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 Post subject: The grass is so long the elephants can't see
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:50 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 5:10 pm
Posts: 2717
Back in about October I had a look at the availability of a safari tent at Skukuza for the cricket weekend, then I contacted Meandering Mouse and asked if she would like to share with me and do two nights at Biyamiti after the cricket as well. The answer turned out to be yes, and our trip was booked.

This is not just my TR. As MM and I travelled together it seemed appropriate that we should do a joint TR, so she will be telling the story from her side of the car, too.

We went in my car on Thursday 6 March, and started out in rain, which had been falling in Joburg since the previous Saturday. In fact it had been falling generally over the whole of north-eastern South Africa, and as we drove alongside the Elands River, after passing Waterval Boven, it was a raging torrent in places. The rain had stopped by the time we reached Witbank, nor did we have any mist, which was a real blessing.

I suggested that we could turn off at Ngodwana and go to Nelspruit via Kaapsche Hoop. Never having been there before, MM asked “Oh is that where the wild horses are?”. “Yes,” I replied, not realising what was going on in her head. So we turned off just after the paper mill and started along a road which is almost the same distance as staying on the N4, but a bit slower because of the hills. No traffic, no potholes and the most wonderful views. At one point we saw some horses which got MM bubbling with excitement. I stopped, reversed, and MM leapt out of the car and started taking photos. I don’t think she could have been more excited if it was three LITs with lions and wild dogs sleeping under the tree.

I must add that the N4 to Nelspruit is a good road now. If you go straight, after the Machado toll plaza, you go via Ngodwana and the road is in excellent condition, with lots of passing places. I came back via Schoemanskloof which has also been upgraded and that route, too, is in excellent condition. It is marked as the R539 on some maps, but they are both N4. We were stopped twice by police road blocks but they were checking driver and car licences that day.

We had stopped at Millys and got smoked trout for our supper, stopped again at White River to have tea with a friend of mine and get groceries, but the power was off in the town so we had a quick chat and pressed on to Hazyview via the R40 and got our perishables there in a shopping centre which is as good as Cresta. The R40 is not in bad condition at the moment, but there are some potholes developing as it has a lot of heavy truck traffic. Don’t even think about using the R538 to Numbi Gate.

We entered at Phabeni and that is where MM saw the entry in the visitors’ book which gave me the title of this TR. We had our first “sighting” as we were reversing out of the parking. “Look, a yellow ribbon” I shouted. Viking had just pulled in next to us. They were leaving the Park but we had a short chat. It was so good to meet you guys. What a wonderful start to our visit.

We were soon to discover just how much rain had fallen in Kruger. This is the little low level bridge just outside Phabeni.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: The grass is so long the elephants can't see
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:49 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:30 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Toronto, Canada
Woohoo!!! I'm the first one on. :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

Taking a seat right up front with you and MM.

It was great to meet both of you and I'm here for the ride. :dance: :dance:

Waiting for more. :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: The grass is so long the elephants can't see
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:50 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:20 pm
Posts: 1755
Location: East London, South Africa
I am joining you Timbits -along for a very good ride I say. My biltong and coffee and rusks to share on the ride.
:popcorn: :popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: The grass is so long the elephants can't see
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:00 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2007 7:29 pm
Posts: 7561
Location: Parklands Cape Town
I am with you too with the real one ..Now do keep MM on track as she forgets she is writing TRs ...!!

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I am sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt


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 Post subject: Re: The grass is so long the elephants can't see
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:15 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:34 pm
Posts: 1351
Location: Bexleyheath, Kent UK
I am also booking a seat with Timbits and Dalene.D.and Hugh right up front I'll bring along some
nice scottish tablet (similar to fudge) to nibble on .... :lol: :lol: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: The grass is so long the elephants can't see
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:20 pm 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:57 pm
Posts: 8502
Location: 2012 km..... to Paradise
:bcool: A TR from 2 :angel: .. Grabbed a empty seat.... looking forward to the ride. :dance:

:popcorn: :popcorn:

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“Nature is a volume of which God is the author.” ~ William Harvey
Current TR...2 Night Stopover Mokala - "Little Gem"


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 Post subject: Re: The grass is so long the elephants can't see
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:08 pm
Posts: 238
Location: Amsterdam, NL
Yeeha!! :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

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2015 Trip is a Work in Progress!


