7

Saturday Stream of Consciousness – Grill

The one word prompt for this week’s Stream of Consciousness is Grill.

All over Southern Africa if one wants to grill meat it’s over a braai that one will do it.    Barbecue is what it is called in most other countries.  But just to be clear – Braai is really not the same as barbecue – we do NOT grill hamburgers or hot dogs on a Braai!   Wood is  key – it must be hard and dry so that it burns hot and long.  The whole process of sitting by the fire for an hour or so while having sun-downers is all part of the ritual.   In the Western Cape we have the alien invader, Rooikrans (red-eye wattle) which is excellent to use as braai wood.

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A typical braai scene

The word braai is shortened from the Afrikaans word,  braaivleis,  loosely translated to grilled meat.

The word can be used as a noun or a verb.

We are having a (n) braai where braai means a meal that includes meat cooked over the fire.

We will cook on the (n) braai  where the word means a construction in which one makes a fire and meat is placed on a braai grid and cooked over this fire.

Dad will (v) braai the meat where the word means grill.

South Africans are so crazy about braaing that many have both an indoor and outdoor braai at their homes.   The die-hards will braai no matter what the weather

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My grandson, Jay, Braaing in the rain

– we have even been known to braai in the falling snow.

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Crazy South Africans braaing in the snow – Verbier, Switzerland – that’s me in the pink hat

It’s also not only meat that we will braai.  Fish is a very popular choice and every fisherman I know has his own unique way of doing a snoek or yellowtail over the coals.   The Earl’s specialty is Yellow-tail basted with what was once his secret sauce.  He recently shared the recipe, much to the horror of his children,  in an article in Ski-Boat Magazine!

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Grandfather teaching Grandson the fine art of braaing a fish

Not only is meat, fish or chicken grilled over the braai, other foods can be cooked in the braai coals too.  Sweet potatoes wrapped in tinfoil are absolutely delicious cooked this way.  Constantia sandwiches are another winner.   Place cheese, onion and tomato sandwiches on the grid and toast on both sides.  Delicious.   A favourite way to cook butternut squash – stuff it with a mixture of chutney and tomato and onion mix, wrap in tinfoil and cook in the hot coals.   I could go on with many more delicious ways to braai your veggies.

The Braai is traditionally the domain of the Man of the House but no braai is complete without the salads – usually made by Mom. Potato salad, rice salad, pasta salad, Greek salad – any salad will do.

From it’s humble beginnings as a method of cooking while out in the bush, The South African Braai has become an elaborate way of entertaining and is an integral part of South African Social Life.   Don’t mess with the Braai Master -His braai is sacred and his woman let’s him think so – It’s one way of not having to cook the whole meal herself!

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The Braai – Best way to enjoy a meal with friends!

5

Share Your World – 9 April 2018

This week’s answers to  questions from Cee’s Share Your World

Been anywhere recently for the first time?

Not exactly unless you count the new home of my daughter and son-in-law. We have often been to Plettenberg Bay but haven’t stayed there in a while.  The kids have moved from KZN to Plett and we’re currently visiting them.

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Jubilee Farm

The most recent new place I visited was Thailand but that’s almost a year ago now.  Does it count?

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James Bond Island

List three favorite book characters.

Jo – in Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

Beeda – In Confessions of a Gambler by Rayda Jacobs

Scout – In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

George – In The Famous Five books by Enid Blyton

The Grinch – In How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss

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The Grinch

What is your favorite non alcoholic drink: hot or cold?

Coffee – Hot – Black – Strong – Sugarless

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What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

Being here on Jubilee Farm has made me smile every day.  Great to be bonding with Daughter, Son-in-law and Grandchildren.  Walking around the farm and drinking in the views is rejuvenating.

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2

Kruger National Park – Day 16 – Satara

25 November 2017 – An Awesome Day

After yesterday’s heat we woke to rain this morning – very welcome as The Park is dry and they need their rains.  It was also quite cold but nothing dampens ones spirits when in The Park.  A Bad Day in Kruger is still better than a Good Day at home.

By 6:35 we were exploring the H7.   As usual we stopped for every interesting bird.  We saw common waxbill flitting about and while we were enjoying them we heard the familiar clicks and then kyip, kyip kyip – the call of the Red-Crested Korhaan.  Then we saw him strutting across the road.   He then flew up and tumbled down free-fall style.  What an awesome bird.  We expected he was showing off for a female but she was clearly not interested as she remained hidden.

