Thursday, September 16, 2021

Ndzopfuri to Pafuri Picnic Site. (Approximately 60km)

The last morning's alarm clock was provided by the francolins; I quite like these natural alarm clocks and they are infinitely superior to the hadedah calls that we get at home.

Packing up was quick and efficient now that we have all got our processes together and making that extra pot of coffee and putting it in a flask for consumption mid or late morning is definitely something we will be doing in the future.  Having a good cup of coffee in the middle of nowhere is a great experience, well, at least I love it.

We were all ready to go and we both hopped into the car only to realize that the keys were missing; I though Caron had them and she thought I had them.  Turns out the tent had them so we had to unpack, unroll and vroetel around in the tent looking for the pocket they would have been in, re-pack the tent while everyone else waited patiently for us to finish.  Even with that abortive start we weren't that late away from the campsite.

Along the drive today we saw some "Kuif Kop Tarentaal" a.k.a crested guinea fowl which was another first for us but somehow 'kuif kop' just describes the bird better than the bland 'crested'.

Morning coffee was at crooks corner which is named for the scoundrels that used to congregate here at the confluence of three countries so irrespective of which countries law enforcement wanted to catch them they could easily escape into a neighboring country and be out of reach of the long arm.  As we have seen over the whole trip, as soon as there is water which, in this case is in the Levuvhu river, the vegetation thrives which attracts the game which, in turn attracts the tourists.  After being all on our own in the park for the last 5 days it was a bit of an adjustment now having to 'share' everything with arbitrary other people.

After a couple of days of mishap free days we had to have one for the road.  On the very short drive from Crooks corner to Pafuri picnic spot we were driving in convoy five in a line and Tony, right in the midle of the convoy, had a head on collision with another car.  It wasn't too serious at least from Tony's point of view, Landcruiser vs Hyundai ... there is only one winner and it wasn't the Hyundai.  Nobody injured and it all happened at low speed but one wonders what the woman was doing driving around a blind corner without stopping and right into the middle of a convoy of vehicles.  Tony was rather calm about it all and even though it all happened at low speeds and nobody was injured, it is still an accident and that always gets the adrenaline pumping.  They swapped numbers and five minutes later we were at the Pafuri picnic spot where we all went our separate ways.

Photo courtesy of Amanda

The apprehensions of our first day have been allayed, it is not true that in every four-ball there is an arsehole.  Maybe we were just lucky but all the people on the trip turned out to be really great people and their presence enhanced the trip rather than diminished the experience so I think in future we won't be quite so reluctant to participate in ventures where we don't know anyone.

Theresa gave a little farewell speech thanking us all for not talking about COVID nor politics and generally being pleasant, normal people and ended with a quote by memory from the bible which was very appropriate for the circumstances and I think that everyone, irrespective of one's own beliefs or lack of them, appreciated the sentiments expressed.

So trip done and I would recommend it to people and especially to people that haven't done overlanding, as opposed to a game drive, before as it gives a real taste of what it is like in a relatively benign environment with readily accessible outside help should one need it.

No comments: