South African Rains

Editor’s note –I can see my posts have landed out of order again… blame it on busy holidays and limited web access.  The Into Africa post should have preceded Christmas Below.  And sorry for the lag in posts… we’ve been in the bush chasing game!

Rain was in the forecast Wednesday Dec 28 so we hit the trail early, climbing west towards Meander Hut, traversing beneath limestone ridges and above creeks.  Along the way we bisect a troop of baboons. Some linger near the trail to get a good look, then to avoid us bigger balder primates they roll and run downhill and rejoin the troop.  Further on we spot graceful Eland higher on the hillside.  Crossing the drainage and continuing our loop we pass through a field of sage as the first raindrops hit… it’s time to gear up.

I don a poncho over my head, torso and pack… a baseball cap up top, GoreTex boots below so I’m well shielded and comfortable.  With only rain shells for protection the rest of the gang soaks in the wet, warm rain.  Karen the Englander is right at home strolling over hill and dale through the storm.  I can ignore my kids’ complaints but I am concerned that we’re exposed to lightning high on this ridge so we rumble down off the hill and slog home through sheets of water along the ridge-side road.

There I convert the boys’ rondavel into a warming hut, with a roaring fire and space heaters arranged to dry out clothes, there’s tea and hot chocolate to warm insides.  Viola – Ben’s “worst day of my life” becomes a fond memory.  Then I’m Sue’s sous chef , chopping yesterdays’ braai and onions, grating garlic and cheese and scavenging all else I can find into fixings that Sue artfully turns into so many delicious quesadillas, a novelty for Naftaly.

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