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 Post subject: Annapangolin's Cricket, Or Not To Cricket... KNP, March '14
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:26 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Goodness. It’s been so long since I’ve written a trip report, that I don’t think I remember how. Let’s try anyway.

Mid 2013...

Wonderful Friend: “But you ARE coming to Cricket next year, right?”

Me: “Ummm... maybe?” I squeaked. (Except I didn’t squeak. The conversation was via ‘text message.’) Maybe? Actually ‘no.’ Not a chance. To attend Cricket 2014 would require the existence of something called a ‘weekend.’ A ‘week-end.’ It implies that the working week has an end. It doesn’t. Saturday and Sunday? Those are my busiest working days. Cricket? Not going to happen.

Late 2013...

Wonderful Friend: “Need to know about cricket. Camp sites in Skukuza are filling up fast!

Me: “Ummm... maybe?” I squeaked again. Again, not really squeaked. Looked through my calendar. My goodness, I’m so busy now that for the first time in my life I use a CALENDAR... And Calendar says ‘no.’ Calendar definitely says no.

Early 2014...

Wonderful Friend: “MOOSE! Decide! Cricket or no cricket!

Me: “Ummm... maybe?” Squeak squeak. I have a problem. I can’t let people down. You know when you ask someone where the nearest pharmacy is and they haven’t got a clue, but they won’t admit it, so they wave their hand vaguely and tell you it’s ‘by the other shop there’ and then they run away before you can thank them for their phony directions? That’s me. Can’t say ‘no.’ I am NOT going to Cricket this year.

Two weeks before Cricket 2014...

Wonderful Friend: “You are coming to Cricket. Choose your next words wisely.

Me: “Ummm... maybe?” Stupid calendar. I pull it out again. What a busy week that is for me. Work has scarred my calendar with little obnoxious pink dots, indicating trips to the vet, school visits, photographic mornings, big important meeting in faraway Nelspruit on the 5th... you know... things I do these days. Wait a minute. Nelspruit. Isn’t that near....?

Something happens to my mind. Have you ever tried to imagine nothingness? Like actual nothingness? I’m talking about the sort that existed before the ‘big bang’. Except that nothingness didn’t really exist, because nothing existed AT ALL. Then you think for a moment, ‘yeah I get that,’ but really you don’t, because true nothingness is just too darn hard to grasp. That’s like me trying to understand that something can exist outside of the workplace. There is something else. Out there. Like.... Kruger. Okay, very poor example. But you get it. I work a lot. I’m tired. I’m tired right now as I write this.

Nelspruit. I am going to Nelspruit anyway. Nelspruit is SO far away. There are lots of foggy hills and potholes and terrible drivers between me and Nelspruit. And I am going to Nelspruit for a meeting at Home Affairs. That’s right, HOME AFFAIRS. I am risking my life to travel to a building that I usually pay someone to visit for me.

The brain keeps ticking in the right direction. The dreaded meeting is at 9am. I can either leave home at 5am to get there, maybe saving enough time for a civilized ‘city’ breakfast before my terrible meeting...

...Or I can leave Lower Sabie at 5am and still achieve the same results. Because after all, Nelspruit is practically Kruger anyway. It would be like going all the way to Niagara Falls and not walking down the hill to see the falls. So there you have it. Go camp in Kruger.

Which would work brilliantly if camping at Lower Sabie wasn’t always fully booked for months in advance. Or if I actually wanted to camp at Lower Sabie, which I don’t. Further consultation ensued with said Wonderful Friend, who was prepared to swap their fancy accomodation at Lower Sabie for fancy accomodation at Berg en Dal, which is a very nifty camp indeed.

So it’s settled. Actually it wasn’t settled that easily. There were another few dozen ‘ummm.... maybe’s’ before I got on the phone and booked myself a campsite at Berg en Dal for next Tuesday night.

I am going to Kruger. I make it sound like I never go to Kruger. Two weeks ago? I was in Kruger. I spent two amazing nights there and discovered the tree-ish treasure that is Maroela camp. I took exactly two photos in three days. The first was a terrapin sitting on a rock in a puddle near Kruger gate. The other photo is of the same terrapin when he was joined on his rock moments later by a second terrapin. These are those photos. Because everyone likes trip reports with photos. I haven’t even started my trip yet and I have photos.

Image

Image

(The things I didn’t photograph on the last trip? The honey badger and two wild cats that visited our braai in Satara. The leopard waiting for us at the entrance to Maroela camp. The jackal family chasing a scrub hare near Orpen.)

So it’s booked. It’s official.

This is what I CAN do: 24 glorious hours in southern Kruger; most of those spent in the company of some of my very best friends. I may even write about it.

This is what I CANNOT do: Cricket 2014.


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 Post subject: Re: To Cricket, Or Not To Cricket...
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:35 pm 
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I though that for a "Wonderful Friend" you would swimma the ocean, fighta the bull......... :rtm: Or in this case maka the booking looka for the lioness!!! :rtm:

I'm so pleased to see that you'll be visiting Kruger and more specific the great camp Berg n Dal for a full 24 hours!! :dance: :dance:

During that 24 hours a lot of cups of tea can be consumed exactly 96!!.....
Lots of Tomato and Cheese braai boordjies will find their way to your stomach.....one loaf of bread makes exactly 8 braai broodjies!!.....
My friend Google has the following to say........
Quote:
At the rate of normal speech, you'd probably speak between 200 and 300 words per minute or so
so in 24 hours 288 000 words will flow out of your mouth and will be absorbed to be treasured for another year and a half of maybes and perhaps!!....
Adults laugh 18-24 times a day, but I'm pretty sure during this 24 hours there will be laughter 24 times an hour!!......

