Yes Gunner, you just made it
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
We arrived at Lower Sabie just in time for breakfast, and boy were we ready for it after all that excitement.
We were shown into the restaurant, and there followed the largest (and cheapest) breakfast that we had ever had!!
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.
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.
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!!
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!!
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……….