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 Post subject: Crested Val-Memories are made of this!-Early Trips
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:57 pm 
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As some of you know, DB and I are off to Kruger in December, and though I don’t want to wish my life away, I am getting very excited and restless, and can’t wait!!! :dance: :dance:

I’ve made out the shopping lists, and planned the menus. I’ve jotted down places where fellow mites have had successful sightings, posted each day in the Countdown thread, and I’ve read every travel report posted. :popcorn:

“What can I do to make it come quicker?” I thought.

“I know, we can look through some old photos, and DB and I can reminisce all our previous SANPARKS trips, starting from 1976 to the present day”. :thumbs_up:

It poured with rain all day on Tuesday, and I thought that we’d been transported back to the UK during the night!! :roll:

This therefore seemed the ideal time to get out the old photos (now scanned and in our laptop) and have a wander down memory lane.

As we started, I got to thinking that maybe we could share some of our adventures on the forums, and as I always keep a diary when on holiday, most of the events will be correct, though I may use some artistic licence occasionally!!
There are even some photos to go with it. :whistle: :whistle:

My story actually starts 6 months before I met DB, so I will have to wander alone to start off with !! :lol: :lol:

To be continued…………


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 Post subject: Re: Memories are made of this!
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:11 am 
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Wecome aboard MM, you just made it!! :thumbs_up:

Nov 1975.
I had recently completed my nurse training, and most of the girls that I had spent the last three years with, were now off doing post grad courses, or getting married, or working abroad in places like Australia, The Middle East, or South Africa.

My friend Alma, fell into the latter category, and had signed up for a year’s contract to work in a private clinic in Hillbrow Johannesburg.

“Where IS South Africa?“ I asked, when she told me her news. :hmz:
“At the bottom of Africa, I think” was the reply.
“Well you’re welcome to it!!” was my reply, and that was that!! :big_eyes:

In my mind I had visions of mud huts, and creepy crawlies, and pygmies!!

In November 1975, I received a phone call from Alma’s boyfriend Dave, who was missing her dreadfully, and was hoping to have a “holiday of a lifetime” in South Africa.
“How do you fancy coming with me?” he said.

“Say that again!!” :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

“How do you fancy coming with me to South Africa.?” Alma will be working some of the time, and I thought that we could do some sightseeing together.”

Well to cut a long story short, after discussing it with my mother, who said “Oh no dear, I don’t think that’s a very good idea, you may be eaten by a tiger!!” and my father and big brother, who both said “Go for it, you‘re only young once!!” I agreed to accompany Dave on this “one and only holiday of a lifetime“!!! :lol:

Little did I know then, that it would be the beginning of my love affair with the most amazing country in the world!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

As they are not SANPARK related, I obviously can’t tell you about all the amazing places that we visited during that holiday, but there was one place that Alma had booked for us to stay, and that place was THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK!!

To be continued…………….


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 Post subject: Re: Memories are made of this!
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:25 pm 
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Anne-marie- Luckily I soon realised I was in the wrong continent for Tigers!! :redface:

Micetta- Thanks for your kind words :dance:

Hugh- Nice to talk earlier on. Get ready for the bus to leave again soon :dance:

Katya and Cres Barb- Words can't really describe my first impressions of Africa, but I'll try :thumbs_up:

LVB- Glad to have you aboard.

Feb 15th 1976
Alma’s friend Sue had decided to join us on the trip, and I was very grateful for that, as I had feared being a huge gooseberry for the next few days :redface:

After a few hours drive, and as advised, we stopped at White River for meat, groceries and booze, and then after a few wrong turns, and some interesting encounters with local children trying to sell us some crudely carved animals, we eventually came to The Numbi Gate.

As we pulled up I remember what we had been told.

“Kruger is a magical place, and once you’ve visited, it will always call you back.”
How true those words have proved to be over the sands of time!!! :lol:

As we showed our paperwork to the ranger, he reminded us of the park rules-no litter, no noise, no getting out of the car, no feeding the animals etc. (I wonder if this is still done today!!) :evil:

I also remember being asked if we had any firearms!!!! and remember being given a large brown bag for rubbish, and a basic map of the park.

