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 Post subject: Meandering Mouse's Kats, kugels .... KNP, May '13
Unread postPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 3:23 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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This where it all started.

viewtopic.php?f=67&t=65123

It started with hens teeth. Perhaps it is only fitting that we maintain the poultry theme in our trip report, as we did indeed scratch around for gems, much like the hen scratches around for kernels of grain.

Image

We will each be bring our own story, our own impressions as this is not one tale, but many tales.

On a personal note, I was delighted to have the opportunity of visiting the Sand River bush camp once more.

I was even more delighted to be able to bring my youngest daughter along for the adventure.

A much younger MM second from the right. Bruce Brydon second from the left.

Image

Well what do they say about the best laid plans of mice and men?

Most appropriate for this little mouse, as a day before leaving my daughter received a call for a temporary position... but she had to start immediately. Work is not easy to come by in today's climate, so she had to make a very difficult decision. It was hard for both of us. :cry:

Suddenly we were short of one person to join the hen's teeth party.

Messages were sent out on facebook and the forum and within a few hours a replacement was found.

I was utterly, utterly delighted when I heard who was coming.

The very person who had been with me at this sighting.

Image

She too will have her story to tell.

So it with with a very happy and joyous heart that the adventure was about to begin.

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 Post subject: Re: Kats, kugels and Kamikazi bushchickens
Unread postPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 6:39 am 
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Well, behind the scenes, much had been happening.

I received a call from Mellory the day before we were to leave, "could I please pick up Click Click?"

They were meant to travel down together, but one of the HR's in the camp had sustained bad burns and she needed to leave early to help.

I was very happy to do so, but it did place me in a position where I had to do a bit of quick thinking, as I had been planning to leave a day early.

A couple of sms's and all was arranged. Courtesy of Click Click we would spend our first night at Marloth..

:dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:

and then the new arrival... the replacement... could we pick her up in Dullstrom?

:dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:

no problem, another road less traveled.

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How wonderful to have these two wonderful travelling companions with me. :D

Now, I cannot remember when it happened, but at some point a got that sinking feeling.

I am very quick to give advice.. but sometimes my mind just wanders.. and things happen. :redface: :redface: :redface:

I had warned everyone one about bringing worn in good, comfortable walking shoes...

I was in the car, on my way to Marloth.. and my good, comfortable walking shoes were in my cupboard in the Cradle :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

all that I had on me

Was my pair of Crocs

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Kats, kugels and Kamikazi bushchickens
Unread postPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 5:26 am 
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Grantmissy wrote:
hilda wrote:
Crocs .... would you be able to do bush walks with them?


:lol: Hilda when I first read this I thought MM took the Kruger crocodiles for walkies :shock:


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Kats, kugels and Kamikazi bushchickens
Unread postPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 5:52 am 
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Our evening at Marloth was stunning. Our companion spent the night with a friend, so Click Click and I had the bush fire all to ourselves. We were joined by bushbabies, bats and the smell of the paradise.

sigh

The next morning was to be a busy one. My shoes certainly delayed our departure, as I decided that I could not risk Crocs with thorns, sand and.. and.. and..

We left for Komatieport on out way to Croc bridge, but it certainly delayed our departure, as shops only open at 9 am.

Surely there must be a shoe shop in this little town? thought MM. :hmz:

I had remembered seeing hawkers close to the Spar, maybe I could pick up a pair of trainers there.

Sometimes I get very attached to my shoes and I walk them to death. These are my Missy Elliot shoes that served me very well until they died of disease brough on by age and over usage.

Image

Well, the only shop we could find selling shoes was Ackermans... and the only pair I could find was pristine white trainers at R89. What would NIKE think of this. :wink: I had no option but to just do it and made the quickest shoe purchase that I had ever made in my life.

Plastic trainers on 5 hour bush walks, now that was going to be interesting.

I was hoping that there would be time to get my feet back to nature and have a really good stretch.

A bush chicken stretching his feet.

Image

We met our companion at the Croc River entrance and after a slightly delayed clocking in, hit the road.

By now we knew we would be late and I had to sms Mellory to warn her. Little did I know that she would not receive our notification. :redface: :redface: :redface:

I do not like to drive without the purpose of meandering, so this was not the easiest and most natural thing to do.

Fortunately my companions kept me distracted as we aimed the car to Skukuza.

At this point I will leave a clue as to who our companion might be. :wink:

Image

Ah, what bliss.. what might the day still hold 8)

Might we still see Kats.. or Kugels...?

We were certainly seeing lots of bush chickens.

Image

Many of the Kamikazi kind.

