I was smarting after losing

22nd May 2014

Tape ball cricket in the Makuleke car park

Thursday 15th May 2014

Duncan and I had an early start as it was rubbish run day. It was a case of me showing him the ropes as he’d not been there before. I think he thought I was joking when I told him to drive through the coal mine gates, “Honestly Duncan, overtake that lorry and then it’s straight ahead through the open gate next to that big conveyor belt carrying coal”

As there were two of us we were pretty efficient, so much so we were back at camp with the Landy and trailer unloaded and cleaned by the time the walkers returned. Then it was a hearty brunch of french toast, lasagne style cottage pie and bacon.

We got on with chores whilst the Trails Group had a lecture, this gave us all time to digest our food. It was then down to the car park aka “the dust bowl” for Europe versus South Africa in a two innings tape ball cricket match. I was very much smarting after taking a beating yesterday by the Safas. And things didn’t look as if they were going to get any better today, we followed on for the second day in a row. However, thanks to an inspired bowling spell and then some flamboyant batting by Tristan we won the game and levelled the series.

Duncan, the designated driver, and I took the group to Crooks Corner on a game drive. It was the first time I’ve made it all the way to the confluence of the Limpopo and Luvuvue. Given the Limpopo was high and there were crocs on the sand banks it wasn’t that easy to see where the two rivers came together. But we did manage it by edging along the crumbling bank to peer around the corner. We got more than we bargained for, as each time one of us popped our head over the parapet we were lambasted by about eight hippos honking their disapproval at our interruption of their afternoon slumber.

Looking over to both Zim and Mozambique was pretty special, so was the wildlife with a giant kingfisher offering us a flyby who was quickly followed by four pied kingfishers flying in formation and of course I can’t forget the ten hyena on our return to camp. But before we headed back we exchanged the bits of stories that we’d heard about Bvkenyan, the legendary ivory poacher and Blackbirder that used to use Crooks Corner to evade capture by the authorities.

I’m off to the Pafuri Trails camp for six nights tomorrow, looking forward to it.