So thank to a "wonderful Friend" who took hours out of her/his life to bug and nag you to come to the Cricket!! Can't wait to see what you will experience. I'm pretty sure this time you'll use your camera a few times more.... :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

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You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough - Mae West


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 Post subject: Re: To Cricket, Or Not To Cricket...
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:06 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Matthys :k I got the 'hello' you sent me, while on the road to Berg en Dal at about 4:30pm on Tuesday :D

On with the report....

Tuesday, March 4. 5AM

People like trip reports that begin with something truly spectacular. Everyone wants to read about the moment you drive over Crocodile Bridge and a sable antelope leaps out in front of the car closely followed by a twenty lions... then the kill is stolen by a tiger. it could happen. I’ve dealt with plenty of safari guests who cannot be shaken in their belief that tigers roam Kruger Park. This example is for them :k

You’re not reading this are you? No one reads trip reports. They scan through the photos. So I will share photos of the spectacular event that started my 24 trip to Kruger. Here they are:

Image

Image

Just a car in a parking lot in Lydenburg, right? No, that’s a tiny Ford Bantam with absolutely everything required for two people to camp in Kruger shoved precariously in the tiny space behind the seats. It’s a feat unparalleled. The bakkie bit? Empty. I don’t want stuff getting stolen or rained on. We made it exactly three kilometers before we had to stop and reorganize. Because it’s not much fun to travel vast distances hunched forward with your knees squashed against your eyes. But what matters was how well the car was packed. I had to share that. Notice the official Kruger coffee mugs on the roof. I am so prepared. I will NOT be tempted to buy more Kruger coffee mugs on this trip.

So... on the road. All the fog I anticipated and so much more.

Image

Image

6:30AM

Quick stop in Sabie to switch drivers because I get a little carsick when I’m not driving. I have to take advantage now because my traveling buddy, who I’ll call ‘Buddy’ from now on probably won’t let me drive much in the park. Even though it’s MY car. Okay, it’s not my car. I don’t have a car. Whatever.

7:30AM

Hazyview! To get here I’ve dodged ridiculous potholes and nearly driven into the back of a serious car accident. So close to Kruger. A few ‘we’re almost here!’ messages sent to Wonderful Friend (WF) who is on her way to Crocodile Bridge and has already seen a cheetah on the S28.

8:00AM

PHABENI GATE! Here. Home. The Wildcard I bought nearly a year ago has finally arrived in the post yesterday thanks to a seriously helpful forumite, but I’ve forgotten to print my booking confirmation. Oops. The car in front of us at security is a shiny new Mercedes with GP plates and I laugh when the woman gets out to show the guard she has no alcohol in her cooler. She’s a little ‘older’ and her dress is typical Kruger. Pale blue button shirt with 3/4 length khakis and wedge heels. Most people who arrive at Kruger arrive looking just like this. You reading this, you’ve probably dressed like that. It’s not a bad thing. I wish I looked like that. It suddenly made me VERY aware that I hadn’t got dressed this morning. AT ALL.

But i’m practically naked!” I complain at ‘Buddy,’ who insists my tiny bunny pyjamas are just fine for Kruger and tells me to hurry up and go to the bathroom so we can go. I went to the bathroom at Phabeni and took a photo of my PJ’s, which I felt were far from suitable.

Image

8:20AM

I’m two minutes into the park when I get a call from my second-in-command at work, who informs me the police have showed up on the premises and need to speak to me about a case I opened up. I’m in KRUGER. I speak to the police but the phone signal keeps breaking. I might be ‘wanted’. Who knows. I hang up and switch my phone to ‘Airplane mode.’ Airplane mode is the greatest invention ever. I can still listen to music, take photos, play Candy Crush and NO ONE can get hold of me. Magic.

8:25AM

Buffalos crossing the road! Love it. Up there with rhinos as my favourite ‘Big 5’ animal. I still don’t like the idea of the Big 5. Not going to go into that here. I wrote a book. My long rant is in there. Just go buy my book.

Image

8:30AM

Airplane mode isn’t going to work. I need to coordinate with WF. We have to arrange a place and time to meet. Skukuza. Lunch. Plan.

We’ve stopped for a mystery bird.

“Nevermind, it’s a dove.” I announce on closer inspection.

I think you’ll find that’s a cuckoo,” says Buddy. He’s a safari guide too. I can’t outsmart him. Grrrrr. “Levaillant’s... no Diedericks....”

“That is NOT a Diedericks Cuckoo!” I shout. I now have my binoculars to my eyes. “That’s a raptor. 100%.”

An argument ensues where I insist the bird is a raptor and buddy insists it’s a cuckoo. I offer my binoculars, but he takes out his VERY BIG camera.

Anyway, we’re sitting at the sighting for about twenty minutes arguing and manoevering the car before it’s decided the bird is a Shikra. Can’t you tell? But I took such beautiful photos...? New Kruger tick for me. Score!

Image


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 Post subject: Re: To Cricket, Or Not To Cricket...
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:49 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 4:09 pm
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Location: In the heart of the Waterberg; Deep in Limpopo
:hmz: :hmz:
Well, there was a statement earlier that she quite often did not finish TR's........ :x :x
Guess it's happened again :cry: :cry:

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