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 Post subject: Re: Kats, kugels and Kamikazi bushchickens
Unread postPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 10:19 am 
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Wednesday morning was just like any other morning. I woke up. Made peanut butter and chocolate toast. Ate a chocolate bar. Made some Milo. Ate another chocolate bar. Went down to start feeding my birds. When my phone started ‘pinging’. I didn’t even know my phone could ‘ping’. But there is was on the screen... ‘ping ping ping’....

The ‘pings’ were a result of Click-Click desperately trying to get hold of me. We exchanged our ‘good mornings’ before she explained that someone had been unable to go on their planned trip to Sand River and there was a place for me if I wanted it.

I responded right away, saying i’d ask, but the chances were a little slim. When she said we’d have to leave today, I had a little chuckle and returned to work. Shame, I really hoped they’d find someone else in time.

But it didn’t hurt to try my boss. “Can I go to Kruger?”

“When”?

“Uhhh. Tuuuh....day?”

“No.”

My phone kept ‘pinging’. I messaged click-click and said i’d try again, but it was unlikely. If they found someone else to take the spot, then that would be great too.

Gentle pressure. For the next twenty minutes, I followed the boss around and kept popping up from behind bushes.

“Wouldn’t it be nice to sleep in every day for the next month?”

“No.”

I told click-click i’d keep trying, but she should also keep trying to find someone else to take the spot, so in the event of a ‘no’, it wouldn’t be wasted.

*springs out from another bush* “I’ll dog-sit for the next... for the next... forever...”

“No”.

“How about days off? I can run things here and give you days off? ...When I get back from Kruger.”

“No”.

Yet more bargaining, more bushes, and in the end, it was decided a trip to the bush would be an excellent ‘business trip’. For ‘educational and research purposes’.

I straightened up, brushed the leaves from my hair and clothes, fed some birds, and went to pack.

When it dawned on me that I was off to Kruger, the place itself was rather overshadowed by the fact that in just a few hours, i’d be in a car again, with two of my very most favourite people on the planet. It had been well over a year since i’d seen click-click and more than three since i’d seen MM.

This was going to be a fun reunion. The sort where you laugh until you can’t breathe. And tears stream down your face. And you can’t swallow the food in your mouth. That’s what I get for always having food in my mouth...


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 Post subject: Re: Kats, kugels and Kamikazi bushchickens
Unread postPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 4:57 pm 
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MM & annapangolin, no way I can top your intros! :clap: :clap:
I had a good chuckle now, you both has such a way with words. :D
I am so glad we could spend some bush time together, it was truly amazing. :k

It started for me about 2 weeks before the trip when we had the forum meet to say goodbye to Crested Val & SO on their way back to the UK. I happen to sit next to Mellory, and she mentioned that there was space on their Sand River bush camp. Oh how nice, only problem is that my colleague would be on leave then as her stepdaughter from New Zealand will be visiting, so no way I could go away as well.

Mellory showed me some photos on her ipad, and that made check the dates on my phone. My luck was in, those dates were inbetween the 2 weeks leave my colleague were planning! But I had to double check and Mel said it would be fine to let her know by Monday.

As they say, the rest is history! I could start packing and would work late for the next few weeks, but so worth it. Little did I realise what a fun time I was in for. This was not going to be any ordinary trip. My contribution to this TR would mostly be :cam: as that's what I love! :dance:

Here we go :popcorn:

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16-19 May 2013: Sand River Bush Camp, KNP
22-25 June 2013: Talamati Bush Camp, KNP


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 Post subject: Re: Kats, kugels and Kamikazi bushchickens
Unread postPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 6:03 am 
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Now I have to confess, by the time we arrived at Skukuza, we were already over an hour late. This is not a way to earn brownie points.

We all know our dear Skuks.

Image

I do hope that my good companions start posting :cam: soon, as I remained remarkably camera lazy knowing there were some great photographers among us.

THAT IS A HINT

The rangers had already packed the vehicle and the three musketeers were to be joined by another three... and that is not the three stooges.

Image

Introducing Chirinda, Graham and Nicky :D

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Our rangers introduced themselves...

Duncan and Louis :D

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Now we were ready and waiting to go.

Before leaving we were introduced to a challenge.. bird counting. The previous group had managed 147 birds, could be equal or better that.

yay

bring on the Kugels

Image

and bush chickens

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Kats, kugels and Kamikazi bushchickens
Unread postPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 11:23 am 
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What a great start!!! So glad Anna managed to go and hearing chocolates for breakfast etc????? I remember when I went shopping for her to join me at Croc Bridge and only in the shop found out she was vegetarian!!!! Im glad you went to Marloth and hope you enjoyed the tranquility of my bush house and those trainers you left behind MM, maybe I could have helped out as I have my walking shoes locked away in my cupboard at the house.!!! but then maybe not as I have very big feet :shock:

Cant wait to read the rest of the meanderings and off course seeing the pics posted by click click! I wished I could have warn you she suits her name to the ground...you cannot move around without a camera or phone watching you!!!! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Kats, kugels and Kamikazi bushchickens
Unread postPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 5:01 am 
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Firstly to Mgoddard :k :gflower:

Thank you so much for the use of your most beautiful place. It is truly magic and the most perfect way to start the adventure. I was only sorry that we arrived so late.