I also remember how hot it was, and I remember the unfamiliar sounds and the smells!!!

If I am honest, this was the first time since arriving at Jan Smuts Airport two weeks ago, that I truly felt that I was in Africa!! :dance:

We set out for Skukuza Camp, where we had booked for two nights, and there in the middle of the road was the weirdest bird we’d ever seen.

Image

Soon after we saw a solitary baboon, which at the time did not seem unusual to us, but now I wonder where all it’s family were!!?

Image


What Bush Virgins we truly were!! Not a clue what we were seeing!!
No books to help us identify, but just so excited to be here!!

We arrived at Skukuza, and checked into our hut.
Four beds, a fridge, a braai and …….air con, all for R7.50 a night.
What a magical place this was, so peaceful and so clean.

Image

We had been slightly misinformed, as we had been told that even in a hut without a kitchen, there would be basic utensils, but of course that was not the case, so we battled a bit to prepare, cook and eat our meal that night.

Also of course none of us had ever braaied before, so in true pommie style, the fire was too hot, so the meat was burnt on the outside and undercooked in the middle, but we didn’t care, we ate hungrily, accompanied by a glass or two of wine!!
(It was to be several years later before I discovered Amarula!!)

Exhausted from a busy day travelling with all the excitement of being in this amazing place, and determined to be up at what seemed to us like “stupid o’ clock” we went to bed, with all the unfamiliar sounds of an African night around us………
That is when it happened!!!


To be continued…………..


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 Post subject: Re: Memories are made of this!
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 1:46 pm 
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Lockie - Glad I'm keeping you "on the edge"!!! :big_eyes:

Dotty - Not long to wait now. :popcorn:

Charming 1 - The back seat has been reserved for you. :whistle:

Micetta - But cliff-hangers can be such fun!! :dance:

Anne-marie - Yes, old pictures hold such good memories :cam:

Katya - Almost time for the next episode. :thumbs_up:

Hugh - Hang on to your biltong and coke!! :wink:

Pumbaa - Glad you're travelling with us. :thumbs_up:

Bush Baptist - Thanks for the ID, though by now I had realised what it was!! :thumbs_up:

Crested B - it has taken DB many years to perfect his braaiing skills. :lol:
Glad you're still on the bus. :popcorn:

Oddesy - Nice to have you with us :thumbs_up:

Feb 16th
Where did I leave it yesterday?……………

Oh yes, I remember, it was just as I was falling asleep that it happened!!

For the first time in my life, I was beginning to fall in love!!! :dance:

That was the start of my 35 year old love affair with Kruger and each year it becomes stronger and more intense, which is why I now get so passionate about litter, and idiots getting out of their cars, and people feeding the animals, and loud music, and new hotels, and run-down picnic areas, and dead crocs in the Olifants Gorge, and poaching and…………..!! :sniper:

Rant over, I will go back to the past (which I know wasn‘t perfect either- rose coloured glasses and all that!!)

Well here we were, four very tired but very excited young bush virgins, waking up to our first morning in the bush!! :dance: :dance:

We had been told that early morning was a good time to see game, and so we were up with the larks (actually I think we beat the larks to it by about fifteen minutes) and after a quick “lick and a promise” and armed with a thermos of coffee, off we set. :pray: :pray:

We were heading for Lower Sabie, and I remember that there was a river on our left (now identified as The Sabie River)
We pulled into a viewing area and to our great excitement, we saw some hippos, submerged in the early morning sunlight. :dance:

Image

I wrote in my diary that we crossed a big bridge and just as we came to the other side, one of us spotted this little fellow!! :clap:

Of course we had no idea what it was at the time, “probably some sort of fox“ we thought, and we only identified it later, as a black backed jackal!!

Image

My diary also says we turned right after the bridge, so I think that must have been the Salitje Road, where DB and I have had many wonderful sightings over the years.

