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Kim’s Travel Diary

Monday, 21 May 2007

Location: South Africa

MapHi people I'm back. As I said last week, we only get into town on a Monday and then there is fight for all 5 terminals but have just kicked someone off.

Camp is as claimed, no electric, gas lamps for light and only cold water. They do light a fire twice a week for hot water but am getting used to washing in cold and the shower is in the open with just a modesty surround seperating you from the velt.

The camp is full at the moment with 10 guests, so the girls are three to a room and the lads two. They are a really nice crowd ranging in age from 19 to me as the old fart of the group but everyone is equal after a couple of beers. The days are structured starting at 7.30 to either do horses, bush pack or to shovel manure onto the roads, breakfast from 9'ish to 10 and then a lecture and I mean lecture with homework books until 12.00. Lunch and rest is until 3.00. It may be winter here but it is still hot and the middle of the day is hot, hot. Afternoon is then a swap around of the teams and a different job to be done. This is the routine Tuesday to Saturday but we at least get Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday off chores.

I am not finding the riding all that much fun, just think that I am not really a horsey person so that side I am not doing too much on but I am now ace on hooves, tacking and grooming. I have managed to get a couple of rides out into the bush, to see a giraffe from only a couple of feet away is incrediable and neither animal was scared - I was!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We do not have that huge a number of animals on the farm and no big 5 but it is fun to sit in the hide and watch the monkeys come and play.

Back in camp, we have a food pit that all the scraps are thrown into aftere each meal and so far I have seen a civet, mangoose and a honeybadger come and eat just after dusk. The birds are always there and I am growing really fond of the hornbills. The badger has started to become a pain and is now getting into camp a night and trashing the kitchen area - lots of noise a 3.00am is not good for you when you are not sure what animal it is!! I also have a small brown snake living in the house corner stake that can cause a sharp intake of breath as well. Last week when we were bush packing (using branches to cover bare ground in order to trap water) we found a puff adder, so clever in hiding and so nasty and a small boomslanger fell out of a tree whilst we were doing horses - nothing too bad.

The evenings start early, as soon as dusk falls so lots of card playing and dinner. Both Tara and Kirsty (camp girls) are really good cooks, so the range of food has been brilliant from Mexican to good old fashioned bacon, egg and chips!!!.

We went out for dinner on Friday night and then to the pub - O'Hagens (yes, Irish) and then out again on Saturday afternoon to watch the rugby cup final between the local team and Durban. Brilliant match with a single point either side for most of the match and then the local's converted a try - you should have heard the noise but made for a really good atmosphere.

Today we are going to Kruger National Park for a sleepover in one of the hides!! God I just hope that the animals have all been told not to eat humans, so next week's diary should read as a catalogue of animals and you will all be sick to death of pictures.

Will catch up with this blog then