Most of Day 1 - 26/11/2012
For some reason best known to the gods of the dimwitted and idiotic, we had climbed into bed quite late the previous evening, and therefore when the alarm clock did its noisy thing at 3 am I had a very brief thought of turning it off and rolling over. Then it struck me!!! (or rather Jax did … strike me, that is) We’re OFF!!! That’s all that was needed to launch me out of bed, grab everything we needed and load it at breakneck speed into the Krugermobile which is also known as the Officemobile, Shoppingmobile etc, depending on the special nature of the vitally urgent mission for the day. Versatile things, are Jettas.
At 4 am, after tearful farewells from the non-rent paying members of the household, we departed. Ok, no tearful farewells. The son is 16, and the middle daughter is 23. We got a bleary “Ok bye, have fun” before they went straight back to sleep. No respect or gratitude, I ask you!! Brats!! We didn’t care. Pointed the nose of the car NNE, and off we went.
Jax had made that wonderful coffee in our flask that always tastes vastly better when you’re either heading to or in the bush, which we partook of at intervals along the N1 north with many appreciative noises from me.
I’m sure some of you were wondering what on earth a stink mouse dog is? This is a direct translation of stinkmuishond
, which is fondly known as a skunk. Now, here in SA according to some of my more certifiable friends and I, they are commonly found wearing brown combat-style trousers and blue shirts hiding in bushes alongside the road. Not only that, but they seem to be so fond of us, they even deploy cameras so that they can hang onto a keepsake to remember us by. Sixty kilometres into our journey on the freeway past Pretoria, there was a bright flash, which we dutifully smiled mechanically for. Paparazzi comes in many forms, people.
Out of Polokwane we headed towards Louis Trichardt, and the word had spread. A stink mouse dog stepped out into the road near LT and flagged me down for my autograph. We could learn something from the nature-lovers that visit this area too, as not once did the stink mouse dog even hint at a little treat. Heart-warming to see, actually. After I had managed to tear myself away from this rather inquisitive creature, we headed out along the R524 towards Punda gate in dreadful weather.
After seeing some really creative corporate architecture between Thohoyandou and the gate (Like a beautifully branded tin shack which boasted of being the Vodacom corner liquor store) we finally made it, and I suddenly found the miles covered and the stress of the last few professional months just melt away. We were home … Tied the YR onto the mirror, and off we went. As a bonus, it had also stopped raining.
First up, we got these before we had travelled even 1 kilometer:
After the turnoff up to Punda Maria, along with literally millions of cicadas which were quite deafening and we heard them often all the way down to Letaba (and by deafening, you couldn’t hear yourself think!):
And directly outside the gate, this bloke who was keeping a very watchful eye on a Park employee who had walked out of the gate on his way to the staff village:
I can’t ever recall seeing the north as green as it was, or how much standing water was all over the place. This did not help with game-spotting, but this was hardly an issue as my soul had found me and was asking me where I’d been
There were millipedes EVERYWHERE along the road, but I had to stop for this throwback from the Mesozoic era:
Heading towards my front tire, the shongololo tank brigade
Realizing there was something big, black and round in front of him. Aboooooouuuutttt face!
He was easily 20-25 centimeters long, and as big around as my thumb (maybe more). Unbelievable.
On the way to Shing, this beautiful boy:
And this shy boy:Day 1 continued shortly
The simple rule to follow with all animals is one of respect.
Trip reportsNov/Dec 2012
21-22 Sept 2013 - Olifants with river view
23-24 Sept 2013 - Letaba perimeter
25-27 Sept 2013 - Tamboti
28-29 Sept 2013 - Mopani with lake view