I spent the early morning looking at the birds, taking n the beauty of everything around me. It does not get much better than this.

So from one little mouse,

Thank you

Thank you

Thank you.


Image

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 Post subject: Re: Kats, kugels and Kamikazi bushchickens
Unread postPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 5:30 am 
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I was very excited to see how the Sand River bush camp had been upgraded. It had been very badly damaged in the floods a couple of years back and the honorary rangers had taken the opportunity to make it more visitor friendly.

I had loved the old camp, so I was a bit apprehensive about it loosing some of its character.

Image

Image

The only thing I was uncomfortable with in the past were the ablutions. I just felt too exposed.

Would the changes have maintained the atmosphere of untouched wilderness? :hmz:

Ah the wonderful sense of familiarity, the sense of coming home as we turned into the Bush Camp road.

HOME AT LAST.

Image

My joy was complete when I saw the familiar faces of Holigan and Mellory. They welcomed us with open arms. We were introduced to Alison, captain of the kitchen.. and a bandaged up Tony.. the victim of a kitchen gremlin.

Now, one more question to be answered.

Who were the the two missing persons?

Six were ready and waiting, yet eight had been booked for the weekend.

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 Post subject: Re: Kats, kugels and Kamikazi bushchickens
Unread postPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 5:49 am 
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I do hope that my fellow mites start posting :cam: soon. As I stated, I was very lazy with my camera. It must have been the plastic white Ackermans trainers putting strain on the brain.

Another pic of the old camp.

Image

The interior of the old bush camp.

Image

My daughter, No name in her matric year outside the ablutions.

Image

Once we had arrived at the camp, we given the basics of bush walking.

Walk in a straight stripe.

Listen to your leaders.

No talking.

No meandering.

No lagging...

and most importantly.............................

Image

If you see a lion, don't run. You might end up as breakfast.

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 Post subject: Re: Kats, kugels and Kamikazi bushchickens
Unread postPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 5:02 am 
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Holigan, Mellory, Alison, Tony, Duncan and Louis :D

Once again, my thanks for a trip that surpassed all expectations.

Sometimes, just sometimes I am speechless, this is one of them. Just to let you know that I am right on board for the next one.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Kats, kugels and Kamikazi bushchickens
Unread postPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 5:16 am 
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I have pretty much run out of :cam:

As I said, I was very lazy with my camera. I am :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: that my clever bush companions will post soon.

We were told that we were going to Leeupan for our first walk, and then sundowners.

We were given time to find our tents and meet up again at the chariot.

Let me tell you that I was thrilled with the new tents. :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: Simple, understated, comfortable and each tent had a superb view.

sigh

Leeupan, Leeupan :hmz: of course I remembered Leeupan.

Image

Six excited mites jumped on board waiting for our first drive. 8)

As the gates opened, another car drove in.

the missing two 8)

behind me I could hear excited noises from the honorary rangers behind in the kitchen.

ah.... now there is another story.....

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 Post subject: Re: Kats, kugels and Kamikazi bushchickens
Unread postPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 4:56 pm 
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I find I didn't take many photos in the camp, but this was the view from the verandah of the tent which MM and I shared.

Image

This was the only animal which I saw from the tent, excepting for a Golden orb web spider which didn't interest me nearly so much. :D Not a good picture, he refused to lift his head for the picture.

Image

The flowers at our door :gflower:

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Kats, kugels and Kamikazi bushchickens
Unread postPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 9:57 pm 
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Great TR so far MM! :clap: :clap:

Here’s some pics at last…

On our way from Skukuza to Sand River Bush Camp, we couldn’t wait for our adventure to start and to see the camp, and we were not disappointed ( :cam: of camp following later)

Image
AN_20130516_17145 by Annette Naude, on Flickr

Our arrival at Leeupan :dance:

Image
AN_20130516_17146 by Annette Naude, on Flickr

Getting ready for our first walk of the trip, to say we were excited would be quite an understatement… :big_eyes:

Image
AN_20130516_17147 by Annette Naude, on Flickr

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16-19 May 2013: Sand River Bush Camp, KNP
22-25 June 2013: Talamati Bush Camp, KNP


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