Thursday, 29 December 2016

Bush Day 4 to 6

Bush Day 4

Unusual start to the day. Got up at 6am and started prepping lamb shank for lunch. By 7am, it was all in the oven and cooking and I was ready for my second cup of coffee! Way too much work for that early. 

Then did some admin like fill Landie with fuel, get ice etc. whilst at the camp, we heard that an elephant had been hit by a train the night before. Sad. 

The lamb shank lunch was yummy! Mom made pumpkin pie and rosti to go with it and by the end of lunch we were all popping full. 

Evening drive was quite uneventful but we did see another hyaena which was cool.

Bush Day 5

Woke up feeling tired but all good as I got up and made pancakes and fruit salad for breakfast. Everyone appeared to like it so it was a hit.

We then packed up and for a lunch and chill at the pool. I am not a pool addict but it was nice to have a dip and then read my book. After an awesome lunch, we headed on a short drive to see where the carcass of the elephant who had been hit by the train had been put. The amount of vultures was insane!! You could hardly see what was left of the elephant. 

The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing at home, followed by Mom and I going to try see the Pels Fishing Owl at the causeway. We got home in time for me to try get some lightening pictures as a storm approached us.

We had really nice rain that lasted all night. I am sure the dry river beds are flowing!

Day 6

Rain... yep that sums up the day...,

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Bush Day 3

Usual start to the day with coffee and my book followed by my making a fruit salad breakfast. Whilst getting ready, we spotted a K9 anti-poaching patrol go past. This dog was amazing with her off lead walking. She was glued to her handler's side and only broke off when she noticed me opening a window to look at her, but she was back at his side seconds after! 

Once we got moving, we took a slow drive to see the burnt house. It's insane to see the power of fire! 

The morning drive had the usual general game and one of my ultimate sightings: hyaena! Was really nice to see even if it was super lazy at a dam!

Lunch was a yummy braai made by my bro and sister in law which was followed by me finishing my book. The book Ralf is a brilliant account of the work of a therapy dog in hospitals and is well worth the read!!!

The evening drive was nice for me as I got to sit on the back whilst Gareth did the driving. We were fortunate to see a rhino and then the hyaena again. The hyaena was pretty cool in that we got to watch as 2 zebra tried to come drink but we're super nervous!! Was funny watching them flick their ears back, stomp and sniff the air. The one was way more calm than the other but both clearly and rightfully nervous of the predator. 

No sign of elephant (although others saw them) nor leopard but we have time! Weather was cool but not cold and a bit windy.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Bush Day 2

After a slow start morning with blogging, coffee and my book, I eventually got up and the day started.

Obviously it was started with the family opening presents and followed by breakfast! Then, with the weather being so iffy, Mom opted to stay at home whilst we went and got the Landie from the office. 

The drive to the office was uneventful and we saw lots of general game. Having collected the Landie, I decided we needed a short drive (I was curious to see how Gareth and Danielle had gotten stuck). We meandered slowly in that direction and came across the poor people from Unit 29 who had lost their house on Friday to a lightening strike. These people were so bouncy and bubble despite everything and even despite that a few of them had gotten hit by lightening whilst trying to fight the fire!!! Really great lesson on positivity. 

After a fun chat with them, we continued to Mud Stucker's Drift where I immediately saw how they got stuck. The rest of the drive home was filled with good game sightings including vultures, wildebeest, bushbuck, giraffe, impala etc. Was amazing to see how much we saw despite the wind.

Back at home, Mom and I spent time sewing and crocheting before preparing lunch. Due to the weather, l we were going to sit inside for our yummy lunch of lamb, gammon, salads etc. 

In the evening we went for a drive and we're fortunate to see a pride of 11 lion in the area near Dad's tree. Really awesome. We followed them for quite a while and were entertained by tiny cubs playing! At one stage, we lost sight of them and decided to move on, as we were about to take the turn that Mom wanted me to take, a big female lion came out the bush right next to us! My poor brother got a huge fright but she slowly and calmly walked behind us with the other lions following her and the lioness with the cubs walking past in front of us. With the lions seemingly everywhere, I got a chance to play with my night vision and WOW!! I kept thinking someone was lighting them up for me because the lioness and 3 tiny cubs were so clear.

I have photos but on my big camera so will share at a later stage.

The evening ended with a small dinner and then a relatively early evening. We all drifted off to the sweet sound of soft rain on the thatch.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Bush Day 1 - trip down

After an insane week of starting work at 1am most days, the time had finally arrived to leave for the farm. I was broken and tired so needed it. To give you and idea of how I felt: on Friday after I handed my home over to the housesitter, I piled out my narrow garage and planted my front bumper firmly into the side wall of the garage as I tried turning too soon!! After getting myself unstuck, I went to Mom's house.

Back to the bush day 1... we got up at 4am to the sound of awesome rain in Jozi. Happy for my garden!! After coffee and packing, we left. The trip was fairly uneventful until the last kms. As we crossed the Blyde River, mom reminded me to slow down and in my tired state I thought the limit as 80 so got my speed down. Dumb move! Cops were trapping and I got nailed for R300. The ethics of these cops were not so great but hey.

We went on our way, with my licking my wounds over the R300 forked out for my speeding. As soon as we hit that dirt road, the 2 of us opened a drink. We had made it safely.

The dirt road part was boring and aside for having been told that unit 29 had been struck by lightening the night before and had burnt to the ground, there was not much happening on the farm. Fortunately for the unit, the amazing staff here had saved all their household contents so it was just the house. Sympathies to the family who lost their bush home.

Unpacking was tough in the heat!! Mom and I were literally dripping with sweat as we took stuff out the car and unpacked the cooler boxes. After unpacking we sat down to relax and Mom raised a valid question: where was Gareth and Danielle? They had been just behind us entering the gate. I grabbed my phone and discovered that they had sent us an SOS message. They had gotten stuck in the mud at a dry river bed crossing!! After trying to phone them unsuccessfully, we radioed the office for help and discovered that another unit had found them and was busy getting them out. Mom and I could have also helped but we would have had to go fetch the landie and get to them - was quicker to just call for help. 

The Mud Stuckers eventually made it to the house and we helped them offload their car and I assisted further by providing them with an ice cold drink. (Guess there had been a reason I packed so much.) 

The rest of the afternoon was spent resting and the evening was quiet and uneventful. Mom made us a Woolies oxtail for dinner and we all chilled on the deck. I got to play with my night vision monocular and WOW!! I spotted a genet and when my bro spotted a hippo, we were able to watch it clearly through the NV. Love my new toy!!!!!

The weather here is in the upper 30s so is a bit toasty. But fortunately a really nice wind has come up and seems to be bringing possible rain. 

I guess it's time to get up and go make coffee and start day 1. Hope you all have an awesome day.