jo, Lockie & myself. Nice place, open air and it started to rain, :x Now, Canadians are not happy when it rains generally, but the Saffies seem to rejoice in it.
Joanne ordered the catch of the day which was mussel-cracker. Zippy’s SO said that it was a good tasting fish. We had never heard of this fish, but Jo enjoyed it thoroughly.
Mussel-cracker:
Also known as Black Steenbras, it is peculiar to South Africa waters, growing over 1 metre in length. Popular angling fish occurring in depths of up to 75 metres. It feeds mainly on molluscs or shellfish, breaking them open with powerful jaws and teeth. Sides are greyish, irregularly mottled with darker colours. Pelvic fins are reddish.

A great time was had by all, :D but it was time to go. It was really raining by now, so Jo brought the car down for us. Looney came running back, :shock: (in the pouring rain) as she had some gifts she had made, for myself & Joanne. Beautiful necklaces & earrings!! Thank you Looney, we will wear them with pride! :D Hugs and sad goodbyes here too, but only for a week. :dance:
When we got back to Zippy’s , Dad & Joanne retired, but ZZ, SO, Lockie & I stayed up and chatted for quite awhile. We brought out the mini-atlas that my brother insisted that we take, and showed them all the different areas of Canada, and they in turn told us stories about South Africa. We shared information for hours and than reluctant to go to bed, had to, as we were all exhausted.
Our gracious hosts for the past three days..
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Some views of Zippy’s place.

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Alas…tomorrow we have to move on to further adventures. I can’t post some of them here so, please be patient with me as I write my journal in date order and post when I can for you!

To be continued…..

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Last edited by CuriousCanadian on Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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March 7

Well…car is all packed up and ZZ’s children & SO are off to school & work, I guess that we have to go! :( We have many adventures awaiting us and it’s only a short week until the cricket. :D The RB ladies have graciously agreed to carry one suitcase for us as it is stuffed with things for the silent auction and will take up room in our already too-full car. (Unless of course…SC gets into it and sells the contents for petrol).:naughty:

Just a short note & funny story. :wink: When ZZ showed us our bedroom for the first time the other day, on the dresser there were chocolates 8) , a big beautiful bar of soap and a lovely big thirsty towel. (Later on in the visit a big bag of rusks appeared. :D ) In the bathroom that Lockie & I were using, (Dad/Jo had their own) there were already big fluffy towels, so we used those ones.
Now..it’s time to leave and Jo asks me…” did you bring the towel from your room?” Apparently they had one as well. “No” I said.. ”Why…did you bring yours?” It turns out that she had! :shock: So she hurriedly unpacked it & put it back on her dresser. We were unsure of what to do here…were we stealing the towels :redface: or were they a gift??? Well, we decided that if ZZ had intended for us to keep the towels, then they would show up at the cricket.
Big hugs goodbye, even if only for a week…and we’re…on the road again…armed with the big bag of rusks and some delicious biltong that LL had given to the guys! 8)

Thank you ZZ, SC, LL and your SOs for the incredible hospitality extended to us!!! :clap:

Thanks to you too Ralph, Elsa & Bennevis for taking time out of your busy lives to come & meet us!!!

It was an amazing time in Richard's Bay! :dance:

To be continued…

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Thank you guys... :D I never realized what kind of an effort goes into all these trip reports until now... :redface:

March 8
We meet up with another Forum friend…Jeep Jockey Jeanus! :D She is a game driver and offered to take us on a drive. Fantastic! :dance:
We all climbed up into her huge open air game truck and off we went…STOP!!
Joanne had dropped her car keys right out of her purse, out of the truck & onto the ground :shock: ….Jean jumped out & rescued the keys!
This place smells like horses…& poo!!! There must be a lot of game here. :dance:
Jean is an amazing guide. She showed us things that we would never have noticed…like a big ball of frog eggs in a tree…just waiting to plop down into the water when they hatch and the “toilet paper” tree that can be used in a emergency :shock: as the leaves are so soft. She also told us that elephants don’t bother with the male Marula tree as it bears no fruit, and that there is a specific type of wasp for each type of Sycamore fig tree, one cannot exist without the other.
Oh, and that Hyena poo is white due to all the calcium they eat from bones…and that turtles eat that poo because it’s really good for their shell growth. She showed us what a Rhino midden was ( a territorial marker) and to stay away from it as they don’t like anything “messin’ with their midden”. :wink:

We spent a fantastic afternoon with Jean. You can tell that she has a real passion for her work…it shines through in the way she shares her knowledge! :D
As we were driving around, we met a car with a female up & out through the sun roof…Jean stopped and told her that was not permitted and she got back in the car…as we watched them drive out of sight, she got right back out again. We were not amused!!! :evil:


We had some amazing sightings with Jean…like our first giraffes! :D
I didn’t know that they walk like a standard-bred horse…and use their neck for balance..amazing.