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 Post subject: Re: The grass is so long the elephants can't see
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:54 pm
Posts: 43036
Location: Somerset West, Cape Town
I am here too :D

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Dalene


It's not too late at all. You just don't yet know what you are capable of. Mahatma Gandhi


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 Post subject: Re: The grass is so long the elephants can't see
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:59 pm
Posts: 11595
Location: Bloemfontein
Me too :dance: :dance: :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: The grass is so long the elephants can't see
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:47 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:17 pm
Posts: 2949
Location: Durban
And me - looking forward to the trip


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 Post subject: Re: The grass is so long the elephants can't see
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:41 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:47 pm
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Location: meandering between senility and menopause
Well MM's trip reports can end up in Never Never Land... just like Peter Pan and a certain namesake. Thank you Chirinda for getting things going. :gflower:

My trip started with more than a little drama. My daughter was staying with me and was going to let me sleep over at her place to make it easier to leave at the crack of dawn.

During the night the rain started bucketing. :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: This has serious implications for my traveling. The low water bridge can become completely impassable in a very short space of time.

The bridge on a rainy day.

Image

At about three thirty I took my dogs and walked to the bridge to check on its condition. My dogs were very, very happy. :dance: :dance: :dance: This was better than fresh dog bones.

I had seldom seen the bridge as bad as it was that morning. :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

Image

I woke my daughter up feeling quite panicky. We were going to have to take the hilly 4x4 road in her little 1300 liter engine.

A nice bit of the road.

Image

No time to bath or shower and little time to pack :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: Grabbed my toothbrush.. yes I did remember that... but where were my binos and camera battery?.... :( I could not find them. :wall: :wall: :wall:

We left just after five and I was doing some serious :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray:

It did not take long to realise that we were in deep, deep trouble. Between the long grass, the gravel, the mud and the steep hill my daughter's car just refused to budge. :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

''Sweetie'', says mom in a moment of inspiration, ''try reversing up the hill''.

More serious :pray: :pray: :pray: then finally... we made it. :dance: :dance: :dance: Reversing much of the way.

Image

As we hit the main road, my daughter turns to me...

''Ma, you know that advert for First for Woman car insurance; the one where women are cheaper to insure, because men do such stupid things?''

Yup, says MM..

"Well, they obviously don't know you."

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 Post subject: Re: The grass is so long the elephants can't see
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:51 am 
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What a lovely surprise! A two-in-one trip report from Chirinda and MM!!!! :dance: :dance:

I am looking forward to this report very much! What a great start from both of you already! :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: The grass is so long the elephants can't see
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:20 am 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:57 pm
Posts: 8502
Location: 2012 km..... to Paradise
MM...Gorgeous :cam: of the furry ones!! 8)

Meandering Mouse wrote:
Grabbed my toothbrush.. yes I did remember that... but where were my binos and camera battery?.... :( I could not find them. :wall: :wall: :wall:

:big_eyes: Do I detect a trend here. :hmz: :lol: :lol:

More please :popcorn:

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“Nature is a volume of which God is the author.” ~ William Harvey
Current TR...2 Night Stopover Mokala - "Little Gem"


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 Post subject: Re: The grass is so long the elephants can't see
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:56 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:02 pm
Posts: 2673
Location: Bellville, Cape Town
Chiranda and Meandering Mouse, a very interesting start to your TR. :D
This seems to be TR to be very unusual. :hmz: , but I guess compared to us - normal. :D :whistle:

Love the start and cannot wait for the next episode. :thumbs_up:

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Trip Reports: Kruger, West Coast, Addo, Storms River & Wildernis, Kruger NP Feb'14, Wildernis Ebb & Flo Apr'14
Now busy with Kruger NP Dec'13 and Table Mountain- mood today


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 Post subject: Re: The grass is so long the elephants can't see
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:08 pm
Posts: 238
Location: Amsterdam, NL
Love your doggies, bet they had a ball walking in the middle of the night...

Your daughter obviously has your measure, am very much looking forward to the continuation of this epic tale 8)

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2015 Trip is a Work in Progress!


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