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Next to pop up unexpectedly was this chap.

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We saw the usual suspects too, elephant, zebra, kudu etc  before turning onto the S39.  This drive was good too and we found a tawny eagle and some vultures.   As we trundled along we saw two cars alongside of each other up ahead.  “Either they’re friends having a chat about their next route or the one is telling the other what he has seen.  I bet it’s a leopard,” said I.
As we approached, the one pulled away and parked in front. The other indicated that we should take his place.  ” If you look carefully – you will see a leopard,” he told us. We looked but couldn’t see anything so went ahead a little way and watched some birds.  The second car left but the first remained.  He must still have it we thought so we reversed to take another look.  Oh Wow.  There he was – quite a big male but still well hidden under the tree.

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Oh those wild eyes

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J need my rest, you know

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Here’s looking at you, kid!

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How long are you planning on staying ?

Reluctantly we left the scene to let the next car have a chance and soon reached Timbavati Picnic site where we hired a skottel and cooked breakfast.  It was raining a bit but we were quite dry under the thatch shelters.

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Our return trip produced more hyena and lovely birds but it was raining so photography was a bit difficult.  Back at camp we had a rest. At 3:30 I went to see if Pat and Tony were awake – they weren’t so I told The Earl that we should skip an afternoon drive.  But when they woke at 4 they were still keen to go out  and so at 4:30 we hit the S100.  I had a strange feeling that something exciting would turn up and Pat voiced the same thought.

Sure enough we got a lovely surprise. We found the occupants of two vehicles staring into the distance.   We could just see the flick of a tail and a twitch of an ear.   Another car approached and asked what there was.  We told her not much and then one of the lionesses got up and moved!  We then all go lovely views of her and the other one until they disappeared in the undergrowth again.  We thought we might find them on our return route but they were nowhere around.

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It was certainly worth going for that short drive to find our lions!

You would think camp cooking would be problematic when the weather is cold and wet.  But we were lucky.  The rain held off and we were quite content to sit under our canopy and enjoy a fabulous meal cooked once again by our Bush Master Chef.  It was a most delicious chicken and vegetable dish cooked on the Snappy Chef. (Induction Stove)

The resident hyenas patrolled past the fence quite frequently.  One actually stopped and stared at us as if to say – Please share your meal with me!  But of course we said – No way – go and hunt your own food!

It rained in the night and we expected a wet pack up the next morning!

 

1

Kruger National Park – Day 10

19 November 2017 – Shingwedzi to Letaba

By 6:30 we were packed and ready to leave.  Letaba is 108km from Shingwedzi so we planned to take a break at Mopani and have breakfast at the restaurant.

Once again with caravan in tow we stuck to the tar road and only stopped a few times to take photos of interesting creatures.

The much maligned hyena is considered to be a cowardly and nasty character and features as the ‘baddy’ in many folklore and children’s stories.  In fact these creatures are  not just scavengers but efficient and powerful predators.   Spotted hyenas live in structured groups.  A group of hyenas is called a clan of hyenas.   Did you know that the females rank higher than the males and an alpha female leads the clan. They whole clan helps to raise the young.   When you get to know them you just can’t help loving them and that’s why we were thrilled to find three lying on the side of the road this morning.

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It was a tough night, please let me sleep

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Oooh I’m so comfortable here

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What’s going on – why did you wake me!

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Alright I’ll smile for the photo

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Now I’m going to find a quieter, shadier spot to sleep!

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What do you mean, I must come with you?

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Oh, alright then, I’m coming!

We left the sleepy things in peace and moved on toward Mopani but not before stopping for to get a photograph of the most magnificent eagle in The Park.

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The proud Martial Eagle

We’ve become accustomed to road blocks too and patiently waited for these wild cows cross over.

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This is our road and we’ll take our time if we want to.

The view of the river below the restaurant was as stunning as always but today we saw an osprey in a tree – too distant for a photo but nevertheless great to see.  These are some of the other birds we managed to photograph

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White-faced ducks

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African Jacana

These gorgeous girls stared at us before we arrived at Letaba.

