Travelling with an Earl can have its trying moments. His Lordship has firm ideas how things should be done and when things don’t go exactly according to plan he tends to shoot into stress mode. Packing up camp is a trigger so Lady Grum-Peigh has to encourage him to calm down to a panic and remind him that it will all come together in the end! On this morning all her reassuring seemed to work and all was packed up in a jiffy except for one thing!
“Don’t you have to put the leveling legs up first?” asked Lady Peigh. Uh oh! A few minutes of rapid unpacking and repacking later and all was set. The caravan was hitched to the towbar and by 7:40 am they were on their way to Rooiputs.
Luckily the rain from the early hours had abated and it was a stunning, clear day. The birds at Samevloeing cheered the Earl up and gave Her Ladyship great photo opportunities.
yellow canary drinking at Samevloeing
Next was a tawny eagle in a tree.
Mr Frend-Leigh had marked out an area where he thought the Grum-Peighs should park their caravan – this was to optimise the best afternoon shade. The setting up went well and just as they finished the Frend-Leighs returned from their early morning drive..
Here is the Earl in front of the caravan – all set up and ready for their 8-day stay.
It was very hot and Lady Peigh felt drained and exhausted. Although it was unusual for her and it was only midday, she decided to take a nap. The wind got up too and shook the caravan like a leaf. The Earl worked hard to secure the tent pole and ropes while she slept on for the next three hours! Finally she woke up and gave in to His Lordship’s pleas to go for an afternoon drive.
“Oh look, even the lions don’t feel like doing anything in this heat.” said Lady Peigh. “Don’t even take a photo – too boring.” They left them dozing and carried on up the Nossob road. All the game – wildebeest, springbok, red hartebeest and gemsbok – were standing or lying under whichever shady tree they could find. The landscape was dry but there had been a little rain so there were patches of green and lots of lovely yellow flowers from time to time.
A ground squirrel is always an entertaining sighting
A single wildebeest in the company of a herd of springbok
“Look at Melkvlei,” said Lord Peigh, “Quite a difference from last year.”
Melkvlei Picnic Site when Dry
Melkvlei Picnic Site after heavy rains! This picture was taken in March 2015
After a leg stretch and loo break at the picnic site they retraced their route towards Rooiputs.
“What’s happening now,” said the Earl. “those springbok are stock-still and all looking in the same direction.” T
The bokkies gathered together and nervously crossed the road. The Earl scanned the dunes and soon spotted two cheetahs on the ridge.
One of the cheetahs sat up but there was no attempt to hunt.
The Grump-Peighs carried on until another vehicle alerted them to another sighting further on.
A contented, sleeping male lion
Remember the snoozing lions from the beginning of the trip? Well that’s where they met up with the Frend-Leighs who had only left camp an after they had. Their cameras trained on the felines who were still in dreamland.
“Let’s go,” said His Lordship. “I don’t feel like watching sleeping lions.”
“Give it five minutes,” begged his wife. “I’m sure they’ll wake up soon.”
The words were no sooner cold on her lips when one of the females stoop up and started walking toward them. One by one the others followed but the male remained hidden behind his tree.
What a brilliant sighting.
Although they were in an unfenced camp they were expected to stick to the gate times – out at 6:30 am and back by 7 pm in March. They made it by 17 minutes and then enjoyed a spectacular sunset.
The wind had dropped and they enjoyed a delicious braai before retiring for the night.