Suddenly something huge emerged from the bush and walked across the road in front of us. Oh my word it was an elephant!! :big_eyes:
We just managed to get a quick shot before it completely disappeared!!

That lesson in camouflage was the first of many lessons that I would learn over the years about nature and it’s mysteries. How could something so large, completely disappear behind a tree?

That was sadly to be the first and last ellie that we saw on that trip, and though we hummed “Nellie the Elephant” on more than one occasion, not one of them came out to play!!

Still that was two of the Big Five, so on we went eagerly anticipating what would be round the next corner…..or not!!

To be continued………

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 Post subject: Re: Memories are made of this!
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:16 am 
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Yes Gunner, you just made it :thumbs_up:
The bus was about to leave but there was a technical problem, so you're just in time. Some of the seats are taken, but there are plenty still empty. I'm afriad that there are not many photos though :redface: :redface:

Continued.............
We arrived at Lower Sabie just in time for breakfast, and boy were we ready for it after all that excitement. :dance:

We were shown into the restaurant, and there followed the largest (and cheapest) breakfast that we had ever had!! :big_eyes:

There was fruit juice, fresh fruit, stewed fruit, cereals of every description, and of course steak, bacon, wors, eggs, tomatoes, toast and jam, and tea or coffee…………you name it, we had it!! and all costing next to nothing it seemed to us, coming from that strange land over the seas, where just a cup of coffee was becoming a ridiculous price!!

There seemed to be dozens of friendly waiters pandering to our every need, and we felt like kings and queens, as the ceiling fans whirred round near the thatched roof that was supported by those huge beams. Those thatched roofs give off a really distinctive smell, and even today, as I smell it, I am transported back to that first trip. :D :D

It was now so incredibly hot, beyond anything that any of us had ever experienced, and of course there was no air con in cars in those days, so we decided to go back to camp and relax in our cool hut.

We had just left Lower Sabie, when we were delighted to see a large herd of springbok!!!
Yes I know that there are no springbok in Kruger, and we all felt very silly when we were later told that they were impala!! but there you go, they had been leaping a bit like springbok, and that is how it is when you are a bush virgin!!
I must say that I was very taken with the grace that these beautiful creatures displayed, and they remain to this day, a great favourite of mine. :thumbs_up:

My diary tells me that on the way back to Skukuza we saw zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, several “pretty birds” and “bambi” which I’m guessing was probably a steenbok!! Sadly any photos are back home, yet to be scanned into the laptop, so you’ll have to use your imaginations!!

The hippos were still wallowing as we passed by, and all of a sudden, there in the middle of the road, was a huge group of baboons!!

Here follows the reason why we give baboons a wide berth these days, and always put up the windows when we are near them!!!!

Being bush virgins, we thought “Oh how cute those baboons are, let’s stop and look at them!”
Big mistake!!! Before we knew what was happening, the dominant male bearing huge yellow teeth had hopped on the bonnet of the car and was trying to get in!!

We all wound our windows up (manual in those days of course!!) but still the old fellow refused to move, and was screeching and poo ing all over the front of the car!!!
We turned on the engine, and slowly moved off, but he clung to the windscreen wipers and eventually pulled one of them right off!
Oh dear, what were we to do? We didn’t want to hurt him, but we also wanted to arrive back at camp without him, and without further damage to the hire car!! :evil:

With hearts thumping, we drove a bit faster, and with great relief we saw him jump off and scamper straight up a tree!!! Lesson well learnt!!

Just before we arrived back at Skukuza we came across a cute little warthog, out for a morning stroll with his family. Even now, I still love the way they stick their little tails in the air, when they run away!!

Image

After a pleasant day at camp, relaxing and trying to keep cool, we went out for an early evening drive.

We had been told about the strict rules of camp closing times, and so in case we were locked out for the night, we didn’t dare stray too far!!!
The diary says, we saw springbok (translate impala), baboons, vervet monkeys and our first group of kudu - gosh, those horns were magnificent!!