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Female Waterbuck

It was really hot when we arrived in Letaba.  We drove around the shady camp looking for a good spot to set up, met another Gecko owner from Somerset West, chatted to them and then while we were filling our water tanks,  someone whom I recognised walked by and made a jokey comment about caravanning.  He and his wife were tenting nearby.  After chatting a while we discovered that we’d stayed a their B&B a few years ago.  Hugh had organised a bird guide for us. It was an awesome trip.   Today he showed us where to find the Scops Owls.

We found a suitable campsite and unhitched but we did not set up until a little later when it was cooler.  And do you know what?   The Earl put up the canopy almost single handedly.  All I had to do was help with one pole and the ground sheet.  He now has a system that really works for him.  And I managed to push up the roof all by myself!

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Entrance to Letaba Rest Camp

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Scops Owl

As we are staying here for four nights we decided not to go on a game drive this afternoon.   Instead we took some down time to just chill in camp.

Later in the afternoon I saw a fellow camper pointing his camera into a tree so I asked what he was photographing.  This is what he pointed out to me.

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A Bushbaby!

 

The temperature got up to over 35 today and the evening was still hot.  We kept the lights off as much as possible so that the insects didn’t bother us and The Earl cooked us a delicious chicken curry and thus ended another perfect day in Africa.

2

The Kruger National Park – Day 6

15 November 2017 – Punda Maria

Today we took our leave of Shingwedzi and set off to Punda Maria.   It’s a distance of 70 km.  The packing up process went off with hardly a hitch – it gets easier every time – and we were off by 7:30.

 

It was a clear, hot morning and soon the temperature hit 32 degrees C.  Our first creature today was a buffalo.  He had a yellow-billed oxpecker grooming him.

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We also found some ground hornbills – this time walking on the grounds.  There were two adults and a juvenile.

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It’s always fun to see zebra and today they were in a frolicking mood.

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What a delight to come across a huge herd of buffalo under the trees.

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Don’t you just love the waterbuck?  We have seen so many on this trip in Kruger.   Their bottoms sport a white circle that resembles a target!   This serves as a following signal so that when they run through the bush those behind can see the white ahead and  prevent them from becoming separated.

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We arrived at Punda Maria before 10 am and went straight to the campsite.

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We found a suitable site and unhitched the caravan.  We have a perfect view of the waterhole on the  other side of the fence.  There is also a hide where one can sit and watch whatever comes to drink.

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The Earl enjoying a cup of coffee while he watches elephants from the comfort of his camp chair

I went to reception to check in and when I returned The Earl had started setting up.  With just a tiny bit of help from me the rest of the canopy was up within 20 minutes.   We’d forgotten to fill the tanks with water but I located a staff member and asked is we could borrow the camp hose.  Not a problem.  The Earl joined it to his and the tanks were soon filled.

Now all we had to do was relax and wait for our friends Tony and Pat to join us later in the morning.  Earl had a nap and I sorted photos in cool of the caravan aircon!

Pat and Tony arrived at lunch time just as thunder and lightning warned that it would soon rain.  Some young neighbouring campers did not hesitate to step in and help to get the job done quickly before the heavens opened.  Then we sat under our canopy to have a drink and a snack.  The rain didn’t last too long but the thunder and lightning continued. At 3:30 we set off on an afternoon drive and although there was some rain we had a very productive afternoon.  The rain caused the temperature to drop to 22 degrees C which was a welcome relief.

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Young Male Kudu pulling faces – was he enjoying his grooming?

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Red-billed oxpecker doing the grooming.

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There were plenty of elephants about

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Elephants can hide – this one scared us with his sudden appearance

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Yellow-billed Hornbill

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The rain prevented good photography

In the evening we had a braai and were in bed by 9.

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Fortunately the rain held off

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What a scrumptious meal of steak, chops, boerewors, spinach, sweet potato and salad.

 

5

Fun Photo Challenge – Four letter word beginning with D

Naturally as a mad keen birder I am choosing the word DUCK for this week’s Fun Photo Challenge from Cee

080 Australian Black Duck

Pacific Black Duck (Australia)

306 Wandering Whistling Duck-001

Wandering Whistling Duck (Australia)

Duck-Fulvous-Bushman's Kloof - Earl

Fulvous Duck (South Africa)

Duck-Yellow-billed

Yellow-billed Duck (South Africa)

Oh alright then, I won’t be totally boring – here are two DOOR pictures as well.

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Amalfi, Italy

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Door seen on Main Street of Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire, England.

