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Wild Adventure – Namibia and Kgalagadi – Day 4 Ai Ais

30 October 2018

Today we had a pleasant day relaxing at Ai Ais Rest Camp.    Early this morning we were woken by the local feral cat population!  There were more than half a dozen of them and it seemed that there was competition for the turf!   They were all rather beautiful looking cats and The Earl just wanted to pet them, feed them and take them home!

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One of the kitties who soon learned which side their bread was buttered!

Later in the morning the rhythmic sound of music caught our attention and we became aware that a group of local people were being videoed for a television show.   They were gaily dressed and doing some traditional dancing in the car park.

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Along with all the other foreign tourists we thoroughly enjoyed the show!  At the end they invited to spectators to join in.  There was a group of French tourists who did not need a second invitation.

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We also had fun doing a spot of bird watching and saw many pale winged starlings, mountain wheat-ear, rock martins, Cape robin and a few very pretty swallow-tailed bee-eaters

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Swallow-tailed bee-eater with prey

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We also enjoyed ‘taking the waters’ and in the evening we enjoyed a braai before turning in for the night.

The Earl and Tony bonding at The Braai

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Wild Adventure – Namibia and Kgalagadi – Day 3 Springbok to Ai Ais

Wild Adventure – Namibia an Kgalagadi – Day 3 – Springbok to Ai Ais

29 October 2018

This morning we were all up at 7 getting ready for departure.  We had rusks, cereal and coffee for breakfast and The Earl and I set off ahead of The Mools as we would be travelling a tad slower.  It’s a good thing we did this because as we neared Steinskop we became aware of an awful knocking sound on the rear right of the car.   We contacted the Mools who had not yet left Springbok and told them we would turn into the Steinkopf to have it checked out.  Well, the mechanics at the local garage didn’t have a high lift so we had to head back to Ford in Springbok.  The Mools had just left but turned back saying they thought they should rather wait for us.

I phoned ahead to tell the mechanics that we needed emergency assistance and they were quite willing to see us immediately.   The Mools had a flask of boiling water and we found a shady spot, set out my cups on a chopping board, hauled out the cookies and rusks and had a little coffee party next to the forecourt!

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Preparing to picnic in front of the workshop!

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The Ford in the air

Luckily it was an easily sorted problem – the paper label had come loose from the prop shaft and was hitting against it making an unholy noise.  With that sorted were back on the road by 10:30.

We reached Vioolsdrift just before midday and the border crossing went smoothly.  It was not at all busy

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Then we were in Namibia!

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We filled up with fuel then drove through the desolate landscape of semis dessert.  The rocks are phenomenal!   Sometimes it looked like a pile of boulders had been poured onto  the side of the road by a huge dump truck.  It felt like we were driving on another moon like planet.IMG_1410IMG_1408

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Check in at Ai Ais went smoothly and we set up camp under some shady trees.   By five we were ready for our first swim in the hot pools

The wind got up in the evening so we decided not to braai and instead ate at the restaurant.  Pat had Schnitzel, I had chicken breast with cheese sauce and the men had rump steak.  The steak was a bit sinewy but very tasty.  We all enjoyed our meal but had to fetch our own wine as they had run out of the type they sold by the glass.  That saved us R40 each!

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Our first day in Namibia went well!  More of our adventure to follow.

 

 

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Wild Adventure – Namibia and Kgalagadi Day 1 and Day 2

The plan was to meet our friends ‘The Mools” at Springbok on Sunday 28 October. The Earl and I, however, decided to leave a day earlier and slept over at Citrus Creek Caravan Park.  From there our itinerary looks like this:

  • 28/10/2018 – Springbok Caravan Park
  • 29/10/2018 – Two nights Ai Ais, Namibia
  • 31/10/2018 – Hardap Dam, Mariental, Namibia
  • 01/11/2018 – Anjo Guest House, Windhoek, Namibia
  • 02/11/2018 – Two Nights Waterberg Plateau, Namibia
  • 04/11/2018 – Three Nights Namutoni Rest Camp, Etosha National Park, Namibia
  • 07/11/2018 – Three Nights Halal Rest Camp, Etosha National Park, Namibia
  • 10/11/2018 – Three Nights Okaukeujo Rest Camp, Etosha National Park, Namibia
  • 13/11/2018 – Anjo Guest House, Namibia
  • 14/11/2018 – Three nights Mata Mata Rest Camp, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa
  • 17/11/2018 – Three nights Nossob Rest Camp, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
  • 20/11/2018 – Three nights Twee Rivieren Rest Camp, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
  • 23/11/2018 – Make our way home

So at 10:30 am on Saturday 27 October 2018 we were packed and ready to start our adventure.   First stop was for a leisurely breakfast at Stormsvlei Farm Stall.  Here they have tables set in a beautiful garden where the pets wander around freely.

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It was a pleasant drive to Citrusdal, not much traffic but a few delays due to road construction.   We arrived at Citrus Creek Caravan Park at around 4 pm and set up camp under a shady pine tree.  It was very hot – 42 degrees C. The only option was to plunge into the pool which was most refreshing.

We cooked our pork chops in a pan on the induction stove, enjoyed the cool of the evening and went to bed early.

The next morning we made our way to Springbok stopping at Klawer Wimpy for breakfast.    Once again it was very hot with the mercury climbing to the mid forties. We booked a cabin and a caravan site at the caravan park so that the Mools would not have to set up their tent for just the one night. Our caravan park did not have much shade but we found a spot that would do. After unhitching we went into Springbok found a Checkers and shopped for provisions.  We made it just in time as they closed at 2 pm.  Back at camp The Earl had a nap until The Mools arrived at 4.  We all had a refreshing swim in the pool and had fun watching some dusky sunbirds, weavers, mousebirds and martins.

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Masked Weaver

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Refreshing Swim

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Dusky Sunbird

We used the cabin kitchen for catering, braaied some lamb chops and boerewors and enjoyed the balmy evening.  Once again it was early to bed!

We won’t have internet for a while but the story will continue when we do!

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Stream of Consciousness Saturday – Bone

Here is my contribution to this week’s Stream of consciousness prompt from Linda

It was pure chance that I met Priyanka.  I was not supposed to sit next to her on that flight between Barcelona and London.   There was somebody else in my assigned spot and he hopped up the second I arrived and made his way to where he should be.  But his wife looked so distraught and muttered something in Italian.   She was a nervous traveller, couldn’t speak Spanish or English and now her husband couldn’t sit with her. Using all the wrong words in a crazy sentence construction I said, “Vuoi marito sedersi qui?”   You want husband sit here?

“Si, per favore, si.”  She replied.  My daughter who was travelling with me did not mind us being separated. I was bone-tired after weeks of travelling and not in the mood to chat so I settled down to read my Kindle and almost dozed off when the stewardess handed me a landing card and I started filling it in. “Do I need one of those?” asked the young girl beside me – “Only if you don’t belong to the EU.” I replied.  She was from Barcelona so no problem there. Of course she wanted to know where I hailed from.  “South Africa,”  said I.

“Oh – I’m planning a trip there in October.  I haven’t booked yet but my friend and I want to visit Cape Town, The Garden Route, Drakensberg and Kruger National Park”

All my favourite places – so of course I took her email address and a week or so later sent her the bones of a suggested itinerary and invited her and her friends to spend a day with us in Struisbaai.  And that is exactly what they did – all because of sitting in the wrong seat and filling in a landing card!

We had such fun showing these delightful young people our tiny neck of the woods yesterday afternoon.  We visited the Southern Tip, The Agulhas Light House, the harbour and then spent the evening drinking an excellent Cape Wine (Springfield Life from Stone) and enjoying a traditional South African braai!  We were delighted to see that they did not hesitate to hold a chop or chicken bone in their fingers!