I’m glad to say that we had a lovely Afrikaans family staying in the next hut that night, and they were only too pleased to share some of their knowledge with the bush virgins, and the oom was more than happy to share his braaiing skills with Dave!!

It seems that we shouldn’t have used charcoal the previous evening, but we should have burned half a ton of wood, and we should have had at least half a dozen drinks while we watched it burn, and then we should have put on more wood and then even more, and then eventually when we could neither see nor care what we were doing……….that was when we should have cooked the meat!!

Oh the delights of this wonderful new country!! What a shame that this would be my only visit!!

This was our last night in the park, and I experienced for the first time the sadness of knowing that soon this amazing adventure would end, and that we would be leaving this truly unique place for ever!!
Still, there was always tomorrow morning to come……..

To be continued……….


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 Post subject: Re: Memories are made of this!
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:46 pm 
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Theuns, you just made it!! :thumbs_up:

Feb 17th
Well this was it - our last few hours in the park. :cry: :cry:

How many of you identify with that sinking feeling?
It happens each time I leave Kruger, and never more strongly than on that hot morning in February, thirty-five years ago!! Something in me had changed for ever. :hmz:

There was a mixture of excitement at all we had seen and experienced, and a tremendous sadness that we would never be returning to this awesome place. (Never say never!!!)

Why hadn’t we booked a longer stay here? We could have done, if we planned it differently, but now Alma and Sue were due back to work, so that was that!!

We packed up all our belongings with heavy hearts, locked up the hut, and dropped the keys in the box near the camp gates.

It was early morning, the sun was just coming up, and there was nothing stirring in the bush.

I don’t know if Lake Panic was there in those days as a place to visit, but if it was we must have driven straight past the turning.

As we looked up we saw an eerie sight. There, perched in a tree, and looking very ominous, were a number of vultures. :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

Though bush virgins, we knew enough to know that vultures gather while waiting for the pickings from a kill, but that morning I think they were just roosting!! as we neither saw nor smelled any signs of recent activity, and other cars passing by didn’t seem interested.

Image

We were going to visit The Blyde River Canyon, on our way back to Joburg, with all it’s marvellous beauty spots, so had decided to leave the park via Paul Kruger.
To prolong our departure, we decided to take a round-about route to the gate, and somehow landed up on a dirt road.

As we bumped along the uneven surface, we saw something move on the side of the road in the distance, but as we approached, it stood it’s ground, and looked at us defiantly, as much as to say
“This is MY home, did I invite YOU?!!”

Oh my gosh, it was a cat and it had spots!! But was it a leopard or a cheetah?
Bush virgins!!!!

There were mixed feelings as to which we hoped it was. A leopard would make number three of the Big Five, but I seemed to remember reading somewhere that cheetah were far more rare, so either way we were thrilled!!

We stayed watching this beautiful creature for as long as we could, but all too soon it was time to make tracks, and leave what we later identified as a cheetah.

Image

Before we knew it, we had arrived at the gate!!

Image


We all confessed how we were feeling at that point, and agreed how wonderful it would be to return some day, but that was not very likely!!
However, there was a little bushbuck near the gate, and as we drove out I swear he winked at me!!

I have no idea what happened to Sue after she returned home, as we soon lost contact, but Alma and Dave eventually married , and soon after I returned to South Wales, I met and married DB.

The four of us have remained firm friends all this time, and many years later, we all returned to that magical place where Alma, Dave and I had all fallen in love, so long ago.
(Well here’s the story!! 2009)

That was of course after many more visits for DB and me, but those are for another time!!

To be continued………


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 Post subject: Re: Memories are made of this!
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:49 am 
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Mi and Katja - Glad that you're both enjoying the trip!!

Well here we go!! :popcorn: :popcorn:


1976-1978
Following on from my visit to Kruger in 1976, how strange life can be!!

Shortly after my return home, I met a gorgeous man at a house warming party, and to my astonishment he had also just returned from a holiday in South Africa!! :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

More amazing, we had both been to a performance of the current hit musical “Ipi Tombi” on the same night, sitting in the same row!! (So our ticket stubs informed us!!)

