Riding a Rhino at Bekkersfontein Game Farm

Sunday 11 May 2015

The kids woke us at 7:30 ish and then we got up and had breakfast.  We’d packed up the night before and we were on the road by 8:45.  We got a little lost after Queenstown but realised our mistake and went back, took the Takastad turn and followed Nicoline’s map until we reached Bekkersfontein.  It was a bit chilly but we were warmly dressed.   We unpacked then relaxed for the rest of the day.  The stone cottage is lovely.  It is solar powered most of the time but the generator is put on in the evenings.  However, the lights are always very weak.

We braaied for supper and then Boudewyn came home.  He’d been in Hogsback.  We invited him to eat with us but he’d had a big lunch in Hogsback.  He is very busy with the farm as he is only here when on leave from the oil rig – one month on one month off or something like that.

Monday 12 May 2015

We got up and went for a drive around the farm before breakfast.   It was lovely.  We saw lots of different animals and some birds.

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Sable Antelope

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Grey Heron

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Blesbok

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Hoopoe

Back at the cottage we found that it was being serviced by a maid! This we did not expect as we are not paying guests.   We cooked breakfast and then went for a walk trying to find the river route.   We found a few nyala.   When we returned I had a mid-morning nap!

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Female Nyala and baby

Boudewyn came to collect us in the afternoon and took us for a ride on the Rhino.  I sat up front with him and Earl stood on the back holding on for dear life.  It was exhilarating.   If I thought Abri’s cowboy driving on the Namibian farm was terrifying I still had to experience this!  It’s an open vehicle with strict safety rules nailed to the dashboard which nobody obeys!   I rode minus seat belt or helmet and there were no safety doors either!  I read the rules and shivered. I just made sure to keep my limbs inside the vehicle! But I needn’t have worried we didn’t turn over once.

We did, however, see loads of game.   We stopped to go into blinds and Boudewyn kept a running commentary of what the farm was all about.

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Beautiful and gentle waterbuck

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Stripy

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The Earl waiting on the Rhino

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The dogs enjoy every second

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Me in the front seat

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The ride up the mountain over roads littered with rocks and deep potholes was like riding in a moon buggy as the rhino is designed for just such off-road conditions.

Thank Goodness we’d put on an extra jacket for the ride as by the time we came down from the mountain it was pretty cold. Yet Boudewyn was dressed in shorts a shirt and a padded waste coat.  “ Do you ever wear a jacket?” I asked. “This is my jacket,” he grinned patting his waste coat.

We braaied again for supper and Boudewyn went off to do all sorts of chores as he is leaving for the oil rig tomorrow – a very long flight awaits him!

Thanks Nicoline for organising this amazing stay with your brother.  Thanks Boudewyn for making it so memorable.

Tuesday 12 May 2015

We left after breakfast and had a pleasant drive to Port Elizabeth.  Before checking into our B&B we stopped for lunch and then went shopping at Woolworths.

Our B&B Almani is lovely.  Our double room has tea and coffee making facilities, a fridge and a microwave oven.  Everything is immaculate.  There is a television and an enormous double bed. The en-suite has a bath and separate shower.   The rooms open onto an enclosed stoop which opens onto the pool area of the lush garden.   The service is excellent and friendly.

There was load shedding from 3:30 to 6:30 today. Earl had a nap while I caught up on my diary and blogging and when the battery died I read my book!

We went to Ocean Basket for dinner and it was great! The restaurant is a little noisy but it is spacious and clean and the service is good.   Our food was excellent.  I had grilled calamari and stir fried vegetables. Earl had a seafood platter for one with stir fried vegetables. Of course he couldn’t eat it all – fish, calamari, mussels and prawns!

We did not have dessert and went home to make tea.  We were short of Rooibos tea so I went to “Die Voorkamer”to ask for more.  The daughter of the house was there and called to her mom that we needed tea bags. “Is dit die mense in Kamer 3 ?”  she called back.  “Nee – dis die pretty auntie” came to reply.  I didn’t know whether to be flattered at being called pretty or insulted at being called aunty!  Anyway she brought the teabags to our room and all was well!

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