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A zebra with a rider…
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A gorgeous herd of buffalo…
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Our very first Nyala!!!
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Rhino with his midden…

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A few more Rhinos…
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And of course!!! A Dinkybird!!!
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Baby Impalas….
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A couple of Hadidah Ibis….
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But it was Saturday afternoon and Jean had to go :( . She had given us three wonderful hours of game viewing, lots of stories & valuable information and we were extremely grateful to her for her time. Thank you Jean :clap: ..it was an unforgettable afternoon. :dance:

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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 8:06 pm 
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Thanks for your patience and comments guys :D ....I've been a bit busy lately.


March 14
On the final stretch to Kruger! Our point of entry is Crocodile Bridge!!
And we’re here!!!! :dance:
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It is just so unbelievable to me that I am actually here!

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The air has taken on an earthy smell that I will forever associate with Kruger!!!
On to the actual gate for registration.

Our welcoming committee…. :D
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An absolute must at this stage (besides the bathroom) :roll: is registration and the purchase of our Kruger Maps.

Our reservations are in order for Skukuza, so into the park we go……through the electric fences!!!


We’re in Kruger now…..amazing to me as I only heard about it less than 1 short year ago! :shock:
After a refreshing pause…with maps, and binos and cameras charged up we hit the road…S28.

Not long until we were spotting game!
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Looks like this guy has had a run-in with something bad!

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Thanks to Jean, we knew about the bright blue colouring on the male Vervets and since this is a family forum, I’ll choose a different pic!
It appears as if these little guys are thirsty!

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These were abundant
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…but after awhile we figured out that it was the same ones…they kept following us around. What clowns they are…we called them “Heckle & Jeckle”

Then this lovely mixed grazing herd.

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Not sure if this is Heckle or Jeckle….

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Beautiful mommy & baby

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….. he’s coming right for us,then he changed his mind
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To be continued..... :wink:

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Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 2:25 am 
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Okay...I managed to get a bit done today...I'm trying to finish it for Dad... :D



This is one of MY favourite pics…..
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Kruger has been really good to us in a short time….around 2:00 we turned onto the S137 and then we spotted this guy. Kori Buskard.
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And then our second ellie of this trip…fantastic, magical, HUGE!!!
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I really had no concept of just how large these animals are.

Back on the H4-2….we encounter a troop of Baboons, determined to make us laugh and stay for awhile.
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The females appear ready for breeding so the photos have been censored.
This fellow is watching his friends under him…..
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The smaller things can be quite beautiful as well.
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We stopped at Lower Sabie for a much needed ablution break…and then headed out again on the H4-1

And spotted this fellow soon after.

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Hmmm..I wonder what he’s thinking….

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It has been an incredible afternoon in Kruger so far, and we push on to Skukuza.

After a very easy registration, we spot a yellow ribbon!! Our first Forumite and it is Jose…with Mario & Juan….
Excited greetings all around and then we carry on to find the Dip Pool where the party is tonite . We found it on the map, and when we got there I got out & followed the sound of laughter. There were a few people there setting up and as soon as I spoke, a lady said “ You’re Curious Canadian”! ( like I have an accent or something) :roll: and it was Freda!!! How wonderful!!! :D Greetings all round and we were off to our bungalow right on the river bank…beautiful! (192)
We can see the Selati train bridge from here.

!Image
Time to shower up as we have the Ice Breaker Braai tonite.

To be continued.... :wink:

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Last edited by CuriousCanadian on Thu May 01, 2008 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 2:22 pm 
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Thank you all for your generous compliments! :D I'm happy to take you all with me :D

March 14 cont'd.....

Showers all around and we were excited to get to the party. As we had already been traveling, we had just picked up some boeres for the braai on our way out of Swazi.

So we packed those in a cooler bag, with some frosties and we were ready to go.
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Lockie snapped this just as we were leaving.

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Dad wasn’t quite ready yet, so Jo drove us over to the party & went back for Dad.

