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Published: August 7th 2018
Standard start, up at 0600 - wait, I should be sleeping in today, it’s Chris who has the early start. Bugger me, never mind, awake now so up as well. Today Chris is doing a meerkat adventure and I am doing an elephant encounter. Whatever that means. Time will tell.
Breakfast was very nice as we had the pace to ourselves. And better still, I could double up as the meerkat group left at 0745 and the elephants left at 0945. As if I need extra buffet breakfast..............
Wandered the grounds taking pics. Really nice establishment - main building was an old farm house with exposed beams and old style floor tiles that they polish with candle and bees wax every 6 months. Look magnificent.
Then the sun turned grey. Our driver appeared looking very glum, asking where the tour director was. Hmm, asked if there was a problem. Not really, only that the bus had no emergency brakes and not going anywhere while that was a problem. Fair enough as we had a few big declines again today. Minor panic for the tour dudes. Mechanic coming and a new bus ordered. Eventually the driver comes back saying he thinks it is fixed. We head off to our elephant encounter and the driver is followed by the mechanic. He gives the 100% sign and all is sunny again - except for the snow on the close hills.
Get to our elephant place. Get dressed in anti slobber clothes -warned we will get slobber in this encounter. Finally on our way with a hide and a fulll basket of carrots, pumpkin and apples. Arrive to see 3 elephant standing with another fully rain coat covered guide -oh oh, maybe not enough cover here......
Show is on. sboss guide shows how to feed the elephants, explaining their plight and how they came to be here. Then feeds and shows how well they do things - still bloody big. Our turn. For a start I am not first, but fall into line and grab a handful of tucker the for the starving animals. Remarkably gentle taking the food from the palm of your hand, considering they tower over you. The younget put the food on their tongue, while their trunks are in the air over your vunurable head. All good, 10 fingers and all toes in tact -must be doing the right things here.
Lots of pics and then we finish this with a shot under their chins and holding their ears out. Thought that when they flapped their ears they were not happy.... Finished with pics of 2 elephants “kissing” and usmbetween their embrace - a bit kitsch but different.
The others are now back from their meerkat expedition. Interesting, not much chat, and all hovering around the fir. Turns out they saw a meerkat - albeit from a distance and a mongoose, all the while freezing their bits off. Oh dear. Any ways, they can listen to our up close elephant encounter the feel better - NOT.
We now head to some cave system cslled the Cango Caves. Large caverns, stalactites and stalagmites, lights, etc. nice but seen one, seen most. Back to pick our bags from the accomodation, then on to our night stop, Knysna. Our guide grew up here so has lots of real stuff to relate to us. Arrive at aour hotel, but they are doing road works out the front so the coach has to stop 50 metres away and we will have to walk. Bugger....
All of a sudden we are greeted by a hi-vis person with hard hats that we have to wear pat the “construction site”. We all wonder why the overkill. Big Les and I are amazed - Les is a builder/developer and hs comment was (censored for public viewing) they aren’t even above ground and we are supposed to wear hard hats. what a load of shit...
Anyway, safely indoors with heads intact, rooms allocated and back later for a talk about the area and hotel and then dinner. Happy birthday to Alex (who is crook and really doesn’t feel like celebrating) then off to dinner.
Chatting with Les and comparing heart issues when he mentions he was a karate expert. Hmm, ask if he might know my cousins son, Matthew - before I can get the surname out he says Matt Ball - oh dear - Kevin Bacon.... Sure enough, he trained him in the early days. Small world .
Lots of chat and maybe a wine or two then we are the last in the room - the tradition continues, last at the table. Haven’t lost it.........
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