South Africa

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    • Day 82

      Sodwana Bay

      January 24 in South Africa ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

      Nach witere 300km bini in Sodwana Bay acho ide Izulu Eco Lodge. Die letschte 750 Meter isch ä reini Sandstrass🫡. Mit Tips vo Awohnende hani de gleehrd ja nid azhaltä (oi wenn z Gfihl hesch dui stasch scho) und hin und här z länkä um wieder Grip z becho. D Strapaze vode Strass hend sich aber glohnd, d Lodge isch sehr idyllisch, es hed Hind und Chatze, ich bi die einzig Gästin, de Stärnehimmel isch de Wahnsinn, s hed ä Pool und ä Outdoor Duschi, d Gastgäberin isch super und mis Hittli hed alles woni bruichä.
      Morn gads los midem Toichbrevet.
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    • Day 13

      A Day Of Nothing

      April 5, 2023 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

      Today our plan was to head to Mkunze game reserve for a bry. In English terms that’s a barbecue picnic and after getting up at 7am Ellie and I were happy to hang around the house waiting for Pete to send emails and make phone calls. Unfortunately due to the power load shedding the local generator had gone wrong and there was no phone signal or internet for anyone.
      At 11am Pete packed the car with food and drinks and our first stop was Mbazwani for fuel and cash.
      It was a total disaster area.
      The queues to get get in to the petrol station were unbelievable and we had to wait 10 minutes before getting to a pump and the queues for the ATM machine were astronomical running the whole length of the row of shops in both directions and around the corner.
      Once we got to the pump the attendant asked if we were paying by card or cash. We said card and he said all the power and card machines are out so if we don’t have cash there’s no fuel.
      We moved off from the pump and Pete asked the car park attendant if we could get cash back from the store and he said yes so Pete parked in a dodgy little car park and Ellie and I waited in the car.
      2 minutes later Pete came back and said the shops are dead, we can’t get cash back because there’s no power so unless people had cash they couldn’t buy anything and obviously people didn’t have cash because the ATM didn’t work.
      We started to head back home because this transformer that was out was affecting all of towns and villages within a 40km radius, but Pete said “don’t worry we’ll just go to the beach instead”. Then the fuel light came on and Ellie and I didn’t fancy walking back from the beach so we managed to get Pete to go back home and cook on the fire pit instead and just have a lazy day.
      Pete cooked us a lovely meal of wors sausage in rolls which was a great lunch and then we sat and talked until about 2pm and then my phone pinged and we knew that mobile service and internet had been restored after 24 hours.
      Straight away Pete was making phone calls and messaging people while Ellie caught up on emails and messages from home while I went off and did a 30 minute workout and then had a cold shower.
      At 4pm I made coffees for everyone and we all sat upstairs on the roof for hours just talking and watching the sunset and a full moon rise while the heat of the day slowly dissipated.
      Then at 7pm we headed downstairs and set 2 camera traps up because we realised just before sunset that one of Petes chickens is missing.
      Then we all sat around the kitchen table and luckily at 7:45pm Pete started cooking pasta for dinner.
      I say lucky because we thought he’d forgotten and Ellie and I are starving.
      At 8:15pm Pete brought the goods to the table, a lovely macaroni cheese African style with salad and it was well needed and appreciated. Then at 9pm it was time to head off to our beds because tomorrow we have a really early start to make up for today.
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    • Day 18

      Our First Real Breakdown

      April 10, 2023 in South Africa ⋅ ☁️ 30 °C

      This morning I got up at 6am, I crept upto the house and silently laid out 4 cups for the teas and coffees. I was hoping to get away with making myself a coffee first and drinking it in silence before I had to deal with Hurricane Anneka but just as I lit the gas for the kettle I heard a commotion in the bathroom.
      I knew it wasn’t Pete as he would have shouted good morning to me which meant my plan had failed. Then the bathroom door opened and Hurricane Anneka came blustering out.
      Obviously I put on my smiley face and said good morning, made coffees for us both and took Ellie a tea then I came back to the house and listened to the bellowing of how hot it is and how Millie kept prowling the house and her room all night. This went on for about 20 minutes and just as I’d really had enough a miracle happened.
      Anneka said she was missing her dogs to much and today she was leaving. I did say that would be sad even as she was packing her stuff and then Pete came out of his room smiling as he had also heard the good news.
      She told him that she was leaving, and he acted surprised and offered her a days money back but she declined that and started loading the car, then she said she was going to warm the car and once she was in it she said to Pete “ I’m to exhausted to walk back to the house, will you say goodbye to everyone for me?” And then she drove out of the gate and left.
      It was only 7:30am, as soon as her car had gone through the gate the energy level in the grounds changed. It was super weird but quite a relief. Ellie couldn’t believe it when she came upto the house at 7:50. And Hilapè actually clapped and cheered when she came in at 8am and commented that she just couldn’t stop talking when we left them in their own together.
      We had planned to go back to Mkhunze game park today taking the drive through the private Phinda game reserve and we left home at 9:30am. Just as we got into Mbazwani and had just refuelled, Pete slammed on the brakes at a junction to avoid a crossing pedestrian and the master cylinder that had been dodgy for the last few days popped and we had no brakes.
      Pete thought we could make the journey, which does explain a lot about African drivers but Ellie and I convinced him to just take it somewhere so we crossed the junction, pulled onto a dirt strip outside a dodgy looking hair salon where there were car parts everywhere and Pete said these guys will fix it if we can get the part.
      3 young black men promptly started working on the car convinced it wasn’t the master cylinder but that the brakes just needed bleeding so with one in the car, one in the engine with brake fluid and one under the car shouting pump, release, pump, hold. They set to work.
      Ellie and I waited in the makeshift waiting area sitting on breeze blocks under a guava fruit tree hardly believing what we were seeing.
      After 20 minutes of work they soon realised that Pete was right and it was the master cylinder so Pete ran around the corner to the spares shop to see if they had one.
      Apparently they did, and the 3 guys promptly removed our master cylinder and Pete took it back to the spares shop only to find out that they didn’t actually have one but they could get one for Wednesday. So the mechanics had to refit our old one but now we had no brakes atall.
      We drove back home at a much faster speed, down the sandy tracks, than Ellie and I were really comfortable with, but Pete is a great driver and we managed to avoid all of the cows in the road.
      Now Karin was off the road we thought our day was over, but Pete said “ It’s ok, we’ll just take the landcruiser”. Meaning the Chuckit Bucket.
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