Monday, December 15, 2008

Boep Club 2008

It's a terrible thing to have to admit but I get together with a few like minded guys while the wives are at book club to drink whisky, smoke cigars and generally chew the fat. After a while this acquired the unfortunate name of "boet" meaning "brother" club which has since been corrupted into "boep" meaning paunch club. I think the book club think that they're very clever! At the end of each year we have taken to going away for a weekend which is proving to be quite a win. This year we buggered off to Sondela for the weekend; five christians and me, the token atheist.

Sondela proved to be an inspired choice of venue because it's actually a game reserve but with no predators so one can walk, run and cycle everywhere so the mornings would start off with a two or three hour cycle followed by loads of nothing, a braai for supper before we settled down to the real reason for coming to Sondela ...

The first cycle ride on the saturday we had but a small taste of the sand that was to come on the sunday; fortunately we were blissfully unaware of our fate at that stage so we thought the deep sand was pretty cool and experiential. The wildlife at sondela is pretty chilled and you can get quite close to them before they move off as you can see from the next photograph.

Although this looks quite far away they weren't more than 20m. We saw nyala, zebra, giraffe, kudu, eland, warthog and wildebeest which made for quite a satisfying morning. Actually one can't lose by cycling in the park, if you see game it makes the ride and if you don't you still get a great ride to enjoy. The afternoons were spent slumming it at the pool which as you can see looks decidedly dodgy ...

Just next to the pool in the picture was a large heated spa pool with jets'n all which we migrated to in order to get out of the sun of course. We were all sitting in the pool when a group of young afrikaans boys (approx 13 years old or so) asked to jump in and when they did so the pool overflowed which led to the usual jokes about fat people and water and in one of the lulls in the conversation we heard a quiet "Ja rynauw" from one of the boys to another which had us all laughing. There is definitely something about afrikaans and humour that english just doesn't have, I can't quite put my finger on it but somehow jokes and banter are just that much funnier in afrikaans.

Back to the lodge for the traditional bush supper of meat suitably singed; oh and a potato and some green stuff as a concession to me. Here we have hennie striking the traditional south african pose as he tends to the fire.

We were there for three nights and each night the menu was identical and did anyone complain? No, did anyone even notice that we'd eaten the same on all three nights? Again no, but if there were the wives with us would there have been complaints? Absolutely and not because the food wasn't good nor balanced but it simply wasn't different; guys just don't get this need to have different food all the time. We're actually quite happy to have the same meal for at least 3 or 4 nights at a time. Two weeks might be pushing it but changing every night definitely isn't necessary as long as the food is good.

The next morning hennie, carl and myself went for another ride which would prove to be quite a learning curve about riding in deep sand. There is only one word for it; don't! We struggled up these gently sloping hills sweating like pigs in the hot morning sunshine and sucking in great lungfuls of air, the heart rate monitor going peep, peep, peep or in english "slow down, you're about to die!". Hennie had the narrowest tyres so he was battling the most and fell a little bit behind so carl and I waited halfway up a hill only for him to come cruising past us like he was on tar. Big lesson to learn here, when riding in soft sand let your tyres down to 1 bar and it is impossible to describe how much easier it makes the riding. Amazing! and even more amazing is that we, all three of us, should have known this because we have all looked at people in 4x4 struggling in the sand because they stupidly hadn't let their tyres down. At the top of the hill we climbed up to the trig beacon which had an awesome view over the valley.

After recovering from the ride we read, ate and slept before venturing out to the pool in the middle of the afternoon only to have to endure the sight of two teletubbies cavorting in the pool. Whatever happened to the svelte young damsels in bikini's - very disappointing. Some of the people really did look like they had swallowed a webber braai. Back home we went for the final braai

Packing up the house the next morning carl picked up a plastic bag and was just about to throw it away when something made him look inside only to find a mouse looking very dead. That was until one eye opened, didn't like what it saw and went straight back to playing dead. Very cute indeed.

So that was it; what a great weekend.

1 comment:

Heidi and Darrell Bergesen and kids said...

Another shit day in Africa, hey!?!