He had been working on the copper belt in Zambia, and had called to visit friends in Joburg on his way back to the UK at the end of his contract.

To cut yet another long story short, we had a whirlwind romance, and within eight months were married and living in Essex. :dance:

I am talking of course of the other love of my life, DB, who patiently puts up with all my nonsense and keeps us both sane!! :roll: :roll:

Well DB came home from work one day, and said “How do you fancy emigrating to South Africa, I have been offered a job there, and we could see how it goes”?

To cut an even much longer story short, we decided to give it a try, and so the girl who thought she was having a “once and only holiday of a life time in South Africa,” now found herself about to become a permanent resident there!!

We settled into our new life in Joburg very easily, and soon made wonderful friends that we still have to this day. Yes, you know who you are!!

I was very keen to return to Kruger, and introduce DB to it’s many wonders, but work commitments for both of us, was making it very difficult!!

We tried to book for the December holidays, but everywhere was full, so we were delighted when some friends of ours invited us to join them for Christmas, at The Sabie River Bungalows near Hazyview. I was doubly delighted when they told us that it included an afternoon excursion into The Kruger Park by bus!!!

Not quite what I’d planned for our first visit together, but still better than nothing!!

Or was it?

To be continued……….


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 Post subject: Re: Memories are made of this!
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 6:52 pm 
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Of course from the very first moment, it was quite awful!!
A complete disaster!! :big_eyes:

We waited in the blistering hot afternoon sun for our “luxury coach” to arrive! :dance:

When it arrived, it was an old banger, and belched out smoke that threatened to choke us all to death. :evil:

The extremely surly driver/guide either thought he was Jody Scheckter, or was on a promise that evening, and was on a mission to exceed the speed limit at every opportunity, and dump us back at the hotel. :rtm:

This of course made game viewing nearly impossible, and what little game we spotted couldn’t be captured on camera, because Jody refused to stop for long enough!! :sniper:

We didn’t call into any of the familiar camps, or stop at any of my favourite places. :cry:

Nobody else on the bus, seemed in the least bit interested in being there, and couldn’t wait to get back for their sundowners at the hotel!! :sniper:

I could hear comments like “See one impala you’ve seen em all!!”
“How many more animals bums are we going to see!!” :twisted: :twisted:

This was turning into a nightmare!! :big_eyes: :big_eyes:


We also saw this bird.
It’s hard to take a photo at 80kph!!
Any ideas, as to what it may be? :hmz:

Image


Where was my beloved Kruger? What had happened?!!

I can’t tell you how much of a disappointment it all was - I could have cried!!

I kept assuring DB, that this was not the real Kruger , and he was so patient and kind, and said it didn’t matter, we could come again another time. :thumbs_up:

But it did matter!!! It mattered very much to me!

It spoiled my evening and I festered and fretted. :(

However, when I thought about it that night in bed, it suddenly hit me, that of course my beloved Kruger was still there, and hopefully always would be.
It was just (as is so often the case) the human element that had spoiled things that day.

Those words that I had heard so long ago, echoed in my ears.

“Kruger is a magical place, and once you’ve visited , it will always call you back.”

I vowed then and there, that at the next opportunity, I would introduce DB properly to the other love of my life!!

To be continued…………


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 Post subject: Re: Memories are made of this!
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:38 pm 
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My first visit to Kruger, could well have been my last :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

Sitting in the back of that very uncomfortable bus, having my insides shaken about, I thought "I could be back at the hotel sitting by the pool with a cold Castle".

Why was Val so taken with this place? :hmz:

_________________
Skukuza 23/12/10
Letaba 24-28/12/10
Olifants 29/12/10
Skukuza 30 & 31/12/10


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 Post subject: Re: Memories are made of this!
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:18 am 
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Hugh - There is a huge tree that is blocking the road, after an Elephant uprooted it, so trip delayed :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

Please send my apologies to all on board.