 

 

5

Taking the Waters of Warmwaterberg

It was chilly in Struisbaai on Monday and we knew our friends Tom and Meg were at The Warmwaterberg Hot Springs enjoying the warmth of the sunny Karoo days.  They were due to stop over and visit us on Wednesday.  “Let’s drive up there and surprise them,”  suggested The Earl.  “My bones could do with some warming up.”

This is the beauty of retirement.  You can just decide spur of the moment to do something and work just doesn’t get in the way.   We’ve caravanned at Warmwaterberg before but this time we decided to take a luxury bath house.

The two hour drive is super picturesque especially over the Tradouw Pass.

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We stopped in Barrydale for a bite to eat.   Diesel and Creme were closed for renovations so we tried the Country Pumpkin instead.  It was a quaint place and it was pleasant sitting in the sunshine but service was slow.  A tourist bus arrived at the same time as we did so the staff were extra busy.  I didn’t think I’d get lucky requesting making a Banting issue so we just ordered toasted egg and bacon.  The waitress thought I was a bit odd leaving the bread on the plate!IMG_7273

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The Pale Chanting Goshawk is a common bird in the area and one obligingly posed for us as we approached Warmwaterberg.

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Check in went efficiently and we were assigned Bath House 3.   Tom and Meg were in Number 4.

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The enormous bath in the room is the main feature of this accommodation.

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The accommodation is on two levels – The Earl is standing in front of the bath above.

The public pool area had three pools – two hot and one cold.  They are fed with untreated water from the artesian spring where it is 44ºC at the source.   The water is rich in iron and pleasant to drink too.

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We made friends with another couple in the pool and after a relaxing afternoon of languishing in the warm water we went to have a cup of coffee with Sandy and Shirley at their caravan.

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Bonding with new friends

Our  accommodation overlooked a beautiful valley and the mountains were beautiful in the setting sun.

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We no longer have furbabies so the feral cats that roam the estate found themselves welcome at our cottage.  They are all really pretty and healthy; clearly because the visitors feed them well.

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On of the friendly feral cats or rule the slaves that visit the spa

Peacocks also graced the grounds and came scrounging for scraps.  There are lots of shady trees and we enjoyed watching the Cape Weavers and Cape Sparrows were busy building a nest in our eaves.

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Mr Peacock trying to woo Ms Peahen

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Mrs Cape Sparrow inspecting a new nest

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I’m sure this is good for lining, my love, said Mr Cape Sparrow

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Meggy enjoying a rest in the shade of an acacia tree

We enjoyed the outdoor pools but having our own bath to luxuriate in, in the privacy of our own room was also fun

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The water is hot, soothing, relaxing and drains your energy – so is perfect just before bedtime

The two nights spent at Warmwaterberg were perfect.  We had fantastic weather and even the evenings were warm.  If ever you pass this way, do not give Warmwaterberg and Barrydale a miss.

More on Barrydale and Struisbaai to follow.

 

 

 

2

Wild Adventure Chapter 14 Last Day

16 March

It rained in the night and it was still dripping when the Grum-Peighs woke up at 5:30 am. Fortunately it stopped enough for them to pack up in relative comfort.

They bade farewell to the Leighs and were ready to exit Mata Mata by 6:30.  They took a slow drive to Twee Rivieren not expecting too much in the way of sightings as after rain the game don’t need to come to the water holes.

However, they were in luck.  They found their Port Shepstone neighbors stopped and staring into the bush. “There’s a lioness on a kill,” they told the G-Ps. And sure enough there she was under a tree chewing away.  To her right Lady G-P spotted another one – obviously she’d had her fill. A few jackal were waiting on the sideline too.

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After watching for a while they pushed on and saw all the usuals including giraffes

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and then her Ladyship noticed something small running across the veld.

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A dassie!

Another unusual sighting for KTP

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A lone warthog!

All too soon they arrived at Twee Rivieren, pumped the types back to their normal pressure and then went to Kgalagadi Lodge for breakfast.

 

Feeling fortified with fresh energy they sadly let the Kgalagadi behind and made their way to Oranjerus, a lovely, shady, grassy campsite next to the Orange River where they spent the night.

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A red bishop seen from the restaurant at Oranjerus

They dined at the restaurant with a fellow camper and so ended their wonderful Wild Adventure.

