Friday, May 31, 2013

Places to make plans

We have been spending our Cape Town evenings in the study of my parents' house. It is a room which is now little used. My father's desk, out of the frame to the right, can no longer contain his needs, and he has spread all his work out on the long dining room table, one room over. To my mother's eternal chagrin. So Vince and I have migrated in here, making fires, lighting lamps, sipping drinks, working on our laptops on our...laps, or on that ottoman, covered in books.

On Monday we leave for the Kruger Park, a long sliver of land bordering Mozambique and apparently bigger than Israel. Closer to Switzerland. There is no fence along that border, now, in the spirit of Transfrontier Park stewardship. The rhino horn  poachers and their wranglers have benefited from this arrangement. Because we'll be heading for the less-peopled north we are rather hoping not to run into any wayward poachers.

We'll spend two-and-a-half days driving up to Kruger, sleeping over in Bloemfontein, the city of my birth, in the flat Free State, and then in the small town of Dullstroom, famous for fly fishing, at the limit of the Drakensberg mountain range, in the province of Mpumalanga. From there we'll approach the park, and enter at the Orpen Gate.

There is a great deal of packing to do, and some last minute shopping. My camp packing skills are rusty, but we'll only be spending  a few nights in a tent, in two small camps called Tsendze and Balule. Neither has electricity, and we are looking forward to candle-, fire- and starlight. For the rest we'll be in self catering cottages. We'll take in all our food, and that takes planning. My greatest concern is green stuff. I live sadly without leaves. Enter the unkillable iceberg lettuce!

There will be little posting from the road. We will have our hands full with a long journey, and then we will be far, far from the Internet.

I think we both need that.


  1. Such a pleasure to read about your journey and see the beautiful photos. I am looking after a lovely old dog in a small space and love the wide vistas you are privy to at the moment. What a warm and cosy study.
    Susan E.
    Vancouver, Canada

  2. Enjoy your time away from it all!

  3. Iceberg lettuce does have it's place! Happy travels

  4. Have a wonderful time. Your trip sounds absolutely fabulous, even if you do have to eat that awful iceberg lettuce!

  5. I have to wonder what in the world inspired you (although none of my beeswax) to live in 66 sq. feet when your home

    is so absolutely beyond beautiful . The reason I say this is because I just watched a show on TVO Ontario which you

    can watch online titled Around the World in 80 Gardens episode #8. Have you seen it? Wow... the Stallenburg Garten,

    Donovan Vander Hayden, and many more including vistas that are extraordinary .Enjoy your trip

    1. I left home, as one must, to grow up. And 66 Sq Ft (the size of the terrace!)is what I could afford in the most exciting city on the planet...

  6. Your photo of the snug surprised me - I tend to think of your long outdoor lunches under the London plane tree as the norm when you are 'home'. Your readers have to adjust to the seasons that you are experiencing just as much as you do!

    I'm sure that you will both take many extraordinary pics of your trip - we look forward to hearing and seeing all about it.

    Keep safe y un beso al gato negro in another world ...

  7. And, iceberg is so easy to pack! Hope you don't die of vitamin deficiency!

  8. Good luck and happy tramping! Loving this glimpse of you on the other side.

  9. You will be entering Kruger Park very close to where I lived for several years as a child. My family, along with several other families, would often drive to a site just five miles from Orpen gate for a brai. We'd park all the vehicles in a large circle, place all our chairs and a couple of tables inside the outer circle and build a huge fire in the middle. We cooked meat over hot coals, had our dinner and then sat around the fire for a couple of hours enjoying the sounds of the animals. After we had packed everything up, we piled in our cars and drove the five miles to Orpen gate, driving slowly so we could see as many animals as possible. Your post brings back so many happy memories.

    Have a wonderful time. Look forward to all the pictures you're sure to take.

    Nancy Mc

  10. Relish the non-tech time : ) I look forward to the words and pictures when they come - take care : )

  11. have a great trip Marie! I'll try to keep internet interruptions to a minimum :)


Comments on posts older than 48 hours are moderated (for spam control) . Yours will be seen! Unless you are a troll. Serial trollers are banned.