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Three Spaniards and an Italian at the Southern Tip of Africa

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Maria, Roberta, Juan and Priyanka

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Juan wanted to see birds – we showed him a few including this black shouldered kite

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The mongooses were in their usual spot

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Unfortunately the stingrays did not turn up – the boats did not go out so there was no fish cleaning to attract them

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Smoke gets in their eyes at the braai!

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Our Four Friends – Juan, Maria, Priyanka and Roberta (the Italian)

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Eating Chicken Wings and Drinking Life from Stone.

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Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge – Things people play with

Here is my take on this week’s Fun Photo Challenge from Cee.

While visiting Prague we had dinner at a restaurant that had a toy train theme.  It was set up with a proper working toy railway system.  Once your drinks were ordered they were delivered directly to your table by train!  It was great fun and a wonderful way to bring out the inner child.

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Share Your World – 8 October 2018

The Questions from Sparks This Week

Do you prefer Apple (‘I’ products) or Android for your technology ‘fix’?   

My grandsons and daughter desperately want me to go for Android but I am an Apple kinda gal!   I do still have a ‘normal’ laptop but my tablet and phone are Apple and I love them and will not change.  I almost got myself an Apple Mac Computer when my Dell died last year but ……. Just too expensive!   I’m regretting it but who knows if my current laptop doesn’t start behaving I’m going to ditch it, dig deep into the savings and get me an APPLE MAC.

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What’s something on your personal bucket list? 

I don’t actually have a list of things I want to do before I die.  However, I do want to do as much as possible while I am in good health and have the means to enjoy what’s left of Life.   So top of my imaginary list is SKI aka Spend the Kids’ Inheritance.

I made up my mind when I retired that I would not miss an opportunity to do anything adventurous if it presented itself – within sane reason of course!   I’m NOT going to Skydive or Bungy Jump.  However, although I dislike heights, speed and boats – I will go on a cruise, hot air balloon or anything else that challenges my comfort zone if I’m pressed.

The plan is to travel to as many countries as I can afford and also to indulge my passion for Eco- tourism but that is something I’ve done for many years so it’s not new.   Birds are my passion so if I can go somewhere to see a new bird – I’m in!

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What would you name your boat if you had one?   The Unsinkable 3? The Please Don’t Sink? Your choice! Also, what would it look like? Do you want a motor yacht, a sailboat, or perhaps a dinghy?

I am not a boat person!  But the love of my life is!  He has/had a boat – it’s name was Kiora which means Point of Gold.   Well actually he has had a few boats named that, the latest one he sold recently to a friend so it still lives in our boat garage.

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The Ex-boat – Kiora

My dream boat would be a very large cruise ship.  It would be very big and The Earl would be the Captain – because with him in charge nothing would go wrong.   He would control a crew of well trained sailors and other staff and we would sail around the world with all our friends.   The food would be amazing, we’d have butlers and ladies’ maids seeing to our every need, we’d travel on perfectly calm seas and the on board entertainment would be world class.   The Earl would call it  – New Horizons.

This is after all Share Your World Land so anything is possible!

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Which fictional character would be the most boring to meet in real life? 

Eeyore – I love him but he is so grumpy and unlike Christopher Robin and crew who tolerate him with the utmost patience I’d want to ‘fix’ him!

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And finally: 

What brought gratitude, a smile or laughter to your life this week?

Funny you should ask as I have had this really happy feeling this week – Life Is Good.  I spent 10 days away in the caravan in Knysna and with my rural family in Plettenberg Bay – how lucky am I to be able to just drop everything and do that!

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What made me smile and laugh – My daughter sent me a photograph of a heron.  Mom – It’s scary – I stopped my car to take a photograph of a BIRD – I’m turning into my parents!  You see when she was a teenager she got extremely irritated when said parents stopped for every – little – bird – they – saw!   So that me smile and laugh out loud!

The Child’s Heron