Night music

Friday night I just laid awake and listened to the sounds outside my walls. I heard lions hunting down their supper, and the supper squealing as it got caught, then a noisy session between the lions and some hyenas or wild dogs. There were also sounds that were sort of like birds, but I knew they weren’t – Ernest, the head hoo-hah, has identified one of those sounds as being a bush-baby, but I haven’t seen it yet. Then there were a couple of sounds that I’m sure were night birds. It was like being in the middle of a Nature Channel documentary – except for the roosters who tend to start crowing at about 11 p.m. Why doesn’t Nature Channel ever talk about those pesky roosters? It was absolutely wonderful to fall asleep with all those nature’s sounds around me.

There were also some other sounds that I suspect were the established volunteers way of hazing the newbie. No one’s giving anything away and I haven’t mentioned anything about my suspicions, but perhaps there will be payback. My children will tell you that I have a large creative imagination when it comes to practical jokes.

Of course, I made them eat my cooking last night – one of my “whatever”s made from left-overs. Maybe that’s payback enough <G>

Ernest took us to the Border Cave yesterday. I so much wanted to stop every 10 feet and take a picture or talk to someone, but of course couldn’t stop at all since we were a group. This just reaffirms my stated desire *never* to travel with anyone!!

The flowers, people, homes, goats and cows were all more than worthy subjects of further investigation. There is a tree with spiky orange/scarlet flowers all over but as yet no leaves. It’s everywhere, but I haven’t managed to get a picture because I’m always in a car with others. There were goats – big and little, long-haired and short-haired, with some of the most unusual markings I’ve ever seen. Cows with huge ‘wattles’ that ran right from theirchin to down under their stomach. Round thatched Zulu homes, square Tsonga homes made of cut ends of logs used as we would use bricks. Newer homes made of stone – and some women busy building new concrete block and stone homes. It seemed to be kind of a “bee”. I’d love to find out.

The cave is way down a very steep cliff on a mountain where the territory is under dispute between South Africa and Swaziland. The cave is where they have found the earliest known “prepared” burial of a human. It was the body of a small child, decorated with ochre, and with a shell placed beside her. The rock and soil here is all very red (from iron I would imagine) and I got a small piece of rock for Seamus, since he’s my rock-hound.

I didn’t make it down to the cave myself, as part of the trip involved clinging to a wire, which was apparently broken, while navigating a 6 inch wide rock-strewn path down the cliff face. I passed. I figured the rest of the group might be annoyed if they had to hang around and wait for the SA army rescue to come and fetch me from Swaziland where I would have landed if I’d tumbled. Breathtaking view though. And the information centre had everything there, except the climb, so I’m OK.

Things here seem totally disorganised, and I’m a little depressed about that. I was supposed to be picked up to go on the game drive early this morning, but no one came. All communication here is done by cell phone, which no-one told me, and I don’t have one, so am totally out of the loop re what’s happening. I need to arrange rides to the gates so I can get to ‘my’ school, as we’re not allowed to walk through the park. But I can’t ever seem to get that done. I need to get to town to get some notebooks and a cell phone, then maybe that part of life will improve. There is a very limited number of vehicles here, and I have to be able to catch one when it’s not busy with tourist camp stuff. Oh, well, – this too shall pass . . .

And a favour – Jake, I’ve got a jar of Nutella in the fridge – can you send me a list of ingredients? They have knock-offs here, and if they’re similar at all in make-up to ‘real’ Nutella, I’m going to throw it out . . .

Mountain scenery

Border Cave Interpretive Centre

Swaziland

One of our ‘guides’, who went up and down the mountain like a flash

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1 Comment »

  1. Jocey said

    Yoohoo Granny Marilyn,

    It is so sweet to read about your adventures. I love it all! Thank you! I miss you! A lot less jokes in my inbox, that’s for sure. 😦

    Why do you keep Nutella in the fridge? It says NOT to refriegerate… but I do on very hot days or else it turns to syrupo and not as good.

    Here are the ingredients:
    Sugar, modified palm oil, hazelnuts, coca, skim milk powder, why powder, soy lechtin, vanillin

    What are you going to throw out and why?

    Have a woncerful time. Stay safe!

    I look forward to reading more…

    Hugs & kisses,

    Jocey

    OUT IT GOES!!!
    The order of the ingredients specifies the amount of each thing. So Nutella is mostly sugar, with the next largest ingredient being hydrogenated oil. And here I took it in faith that it was just nut butter, skim milk powder and cocoa.

    Hugs back . . .

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