We've sent for the rangers, so here's hoping!! :whistle: :whistle:


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 Post subject: Re: Memories are made of this!
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:01 am 
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Hugh and Glen - Coffee break over!!

Take your seats please :naughty: :naughty:

Here we go!! :popcorn:

Feb 1979
“Can you get a week off?” DB asked, as he walked in through the door one evening in February 1979!! I thought we could book a few days in “your favourite place!”

“Can I just!!!!” I said, and then began the planning and sorting and shopping, and …….

After our debacle of a visit in the bus in December, I was so wanting to make this special for DB, and he, bless him, was wanting it to be special for my sake!!!

I wasn’t quite a bush virgin by this time, as I had read quite a bit about the history of Kruger in those early days, and had borrowed several books on mammals, birds, reptiles and insects from our dear friend Tony who was a Saffie bushman through and through!!

One of my regrets in life is that Tony died before we could all go on a trip to Kruger together. Something that we talked about, but sadly never did!!

Finally the day dawned, and with our car packed with Castle beers and Late Harvest wine (ugh did I really drink that back then - give me a crisp dry white these days!!) and various groceries and pots and pans, we set off just before midnight, so that we could hopefully be at the gate at opening time!!

We made good time, travelling through the night, and eventually started to make our way down the escarpment, to that wonderfully familiar terrain, when all of a sudden……………

To be continued………………


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 Post subject: Re: Memories are made of this!
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:23 pm 
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Hugh, Glen, Katja, Mi and Anne-marie
Sorry to keep you all dangling :whistle: :whistle:

Xankie, grannyb and WendyA
Lovely to have you all aboard. There's plenty of room, just dont sit next to Hugh, she'll pinch your biltong, and she gets bus sick!! :big_eyes:


Continued...........
“Whatever is that awful noise?” I asked. :big_eyes:

“Oh ****………. the ****** exhaust has gone, I though it sounded a bit odd yesterday!!” replied DB!! :redface:

“Well why the heck didn’t you say something THEN?!” :twisted: :twisted:

“I thought it would be OK for a while longer yet!!”

“*****!” :twisted:

NOW what were we to do? It was about 4am, and we were in the middle of nowhere, or so it seemed!!

Actually we weren’t far from Nelspruit, we soon discovered, and so we drove extremely slowly ( though that didn’t make the awful noise any better) and parked on the forecourt of a garage and waited hopefully.

Just as we were both dozing off, there was a knock on the windscreen, and a rather irate garage owner was peering in at us!!

We quickly explained our plight (I think the tears in my eyes clinched it!!) and his expression changed, and he told us not to worry - we would be in the park by mid morning!!

He was an absolute star, and it seemed that in next to no time we had a new exhaust.

He directed us somewhere nearby for breakfast, and so full of bacon and eggs (if I remember correctly!!) we started to make our way back to the car. DB decided he needed to draw out some money, so I said I’d meet him at the car.

Of course when I got there I remembered that he had the keys, so sat down on the bonnet to wait for him.
Ouch - one burned bottom!! You could have fried an egg on it (the bonnet, not the bottom!!) :tongue:

By now it was getting late, but in next to no time we had arrived at Numbi.

WE WERE BACK!! :dance: :dance: :dance:

We checked in through Numbi, and headed for Pretoriuskop where we were to be staying for two nights. As we pulled away from the gate a little bushbuck winked at me, and I smiled quietly to myself! :wink:

We had not gone far, when we both did a double take!!
There, just sitting by the side of the road, seemingly without a care in the world were these two guys!!
Wow and double wow!! DB had struck gold!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Image

We could not have got off to a better start!!

We immediately liked the atmosphere at P Kop, as it is much smaller and more intimate than Skukuza. My only objection to that area over the years has been that very long grass that seems to go on for hours, making viewing very difficult in the summer months.

This time we had decided to treat ourselves to accommodation with ensuite facilities, and a kitchen, though I was a bit dismayed to see that the kitchen had no oven, as I had planned several meals that required one!!
Ah well ’n boer maak ’n plan!!!

