Last night in Africa

5 November 2018

The storm raged around for hours last night, and it was amazing to watch it from the comfort of our bed. Cornelia called out for me quite early (06:30-ish) and I went in to give her a cuddle, and after I left to have my shower, she fell back to sleep for another 45 minutes.

We all had breakfast together, as the sun shone through the huge windows. It is truly so beautiful here. We will definitely be back to do some proper hiking and exploring. Ian and I busied ourselves, packing our cases, and emptying and sorting BigBell out, as it was being returned to Avis later today. It is awful leaving perfectly good food and supplies, but I am not carrying it all over to New Zealand! We left all sorts of things, that I hope will be enjoyed by the cleaning staff at the chalet. At least we won’t know what’s been thrown away!

Cornelia had to amuse herself for a bit, and she started moving the furniture around again, trying to make a house and then a circus. She was very good and very sweet, because she understood that I couldn’t help her with this, as we needed to be out of the chalet promptly. She suddenly flew around the corner into the kitchen, and said “Mummy, I’ve got a solution! How about you give me some instructions on how to make the house and I can do what you tell me? That way, you can keep packing and I can make my house. Would that work?” I was so impressed that she’d given it such thought, that I absolutely helped her! Bless her!

Just before we left the chalet, Bugsy became sad about her dollar leaf that she’d picked ages ago and had suddenly remembered it. She became quite agitated and upset, and then also remembered the loss of Rabbit on day one of our world adventure, and burst out sobbing, almost bringing me to tears, such was her grief. There was not much I could do to console her, other than to reassure her that I keep looking for Rabbit, and that she was surely on her own wonderful adventure.

The Wishing Chair distracted her perfectly, and we left the majestic Drakensberg behind us, winding back down the long road, through Winterton and off to the N3, the main road that would take us to Johannesburg. Along the way, we passed a lorry that had lost a pallet load of cement mix, and an abnormal load carrying possibly the largest tyres we have ever seen! Cornelia entertained herself once the latest audio book had finished by listening to the Lion King, and making a paper cauldron, spells and magic wands, inspired no doubt by Enid Blyton!

We diverted off the N3 briefly to swing by the small town of Cornelia that was just a few kms off the main road. There was nothing much to see there, but we were pleased to have the trip just for the photographs! Cornelia was pretty happy to see her name plastered everywhere!

Lunch took place in yet another service station car park. Cheese sandwiches in the sunshine! We didn’t hang around too long, but it was nice to have a final blast of sun on our faces.

We navigated the final few complicated kilometres to Journey’s Inn, home for our last night in Africa. Alida, who owns the place with her husband, was very welcoming and patient, as we cleared out BigBell (mostly of torn up pieces of paper that have been food, magic spells, cotton wool balls and clothes over the last few weeks!) and made sure everything was in order for its 16:00 pick up.

16:00 came and went… we rang Avis, who didn’t have a record of collecting the vehicle, but would do so first thing in the morning. Thankfully, Alida also had a record from Drive Botswana that it should be collected, so we felt reassured that it wasn’t our error!

With some time to kill before dinner at 19:00, and yet another storm raging outside, Ian and Bugsy had a good pillow fight and amazingly, it didn’t end in tears! They also built a tower of cushions, and she had a bit of TV time too. She has been brilliant fun again today.

Dinner was supposed to be served at 19:00, which was the time we headed over to the dining room, but Alida apologised that the gas had run out whilst they were cooking and it would be a few minutes still. We didn’t mind in the slightest, and we managed to get through Cinderella and Snow White before the meal was ready. Lamb chops and mash. Yum. There was also a sausage there too which Cornelia didn’t like so much, but it was good that she ate all her lamb and mash. She was treated to pudding: a cakey custardy trifle. She couldn’t believe her luck that she was having custard for the second time today!!

It was just after 20:00 when we returned to our room, and Cornelia was good as gold going to bed. When I came over to the other side of the room, having given her her cuddle, Ian had dozed off on our bed. It was only 20:30!! Anyway, we played on our respective phones for a while, listening (not that there was much else we could do, but listen!) to the planes flying very low and our noisy neighbours all chatting merrily, until it was our bed time too. Our last night in Africa. Eeeeek!

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