So the streets of Parys were very interesting if you like shopping and eating indoors. I did have a good brekker at the Lekker Bistro, indoors cos it was raining. But then I skipped the shopping to drive the roads to the west. Near Viljoenskroon I saw Simbra bulls for sale and asked Des if I should get him one but no reply yet. He used to live in Viljoenskroon, so I thought the bull would feel at home with him. Update: Mercia says he can’t buy any more bulls. Something about foot-in-mouth. I spose he’s been talking kak again.
Choosing a road less traveled, I headed for Schoemansdrif across the Vaal, but chickened out at this minor stroompie drift which could have been deeper than it looked. As I waited and contemplated how deep was my bakkie, a Landcruiser came past, stopped, then decided to proceed. It sank down to above its big wheels, so I christened this spruit drift Omdraaidrif, made a u-turn and crossed the Vaal instead at Scandinaviadrif which has a high bridge, and got a nice view of the full river.
Pilanesberg price! Ouch!
Bakubung Lodge was R2400! One person! One night! But it was late so I gritted my teeth. For once I checked that I was getting the Old Goat price and the friendly lady assured me she had not mistaken me for anything younger than ancient. ‘Remember this is for dinner, bed AND breakfast,’ she kindly tried to ease my landing, feeling my pain.
But I’d bought grub in Potchefstroom and the thought of a dining room didn’t appeal – other people, you know? So I ate Cordon Bleu in my comfy room, actually in the bath, up to my chin in hot water. Vetkoek n mince ala Potch washed down with a vintage merlot. For you label-readers, it was 13,5%, R54 and some change, February. Only 750ml, so not the finest, but complemented the vetkoek well. A delicate nose, bosveld notes.
On to Dinokeng. I dialled a number I found. It was Wim. I was welcome to stay at his place, man; Did I have a tent and a mattress? No? OK, then phone Fanie. He might have a roof and a bed. I did. He did. How does R600 sound? Fanie asked me. I said Fine, baie dankie Fanie, still suffering from the R2400 the night before.
Supper was an avo and a crispy bun from Potch Spar. There was a kettle, and friendly camp manager Bothwell brought me some Ricoffy sachets. On the drive out I saw a bird I couldn’t place. I decided melanistic shaft-tailed whydah. Maybe a world-first. Me and my camera were too slow again.
In Pretoria I finally made my long-awaited visit to AHA camper makers and ordered my piggyback slide-on camper for the old Ford Ranger, paid my deposit and was told: Come back on the 11th May.
Now Easter weekend loomed and I remembered another time I had almost got caught out by Easter. I headed for comfort and luxury. Top-notch accommodation and world-class fare at rock-bottom prices.
drif or drift – ford; shallow river crossing
Omdraaaidrif – u-turn ford; the Ford u-turned