To be continued………


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 Post subject: Re: Memories are made of this!
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:03 am 
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Location: Too far away from KNP!!
Oh boy, was I in TROUBLE!!! :redface:

I knew I should have sorted it before we left home, but I have always thought - never do today, what you can put off till tomorrow.

Then she burnt her bum on the hot bonnet.

It was amazing though how her whole persona changed when we arrived at Numbi, and once we'd found those lions, we never looked back.

_________________
Skukuza 23/12/10
Letaba 24-28/12/10
Olifants 29/12/10
Skukuza 30 & 31/12/10


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 Post subject: Re: Memories are made of this!
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:31 am 
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DB - You were soon forgiven :evil: :tongue:

Rusky - DB will pop in from time to time, I'm sure :thumbs_up:

GlenD - Yes, I fear today we would still be waiting on the forecourt :cry:

Flutterby - Nice to have you aboard. As for the memories - it's a pleasure! :thumbs_up:

Xankie - You just made it!!!

Well if you're all ready now, off we go!!

According to my diary, we saw abundant game around Pretoriuskop, including impala, giraffe, warthog, hyena, cheetah, kudu and baboon (wide berth!!)

I found this photo, and wondered why ever we had taken it, but after studying it for a few minutes I realised why. What do you think? Not really very difficult, is it?

Image

Something that we both remember was that when we were travelling along the H1-1 to Skukuza we passed several rocky outcrops.

As we approached one of them to our left, I noticed something on one of the ledges!! :big_eyes:
There were two antelope standing back to back, perfectly still. They looked just like statues, and we were very intrigued. :hmz:

I opened our manual for Mammals of Southern Africa and eventually found this description “Occur in pairs….extremely agile in moving across rocky terrain……..often stand back to back like statues on rocky outcrops!!!”
Of course it was a pair of klipspringers, and we still laugh to this day at the accurate description!!! :lol: :lol:

I was so excited when we arrived at Skukuza. It didn’t seem to have changed much in three years.
Not as hectic as it is today, but still quite busy.

I found this photo of DB, so I think the one I posted of me in the previous trip belongs here and not there.!! :redface:

Image

It is hard to believe that the last time I was here, was the final day of my “once in a lifetime” holiday and I had left it with such a heavy heart.
Now here I was, only three years later………back with my beloved DB.

To be continued……


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 Post subject: Re: Memories are made of this!
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:03 am 
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CB - I have posted a new photo of both of us on member's mugshots.
It's an informal photo taken at home, but what you see there will be more of less what you see in December :whistle: :whistle:

Mi - :lol: :lol:

Hugh - Hope I can have one of your ham rolls please. :thumbs_up:

LVB - You should be ashamed of yoursels, falling asleep on a visit to Kruger. We kicked you a few times, but you just rolled over, and started snoring again........Not a pretty sight!! :big_eyes:

All aboard the bus back to 1979!! :popcorn: :popcorn:


We saw plenty of game in that area over the next 2 days.

We had seen cheetah on one of the dirt roads, not too far from camp, and had added elephant and buffalo to our Big Five tally, now standing at three - would we manage to find rhino and leopard to make it five?

On our last night at Skukuza we decided to have a meal in the restaurant, as it was our second wedding anniversary.

Just like the breakfast I had experienced with Alma and Dave in Lower Sabie two years earlier, it was a feast to behold!!

In our ignorance when we read the menu, we thought thatsome of the five courses that were advertised were either/or options, but soon discovered that all five courses were coming our way!!

I’ve written in my diary that we had soup to start with, followed by ham, chicken, beef, and then a pud. It was really all quite tasty, and again I was amazed at how cheap it was!

Fit to burst, we staggered back to our hut, and poured ourselves a night cap.
(At least it would have been most out of character if we hadn‘t!!)

We got ready for bed (no, that part of the story is censored!!)

It was then that we heard it - that amazing unforgettable sound of an African night.

First there was a chorus of crickets and cicada beetles mingled with strange unidentified animal sounds, and then…………

What the heck was THAT awful noise?!!

To be continued…………











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