Friday, August 12, 2016

Olifantsrus to Halali.

Putting the morning coffee on the flame was a shadow of what it should have been and I wondered if it was going to be enough to boil the coffee pot.  Caron speculated accusingly that the cylinder was empty and since I hadn't filled them up prior to leaving home she had a point.  As it turns out there was plenty of gas and when we used the same cylinder in the afternoon it was fine.  I checked the gas nozzle and everything looked fine so I don't know what the problem was.

Today seemed to be the day for seeing raptors and in short order we racked up the following sightings.
Greater Kestrel
Red necked Falcon
Pale Chanting Goshawk

Meandering along and stopping at the odd waterhole to check out the red hartebees, zebra, gemsbok, impala which are all a given at almost every waterhole we saw one of the cars from last night stopped on the side of the road with the two occupants peering under the rear wheel so we stopped to see what the problem was.

Their rear right hand tyre was completely shredded and because there was essentially no tire, they couldn't get the jack underneath the car which is a real design flaw in my opinion.  High lift jack to the rescue ... ta-da ... the first time that we have actually used our high lift jack and putting it under the towbar we lifted the entire back of the car including all the kit inside and on top of the car high enough to get the bottle jack underneath to just get the right rear wheel off the ground.  When the pressure really comes on it is quite hard work on the high lift jack and I had to use my whole weight at the end to get the lever down.  Very pleased that we have finally used it and that it worked as it should have. Caron found it all exceedingly funny to see me hanging off the jacks handle trying to pull it down.

Arriving at camp is a bit like arriving at one of the campsites in Kruger National Park ... an ocean of campsites, campers, ablution blocks and braais.  We managed to find one on the edge and pitched camp looking out into the bush which at least gives us the illusion of being on our own.  We camped next to a German couple and their three children and it was all looking quite good until a crowd of Italians arrived and pretty much camped on top of the German family, the last straw was when the Italians unplugged the Germans from the power without even asking them.  The Germans didn't see the funny side of this and exploded, took the Italians plug out and put theirs back in.  The Italians backed down, possibly memories of 50 years ago, and went out for supper.

By about 15:00 we were set and done and could relax in the shade of our awning but Caron's had was achingly sore, probably from over use today in striking and pitching camp so she sat with it wrapped in a wet towel for an hour or two which seemed to help.

We made pasta for supper but I wanted a fire so I made a small one in front of the tent so we could look out over the fire at the bush and the stars which was all pretty nice and the German family came over and we chatted around the fire for a couple of hours and more than a couple of beers.  The only fly in the ointment was that the fire was not in a formal fireplace which one of the camp wardens noticed when he ran past so we were admonished to make sure that the fire is properly out which we would have done anyway.  Suitable chastised, we crawled into bed and to sleep.

Finished "The Better Angels of our Nature" which is something of an achievement ... almost 900 pages of intense reading.

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