Freda met us there at the door, the walkway was beautiful with candles glowing in paper bags with sand…lovely. :clap:
Freda & company had name tags all sorted & Lockie & I proudly pinned ours on and picked up Dad/Jo’s as well.
We were a bit late…so Nedret was speaking when we got there, followed soon after by DinkyBird….It was so great to hear her voice after being friends for almost a year! :D
There were a lot of people there. Lockie & I just looked around for familiar faces and soon we spotted SC! She made it!!! I was so glad to see her as I was not sure if the leg would be mended enough. Hugs & kisses and we were offered a chair with her group.
There was a huge braai burning furiously and Ralph & a few other musketeers were tending it. I’m sorry, it was really dark, so not many pictures were taken and those ones are not too good.

DinkyBird with Hawk in the background filming. Nedret in the front.
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We had a great time that nite…meeting so many friends for the first time. :dance:
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Special thanks to the RB ladies again for sharing their delicious salads with us, as well as their chairs. We weren’t able to bring much with us to this party. :roll:
The planning & set up committee did an excellent job Thank You!! :clap: The men who roasted themselves over the braais…Thank You. :clap:
The place looked wonderful and we even received SANParks shirts & hats. :clap: Thank you SANParks! :dance:
You’ll see us all in our new duds at the cricket tomorrow.
Dad & Jo arrived and met a lot of forumites that night and were excited to see the RB crowd again.
After eating & drinking, laughing & chatting…it was soon enough time to go. We made a side trip over to SC, ZZ, & LL’s place to pick up the suitcase they graciously brought for us…and Lo & behold…our towels were there!!! :lol:
Well we had to tell them the story of the towels then & there and we were all killing ourselves laughing! :lol:
Off to the bungalow to sort the silent auction items and do an inventory :wink: . I guess that SC had enough petrol cash as everything seemed to be in perfect order. :wink:
OK…get to bed :evil: …busy day ahead tomorrow.

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Unread postPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 11:44 pm 
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Thanks peeps!!! :D

Jaz..that's gotta be one Super-Duper piggy bank! :wink:


March 15….
The big cricket day has arrived….it’s a beautiful day in Africa at 0630! :dance:
While Dad was still sleeping, we sneaked out for a quick game drive.
Took the H1-1 and soon spotted impalas…and then this fellow…
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Took a quick drive up Mathekenyane look out spot.
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Beautiful!!! :dance:
Saw a few cat prints
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but it was really crowded up there with tours having breakfast, so we didn’t stay long. :(

Went back to the bungalow and got Dad up for breakfast.
We packed up our auction stuff and headed out for the cricket field. To get to the field, we had to go through the staff area.
Arrived at about 0930 and I started to set up….

Wow…a lot of forumites brought things for the auction :clap: , and I had to get another table quickly. Then the African wind picked up and started to blow my tags all over the place… :evil: Lockie found some poster putty and I used that to keep my papers in place.
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( pic taken by DB) Look at those cursed bites on my arms :evil: …! I have had comments from a few people in the know and they all seem to think that it was sand fleas that were gnawing on me in my sleep. Thanks Skillie for the cream! :D
It was an extremely hot day and I as watched the cricketeers out there I felt for them…. :(
The angels vs the musketeers was hilarious! :lol: Antics abounded and at one point the angel team had players lying down in the field :lol: ….I don’t know a lot about cricket, mind you, but I’m positive a few rules were trampled on! :roll: Everybody was having fun, and the children even had an inflatable play palace. :D

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Thank you Muhammad :clap:

The lunch was delicious :D …and we all took a break to chow down.

Dad surrounded by beautiful angels…
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Look at these two birds of a feather…..Black Label buddies!!!
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While the cricket match played on…the Honourary Rangers had an informative display on Poaching Awareness set up and you could see the ways animals are maimed & killed for their fur/hide/horns/tusks. :x They had a donation box set up as well and I think they made some money for their cause here. :D

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The silent auction was a huge success!!! When all the goodies had been collected by their buyers, we had raised almost R3000!!!! :dance: Amazing!
I managed to score a few things for myself and for Edgy1 as well. :D


A very hot & tired Ralphie, the Musketeers lost to the Skukuza team again this year. But…you’ll get ‘em next year!!! :clap:
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BGS was kind enough to give us a ride back to the bungalow as Dad & Jo had gone back earlier to rest up for tonight.
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We have to be out of the gates by 6:00 and we have a special permit to be able to do that. Tonight’s event is at the Golf Club which is outside of Skukuza’s electric fences. Out in the park….after dark :shock: ….self driving….Hmmmmmm…I hope we don’t get lost. :wink:

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Last edited by CuriousCanadian on Mon May 05, 2008 1:50 am, edited 2 times in total.

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