4

Wild Adventure Chapter 6 Lions at Kij Kij

8 March

The advantage of staying in a bush camp on the Botswana side of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is that there are fewer people in camp and one really gets to commune with nature – it’s living on the edge as there is always a chance that a wild creature could wander past your caravan or tent.  This is what the Frend-Leighs and Grum-Peighs love about Camp Rooiputs Number 2.   It is also closer to the water holes so you get to them before the crowds from Twee Rivieren arrive.  But Rooiputs has the added advantage of being close enough to Twee Rivieren so that when you need to replenish your stocks it’s a quick trip there and back.  On this particular morning the friends decide to check out the Kij Kij Waterhole nice and early and then take the long dune road that connects to another road that takes you to TR.  The plan is then to leave the park and shop at the Kgalagadi Lodge shop – and have breakfast at their restaurant.  There is nothing as good as mixing a bit of rustic living with luxury now and then!

And they are well rewarded when they get to Kij Kij and find some frolicking lions.

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Good Morning Kgalagadi

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This is fun!

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Come on let’s play!

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Time to go!

The Dune Road is very long and bendy and can be boring but today a honey badger rushed over the road in front of them and they saw 19 Northern Black Korhaan

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The best of the bunch

On the return journey the Grum-Peighs stop for every bird.  Ho-Hum!

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A lesser grey shrike

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The ever-present tawny eagle

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Southern Masked weaver and Lark-like Bunting

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Male and female red-headed finch

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Grey-backed sparrowlark

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Male red-headed finch

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Immature Pale Chanting Goshawk

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Jackal

The highlight was seeing a cobra try to invade a sociable weaver nest.

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In the evening the Frend-Leighs and Grum-Peighs had another delicious braai.  There was no sign of stormy weather and the sunset was magnificent.

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The Earl and The Friend bonding in front of the fire

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Sunset

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Camp Rooiputs Number 2 at night

2

Wild Adventure Chapter 4 Cheetahs and Lions

“It can’t be time to get up yet,” complained Lord Grum-Peigh  “It’s still dark!”

“It will be light soon and we need to get out before the Twee Rivieren Mob arrive – come on get up – here’s your coffee.”   Her Ladyship packed the picnic basket and filled the flask while her grumbly husband reluctantly readied himself for departure.

The sunrise was just a stunning as last night’s sunset and they were on the road atn6:30 am on the dot.  The campers from the other five sites were rushing off too.  The Frend-Leighs  always keen to be first at the waterhole to ensure good photographs were up ahead.  As the Grum-Peighs followed slowly behind a fellow camper passed and waved to them to stop.  “Your left front tyre looks a little soft,” he said.

And so they had to turn around and return to camp to check it out.  The Earl who fusses about the small stuff was remarkably calm about this major disaster. He set straight to work.   Getting the tyre off proved no easy task.  The thingy that is used to loosen the bolts was faulty but the Earl made a plan and within 45 minutes the job was done.

Now when one travels in the extreme conditions of the Kgalagadi one would be foolish not to have a working spare so the Grum-Peighs decided to abandon their original plans and make their way to Twee Rivieren where there was a workshop to have the spare tyre repaired. And although it was a Sunday it was open.

After enjoying a cooked breakfast at the restaurant they took the long Mata Mata and Dune roads to get back to Rooiputs. “Hopefully we will see game on this route,” declare the Lord.

Lady Grum-Peigh had an acute attack of FOMO (fear of missing out). “I bet the Leighs have found  yesterday’s lions on a kill and that the cheetahs are mating or giving birth  or something equally exciting.”she whined.
“No way,”comforted the Earl “we’re going to see good stuff.”

And he was right.  “Look what we have here,”he said excitedly.

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Tawny Eagle

A little later they found a male lion right next to the road

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Then a little far off under a shady tree lay a cheetah with its kill.  It was not worth taking a photograph though.

The Grum-Peighs are more interested in the birdlife and tend to stop too long to observe the winged creatures that others choose to ignore.

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One of their favourites is the Namaqua Dove

Of course they also saw all the regular chaps.  Gemsbok (Oryx) are very common in the park.

IMG_5666Meanwhile the Leighs had been wandering what happened to their friends.  Had they missed them at a sighting? Had they carried on to the planned breakfast stop?  But no they couldn’t find them anywhere.  “They’re either behind or in front of us,” said Mr Frend-Leigh – don’t worry we’ll catch up with each other eventually.”

So when they finally did see each other back at camp they were shocked to hear that there had been a mishap.  “We would have come back to help!” they declared.

