29 October 2018
Cornelia has only ever fallen out of bed once, I think, but last night at 04:00, a loud bump woke me and I ran over to her bed, where she was kneeling on the floor, still sound asleep!
She continued to sleep deeply until we had to bang around to wake her at 08:00, as this was the time we had booked for breakfast as we didn’t want to incur the wrath of the stroppy receptionist! We made it to the dining room for ten past, and she was a different woman… all smiles and good mornings! And then, we met Douglas, the owner. He was a great guy and had completely renovated the property, turning it into this fabulous place. We commented on the artwork – he used to teach art to art teachers, which explains his great and varied selection. Breakfast was good – plenty of fresh fruit and cereals, and Ian said his fry up was great too. Weirdly, we both really enjoyed the toast! Not sure why, but the bread (just ordinary brown sliced) was really tasty!!
We checked out at 10:02 (which had everyone looking at their watches as we departed) and I drove to the now familiar Savannah Mall. We did a supermarket shop, and hunted for a new Gang member for Bugsy who had earned it for trying five new foods. Small soft toys were surprisingly difficult to find! But she found a rhino, whom she has named Five, on account on him being one of the Big Five, Gang member #5, and her reward for five new foods.
I also visited Woolworths (on our quest for a new toy) and discovered that it is basically M&S! Cornelia ended up with two new pairs of shorts and I had to stop myself from raiding their amazing food store. Cornelia really needs her fringe to be cut, but we had no luck finding a nearby hairdresser, and with a long drive ahead again, decided to leave it for now.
So, after a fuel refill, off we went, heading east towards Kruger National Park. The drive was quite beautiful, with long winding roads taking us up and over various hills, filled with lush green trees and plantations. On a whim, we turned off into Tzaneen Dam Nature Reserve nestled in between tea, banana and cashew nut plantations, where we ate lunch (sausage rolls and a pie) overlooking the water. Lots of school kids were staying there, but their tents were empty and apart from one other family, we had the whole place to ourselves.
It wasn’t a long stop, as we still had some distance to travel, and on the way we saw quite a few elephants as well as a hyena who did not look very well. He was just lying next to the road, and didn’t move at all, other than to flick his ears up and down.
We arrived in Kruger National Park and checked in at Letaba Rest Camp, and chose our pitch. It is a big site and you were allowed to choose whichever pitch you wanted, which was easier said than done. We decided on a pitch equidistant to the ablution block and the washing up stations, and amazingly, with no other vehicles immediately around us. We wondered if they all knew something we didn’t, but as it was nearly sunset, we took our chances!
Ian started the fire as I started dinner. I decided to play it safe tonight and we had tuna pasta pesto. Quick and easy. 😬
Ian took Cornelia off for a shower while I washed up, then read her stories to her until she asked for a cuddle from me. She read one of her favourite stories to me from “When Hippo Was Hairy”, a book I bought in Africa nearly twenty years ago. This particular story is called The Living Stones and is about a pair of old tortoises who were desperate to have children, and sought help from the Creator. She absolutely loves this story!
Our delight at having no other campers next to us ended as a BMW drove around and around in circles, before finally deciding to park right next to us 🙄. We were also on the guided walk path, a fact we discovered when about thirty walkers all ambled past, disturbing our peaceful evening with very loud chatter! Yes, we are definitely better suited to the isolated campsites, as I’ve mentioned before!
Ian and I sat and enjoyed watching the campfire while Cornelia went to sleep, then we were in bed quite early again. Our last night in BigBell!