October 5, 2006

South AfricaWe were lucky this morning with the weather: some clouds, but no rain and the day did look promising. The quilt and blanket had been more than adequate to keep us warm last night. This morning breakfast was not until 8 am, so we slept in until 7:30. Breakfast was yoghurt and muesli, muffins, bacon and eggs, toast, and tea.

After breakfast Godfrey, a local guide, took us on an easy half-day walk through the hills above the camp. We headed out the gates and shortly started up on the trail. In the distance we could see columns of smoke from the environmental burning that was going on all about the area, but generally the views were good. Up we went to a plateau, then turned right. We had been lucky to see elands en route, and there were lots of wildflowers to look at as well.

Before long we reached a stream coming down the hill, and we stopped there for a rest. Godfrey proceeded to pull out a large kettle, fill it with water from the stream, and build a fire. Once the water was boiling we had a cup of tea and a biscuit.

Continuing along the trail we saw a mountain reedbuck bound up the slope and an eland above us, but other than that not much. The trail contoured around the valley then zigzagged down to an old jeep track. We were back in camp at 1 pm, perfect timing for lunch. Today we had sausage quiche, salad, and delicious sourdough buns with a garlic salt topping.

After lunch we read our books for a while, then decided to have a shower and do some laundry. After a while Heather and Rosemary decided to go for a walk, down to the Natural Pool. Part of that trail went through freshly burned fields, whose edges were still on fire. Back at camp, Sean, Sally, and David returned from their walk. David had cut his leg really badly, so it was decided that he needed stitches. Charl drove him 80 kilometres to the nearest hospital to have it looked at.

Dinner was about 7 pm, and they did a braai for us. There was a lot of smoke and at the end there were steaks and boerewors sausages and other associated goodies. It wasn’t until about 10 pm that Charl returned, with David all stitched and bandaged up.

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