3 July 2012
It was freezing and still dark when I woke up. Earl was asleep – thank Goodness as he had been quite restless in the night and I had been up giving him Disprin to bring down his fever. I pulled on some warm clothes, gloves and scarf and went out onto the deck. There were Gemsbok around the waterhole but it was still too dark to take photos. But when the sun rose I couldn’t resist taking a few shots.
To add to our problems, I found that water was leaking from the gas water heater. I reported it to Eric and he promised to look into it. This he did and said that he would have to order a new heater. In the meantime I placed a bucket under it to collect the many drips. During the day it had to be emptied a few times. He could not turn the water off as that would affect all four huts.
When Peter and Heather get up we decide to cook our our breakfast in our own kitchens. Earl requested scrambled eggs and he wanted to watch me make it – but he fell asleep during the process and I had to wake him up to eat it. He had the grace to say, “Thank you – this is delicious.” Yes – I know – he was really sick! I was seeing to his needs when Heather called on the walkie-talkie – “Helen – no joke – lion at the waterhole.” It was 9:30 a.m. I asked Earl if he would like me to help him to the deck so he could take a look. “Show me the photograph,” was his weak reply.
Before we arrived at Gharagab, Peter had said, “Let’s agree not to joke about lions as the chances are we will be seeing plenty of them!” He was on the deck when the first lion appeared and called to Heather who said, “You’re joking!” But no – we had agreed – no joking about lions!
We spent the rest of the day observing the birdlife, walking around close to the huts, visiting the viewing deck and just waiting for the animals to come to us. No driving around – no stress. It’s the first time we’ve done Wilderness camps and it certainly won’t be the last. The only trouble is that they get booked up very quickly and you have to make sure you get your reservation in early.
Heather’s wish to see Brown Hyena was granted several times. Sometimes a brownie would be accompanied by a jackal. The jackal appeared friendlier toward the hyena and one even licked his friend. But the hyena’s response was not as affectionate and he sent the jackal packing.
The weather remained cool all day which we all agreed was better than the heat we’d been having during the day up until then. How idylic it was to spend an entire day reading, chatting and watching wild life come to the waterhole. The walkie talkies were a blessing, keeping me in close touch with the invalid. He did not eat his supper last night but managed to eat some of it at lunch time. There was a bit of a wind blowing so we decided not to braai. We pan fried ostrich steaks and served them with sousboontjies, avo and cooked carrots. Earl thought he was hungry but could not eat. I managed to get him to take a few spoons of left over spaghetti bolognaise.