Andrew’s letter described the bigger picture themes around our move. ‘Cos he is the big picture guy, while I’m the detail person in the partnership. So here are the gory details (you might want a cuppa tea for this one)…
Charlie & I travelled in the Fortuner (Big Blue) with venter trailer, two dogs and a cat, Sanele leading the charge in the bakkie with double axel event trailer heavily laden, Andrew & Ben in the 1995 Landy towing a flatbed trailer (also heavily laden), and Sizwe in “Small” the Suzuki Celerio with a full set of tools & spares as the Sweep Vehicle!! Having left last, Charlie & I managed to arrive first (odours might have played a roll, see below) and Andrew arrived last, having taken 11.5hrs and averaged a magnificent 70kmph!!
How did we get there you ask? Somewhat Stressed.
But how did we depart – you decide…
Cat disappeared 30min before departure from Howick. She is crafty as heck and spent two days locked in a room, pretending to be helpless, only to reveal she is in fact a ninja that can open windows when I came to put her into her crate.
Aging decades and putting 3 different contingency plans into place, Cat reappeared 1hr after I was meant to have left. She looked smug right until she got shoved into the cat crate!
Cat and dogs started howling before we hit the highway. This continued on & off throughout the day, despite tranquilizers being administered (to the animals, not humans).
Dogs kept trying to crawl through from the boot, over the Smart TV.
Cat pooed in crate 2hr into drive. I have not yet recovered from the emotional trauma of inhaling that smell for 6hrs.
We stopped in Ermelo for wees (dogs & humans). Dogs didn’t wee, but nearly broke metal railings outside when left tied there while I went to the toilet. This took about 47seconds at most, but that was enough to induce panic in the canines and the onlookers who were waiting for a bus.
There are rarely times when it is ok to leave your child in a running car (locked) with 3crazed animals while you go to buy coffee. This was one of those times.
I am not sure what the safe ratio of sleep (very little) to Rescue & Valerian (a lot) is to still drive a car towing a trailer, but thresholds were tested.
Since arriving in the Lowveld, the much-anticipated suffocating heat has been completely MIA. Turns out we have moved to Borneo, on the side of a mountain that is mistier than Hilton & more humid than February in Durban. I mean, it took FIVE DAYS for a load of washing to dry!
One dog (99% enthusiasm, 1% brain cells) got caught in a snare in week 3 when running off chasing monkeys. He was found unharmed and has learnt absolutely nothing from the experience.
Same dog spends most of his time watching the resident Samango monkeys and likes to terrify me on every run by chasing baboons. I thus haven’t been running much, further accelerating the Avo-shape adoption (see below).
Other animal encounters we have had since arriving in the Lowveld Rainforest are an elephant bull in mustht in a broken-down car, an Mfezi in the driveway (small, but still spitty), elephants slurping at kids ears, and bushbabys that like to screech right above us and terrify the cat.
Oh and hamsters. But that is a story for another day…
Google Translate is pretty incredible. I am sure I would have gained more from my studies in Stellenbosch if it had been a thing then, but my trusty old Tweetalige Woorde Boek still comes in handy! We are not bilingual yet, but well on our way to being “bothies” (as in, someone who speaks both English and Afrikaans, according to Charlie’s dictionary).
KZN folk – appreciate the cost of dairy in those parts! A block of cheese is scandalously expensive in Limpopo and the milk price has me watering down the kids Nesquik (obviously they call me out every time). When vegan cheese & butter is cheaper than the real deal, then you KNOW!
Fruit is scandalously cheap when you are living in the heart of the citrus and avolands! Many would have seen Andrews photo of just some of out 22KILOS of avos for the bargain price of R300. Mangos – R160 for a crate of fruits the size of ostrich eggs.
I am open to freighting boxes around the country, just pm me!
I have not yet figured out how many avos per day is too many. I keep reminding myself “good fats” are still fats, but I keep going back for more.
So if I appear somewhat avo-shaped next time you see me, please keep the observation to yourself!!
Right, the Dog is about to plunge off the deck in his perpetual pursuit of monkeys and the Cat is having a go at the Hamster. I best go. PS. Send wine!!
Signing off from the Lowveld,
Lauren & the nearly-bothie Booths!