Day 2 (Nov 1st)
We arrived in Joburg to a cold cloudy morning…………..”Is this really November?” Dungy asked. Weird or what!!
Still it suited me, as I was still not a hundred percent fit, and glad to be not too hot!!
Shi was there to pick us up, and we can’t thank her enough for all her kindness and patience with 2 oldies!! She is an amazing young woman!!
After a welcome shower and a coffee, and enough food to feed an army, we settled to have a relaxing day while Shi had to return to work, and imagine our delight when mid afternoon, we heard “Val”, and there waiting to be let in were Bushmom, Bushbaby 75 and her precious little angel.
We had seen Facebook photos, but it was so good to meet her properly, and she is such a little sweetie pie!!!
Sadly I was still feeling “frot”, so I wasn’t the best of company, but it was so good to catch up with such dear friends.
Then not long afterwards, Bushbaby 30 arrived, so there was more catching up to do.
Shi arrived home and cooked a delicious pasta meal (which I actually passed on, but Dungy ate my share and more!! )
Then it was a relatively early night for the oldies……………….as the next day, I wanted to be well enough to travel to my beloved park!!Day 3 (Nov 2nd)
We had decided that we must avoid the Joburg rush hour, and therefore must either leave for the Lowveld before it or after!!!
Because I had not been very well the previous day, we decided on the latter, so after a leisurely shower and breakfast, we finally set off around 10am.
We took the N1, then N4, stopping at Milly's for a snack, and as we descended te escarpment, our excirement grew!!
We bypassed Nelspruit, and in no time we were crossing the bridge at Malelane. We stopped to see what we could, and there were a few hippos, and a huge croc, as well as two egyptian geese.
The reason for calling at Malelane was to check my newly renewed Wildcard was valid.
Luckily we did, because it needed the renewal number and the card number linking up, which was soon done, and our card was good to go!!
At this point I had intended to look for EJ, and then drive the S25 to Croc Bridge, but Vodacom had conspired against us!! They had deleted both my cell sim and my USB modem sim, while I was overseas, and so we needed a trip to Vodacom Komati, to check my options!!!
After Vodacom, we needed to shop for food and booze, in Spar, and finally we arrived at our self catering unit.
We braaied T-Bones and wors with a baked potato and baked butternut, which was lekker, and as we watched the stars and heard the insect chorus, we had a coffee and an Amarula...................yes we were home!!!Day 4 (Nov 3rd)
We slept a bit later than intended, but by 7.30 we were at Croc Bridge, and we were dealt with pleasantly and quickly.
The cheese and tomato toastie was as ever delish, and came in no time, and after filling up the car (very pleased to be able to use our credit card, though the garage attendant thinks that only a few camps are doing this at the moment) we set off up the road.
The first thing we saw was two of Dungy's long lost family, struggling to push their dungball.
Then it was off up the S28, and two sub adult lions, having a sleep, and further on our first impalas.
Some ellies were in the distance, and so we took a quick photo, and left them to it.
We called in at Sunset Dam, and were surprised to find it decidedly empty!!! There were a few hippos, and these crocs..............but no birds to be seen. Where was my grey heron, or my yellow billed stork, or my crowned lapwing?
We decided to go up as far as the high bridge that leads to Tshokwane, and just after it we turned down the Salitjie Road.
We have heard great things about this road, but sadly we have never been very lucky, and today was no exception!!!
We saw a few warthogs, but nothing else!!!
As we joined the main road, and approached the LS causeway, we saw a car parked, and joy oh joy, there, not far from the road were 10 lions - one huge male and and his entourage!!
They had full bellies, and were just enjoying the afternoon sunshine from the shade of a big tree.
Eventually a few more cars arrived, so that was our signal to leave.
As we went over the causeway, and turned back towards Croc Bridge, we heard a rustle in the bushes!!! We stopped the car, and I don't know who was more scared............. me or the owner of this huge face, which was suddenly peering at me!!
Then it was back to Komati, via Croc Bridge, and as we left this little guy came to say goodbye.
Our braai that night was Texan pork steaks, chicken thighs, and wors, with corn on the cob, and a surprise parcel (sliced mushrooms, tomatoes, potato, and onion, cooked in foil!!)
Then after reminiscing about our very successful first day back in paradise, and our usual coffee and Amarula, we hit the sack.
To be continued............