“Then you would also have missed the excitement,” said Lady G-P

“Ha – we only got sleeping cats – nothing too thrilling!”

The two men got to work fixing the faulty thingy while the girls caught up with washing and then they all had a nap before going out for the afternoon drive.

It was 5 o’clock and still hot and they hoped to get the sleeping lions waking up.  There was a little action but they were still pretty sleepy.

Then a police car stopped next to the G-Ps “Good afternoon, sir.  How are you this afternoon?”

Lady G-P thought they were going to ask for their permit and started reaching for it.  But no – “Ma’m about 3km further on, you will find a cheetah.  He is on his own and has been there since 1 pm this afternoon.”

“Thank you so much officer.  We will check it out!”

Just before they reached the 3km mark, Lady Peigh yelled, “I see him.”

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It was overcast and a storm was threatening so the light was dim and if she hadn’t been looking intently she would probably have missed him.  Then suddenly he disappeared. “Has he gone over the ridge?”

“No – there he is!” said Lord Peigh.  “He’s lying down – how well he camouflages!”

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They stayed with him until a car approached and then pointed him out to the occupant.  It took quite a while before he could find him.

Back at the lion sighting very little was happening. Mr Leigh pointed out a striped kingfisher in a tree opposite and then they decided to make their way back before it got too late.

The Leighs  pointed out the Vereaux’s Eagle-Owl and that was the last sighting of their day.

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0

Wild Adventure Chapter 3 Rooiputs

5 March

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.

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yellow canary drinking at Samevloeing

Next was a tawny eagle in a tree.

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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.IMG_5515

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.

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A ground squirrel is always an entertaining sighting

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Lanner Falcon

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A single wildebeest in the company of a herd of springbok

“Look at Melkvlei,” said Lord Peigh, “Quite a difference from last year.”

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Melkvlei Picnic Site  when Dry

Melkvlei Flooded

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The wind had dropped and they enjoyed a delicious braai before retiring for the night.P1080508

 

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Wild Adventure Chapter 2 Lion Cubs on the Dune

4 March

Lord Grum-Peigh woke up and went straight into panic mode.  “We have to get out of here as soon as the gates open!”  he stressed. “Otherwise we won’t find the Frend-Leighs and they won’t know they need to sign us in!”

“Relax,” cooed Lady Peigh “We’ll find them – and probably at a sighting!”   But still he fussed and rushed her and to his extreme annoyance she deliberately took her time at the showers and laughed when he got upset.

But once they were on the road his mood improved and he was a tad less grumpy specially when he saw the familiar green of Mr Leigh’s Nissen Pathfinder.   The Leighs were looking toward the top of a dune and Lord Peigh nearly fell out of the car window when he saw two young lion cubs relaxing there.

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Do I have to wake up now?

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I wonder what there is in those cans on wheels?

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They sure look tasty

The Lord was now in a very good mood and made plans to meet the Leighs at TR, sort out the Rooiputs booking and then go for brekkie.

After watching the cubs for a bit Lord and Lady Peigh went in search of their mother.   They met a man who said he’d driven up and down the road but there was no sign of her.  The Earl, though, has a nose for these things and would not give up until his curiosity was satisfied.

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The presence of a jackal can indicate lions in the vicinity as they like to scavenge off their kill!

His vigilance paid off because all of a sudden they caught sight of three lions walking away from them along the road.

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One of the lions

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All three of them

With this lovely sighting dancing in their heads the went back to report to the Leighs. Late all the business of booking in at the Botswana side of reception was completed.  Then they all headed to The Kgalagadi Lodge a few kilometres outside the gate. It was almost lunchtime but they ordered breakfast – Mr Frend-Leigh asked the waiter,  “Is one allowed to have beer with breakfast, here?”  The waiter laughed and brought one for him and the Earl.

Back at camp :Lady Peigh  went for a swim and the Earl had a nap and then when he woke up they went for a swim together before going out for an afternoon drive

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Brant’s whistling rat

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Ground Scraper Thrush

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Secretary Bird

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Scaly-feathered finch

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Southern Masked Weaver

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Leopard Tortoise

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The creatures have right of way at all times. This male ostrich finds something tasty on the gravel road.

Because His Lordship was a too tired to do a braai Her Ladyship cooked chicken casserole on her caravan gas stove for supper.  It was a perfect evening but they were woken at 2am by heavy rainfall!