2004 that was

Hi everyone
2004 come and gone. We’re all in good health, thanks.

Jessica finished pre-school, and goes to Westville Junior Primary next year. Grade 1 – Bliksem – school holidays! Surely in Grade 1 we can still steal her out of school and enjoy some uncrowded breaks? Thought so.
Tom-Tom changes play-school for pre-school and goes into the Hedgehog group (I think) at Cygnet.
Aitch still selling real estate, me still checking eyeballs.

Holidays this year included a long weekend at Simes’ cottage at Lotheni in the Drakensberg (beautiful spot – the best walks in the foothills). Waterfalls were cascading off the high cliffs above us – we watched them through our telescope. Impressive. Eland grazing in the hills around us. Swimming and slippy-sliding in the cold rock pools in the valleys.
In April we walked about 60km along the Wild Coast from Kobb Inn south to Morgan Bay, staying in hotels on the way. What a pleasure! Good weather, lonely beaches, cold beers, light packs, friendly guides.
Other long weekends camping at Basley on the South Coast; and at Mkhuze game reserve (where we realised adult and kid holidays are becoming more and more different! If it wasn’t for the new pool and jungle gym, Mkhuze would have been sad for the kids. Ah, well! Enjoyed it while it lasted. And soon they’ll be grown up and we’ll only be . . . . . HOW OLD!!!!?)

Recently we camped at Midmar Dam near Howick (pics above). The kids loved it, lots of swimming, boating (sail, kayak and power) and biking. Jess decided not to bodyboard behind the 130 Yamaha. Maybe next time. She rode a big girl’s bike for the first time, though.

Adult (bratless) gaps we managed by foisting the kids on long-suffering friends (who are quick to take revenge by handing us theirs when they go off!):
In August we went to a lovely camp (Zingela) on the Thukela River and traveled the Anglo-Boer War battlefields around Colenso and Ladysmith. Our guide Ken Gillings (Mike Lello’s school connection from 100 years ago) gave us wonderful descriptions, background and insight into the folly of war, the battles themselves, the people, the hardships, etc. Depending on who won the battle I was a Pom or a Rockspider; Tony Yoell had to be a Pom throughout!

In October we went to Brazil for a week for a “conference” trip.
12 of us went ahead for 2 days and visited Iguassu Falls – spectacular. Then to a Club Med SW of Rio on the island- and bay-dotted coast, and on to Rio for some city life. We flew Varig, which was, um, interesting. Not one suitcase arrived for the 2 days in Iguassu, so we laughed and had a lot fun mocking each other about swapping underpants, etc. Great bunch of people. And beautiful place (lots of birds, butterflies, trees, walks in the forest and overlooking the falls and boat trips upstream to under the falls and also above the falls to islands and lakes).

Christmas at home with a few friends and Aitch’s folks (now about 78 in the shade). Boxing day with Pete’s family on sister Barbara’s farm near Greytown (ole man 82, mom 76). Nephew Robbie (about 20) will be there.

Keep well, everybody – and do let us know how you are and what you’re up to (you can censor it).
All the very best for 2005.
Lots of love
Trish, Pete, Toothless and Wordsworth

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