Posts Tagged ‘animals’

Holiday Roads, Epilogue

Port St. Awful to Durban

Miles driven: 212
Cows, sheep, blah blah blah

After 1300 miles and 20+ hours in the car, we were pretty happy to arrive back home. It was an awesome road trip with some excellent downtime, great to explore new parts of the country (even the part that we hated) and fabulous as always to spend time with an old friend. Now, a few random pics from along the road:

Some classic Transkei sheep, coming to a dead stop in the middle of the road to scratch themselves. Also, some classic Transkei highway shoulder people - it's just not as exciting if you don't have your toes on the road.

Even around town, Roxy refuses to ride anywhere other than in the driver's lap, and loves nothing more than to bury her face deep into your elbow-pit. If you have to use both arms to drive, so be it - she's willing to sleep standing up.



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The Monkey House

It’s taken me a full week to get around to posting this, but we had a big “first” around here last Thursday: our first MONKEY IN THE HOUSE incident. I was too busy wigging out to capture anything on film, so here’s a helpful Family Circus-style illustration to show the monkey’s shenanigans.

He came in through an open window in the scullery, hopped up on the counter to grab an apple, then up on top of the cabinets to have his snack. Fortunately, it was Joyce’s (housekeeper) day to be here, so she spotted him first and shooed him back out the window before I had a full-on heart attack.

Fierce guard dog? Napped through the whole thing.

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I know this isn’t a birdwatching blog (as well as you know my fear and loathing of the species in general), but I had to share this little guy who’s been hanging out in our yard for a few weeks.

The photo is utterly un-fooled-around-with in Photoshop (a marked departure from almost every other photo on this site — y’all are going to be shocked when you see us in person and wonder what happened to the smooth skin and bagless under-eyes from DurbanFervor!). Anyway, Firebird:

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A Gorilla Walks Into a Bar…

I finally got around to dismantling our wedding web site (which I’ve brilliantly been paying for since 2005), and had a good laugh at some of the old files as I pulled them down. Couldn’t resist sharing this one of our engagement in 2004:

(Those of  you reading this in Google reader, click out to the post to see the vid)

A few time-marks for those of you not inclined to watch all 5+ minutes:

  • 1:30 – John starts of the longest walk of his life (and itchiest! Gorilla suit in July in Virginia? Ugh!)
  • 2:45 – The main event
  • 4:30ish – One of our favorite parts, the (drunk) old woman yelling “HE BETTER HAVE MONEY! MAKE SURE HE HAS MONEY!”

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Night Night, Sleep Tight

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Our new pals Dave and Liza invited us to visit Dave’s aunt and uncle’s farm in Pongola for the weekend. A four hour drive northwest — up near the borders with Swaziland and Mozambique — found us on a beautiful farm full of game, sugarcane, and sweet potatoes.

We did two game drives in the back of a bakkie (pickup truck), ate an amazingly tasty roasted warthog (along with several other unidentified — but delicious — animals), shot at cans with an antique 12-gauge shotgun, and enjoyed the best of down-home, countrified Afrikaans hospitality.

The farm was an amazing mix of game park and working farm. It is a massive farm, most of which has been left ‘wild’ to provide a home for all types of game — minus the lions that would eat all the other guys. We spotted impalas, kudu, nyala, waterbok, warthog, zebra, hippo, rhino, giraffe, wildebeest, and cape buffalo. We only missed their elephants and leopards.

Across the highway are countless fields of sugarcane and sweet potatoes bigger than my head. Dave’s aunt and uncle, Elsa and Jimpies, built their house in the 70’s and their son Friak lives and works on the farm. Their daughter Anel and her husband Frikki drive 6 hours each way to visit them monthly. (I’m sure I murdered the spelling of all names – oops).Such a down-to-earth, friendly, and welcoming family.

It really reminded me of visiting my dad’s hometown of Kenbridge – lots of family and friends around, tons of meat and game, guns, crops, fresh air, and farm life.

A favorite moment occurred when we were riding back to the house after shooting guns and picking up a load of firewood in the back of the bakkie. A crop-damaging wild pig was snacking on Friak’s sugarcane, so he pulled the truck over, grabbed the 308 rifle loaded with ancient SA military tracer bullets, and shot the pig in the ass from 200 meters away while sitting in the driver’s seat.

We gave chase in the truck across the field to get another shot off, but it escaped into the sugarcane after Dave missed with an unbalanced shot from the back of the truck. Lizzy declared this was indeed her first time shooting and chasing a wild pig through a field from the passenger seat of a truck. Now she knows why they call it ‘riding shotgun’!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Pongola, posted with vodpod

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The Durban Vervets

We’re slowly introducing Roxy to the local troupe of vervet monkeys, in hopes that they will someday accept her as one of their own. This is step #1.

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