Afriski Over The Years

First Afriski Trip 2007 - with YoungsAfriski Infrastructure

Skiing became sad, you had to snowboard.

Afriski with Naudes 2011Afriski with Ogilvies 2010

Friends joined us to fill up the 11-bed chalet over the years. Youngs, du Toits, Naudes, Chriches and Ogilvies.

Afriski Chalet Indoors Collage

The instructors were great to the kids. Bronwyn, Brad & Wynand were special faves!

Afriski Instructors - So Good to the Kids

Some years there was free snow, some years only the machine snow.

Afriski with Naudes & Lungelo 2014Afriski 2010 SnapShots Collage

The older the kids got the more popular the pubs became!

Afriski blizzard

Afriski 2014 - All Grown Up

Afriski in Lesotho

In the featured pic above the heading our ‘Estonia-type’ chalet is off to the far right. It’s the middle one in the picture below. It sleeps 11 people and is wonderfully comfy and warm as toast – very well insulated, double-glazed. Its called ‘St Moritz’ for some reason. It used to be called Estonia No.5. I’d have preferred a Sesotho name! Anyway, a rose by any other name . . . Maybe Mahae – ‘rural home’ or ‘rustic home’.

The new chalets they’re selling are smaller, modern, square, lots of glass. They’re OK. They call them ‘edgy’. But they’re nothing like our old “Estonian Wooden Chalet”!

Afriski new huts

We bought one week of winter skiing (plus three weeks in summer) and we have used it seven winters in the ten years we’ve had it. Now I would sell if I got a buyer. Someone could get a bargain for the last five years, especially if two families shared it.

Bruce in a Tiger Moth

The de Havilland Tiger Moth is a tailwheel biplane first built in the 1930’s. It was used by the RAF and remained in service until the early 1950s. Many of the military surplus aircraft remain in widespread use as recreational aircraft.

Recently my friend Bruce went for a spin in one and sent me some pics:

Astonishingly, this plane is older than this pilot!

Bass Straits and Dire Straits

Early Sunday morning I roust the lil bastids. C’mon, Up! Let’s go. Off to Inanda Dam where they’re going to slay the bass. Tom, Jose & Ryan. 45yrs of trouble on six legs and, according to them, fishermen of note.

We hire two canoes from Msinsi and off they go. “See you in about two hours, Dad!” shouts Tom as they wobble off.

Inanda Dam fishing (12).jpg

I chill and watch the terrific birdlife. Wrynecks, woodpeckers, waxbills, prinias, canaries, sunbirds, geese, a fish eagle, herons, neddicky, bush shrikes, etc.

Six hours later a weary and sunburnt crew return. They had flattened the eats and drinks I packed and it’s lucky I did: No fish were harmed in the filming of this movie (none were even disturbed).

Lugging the boats back to the boathouse (with much help from Dad) they unanimously decide they would not be doing the Dusi anytime soon.

Inanda Dam fishing (16)

Dusi – The Dusi Canoe Marathon, 120km 3-day river race from Maritzburg to Durban passes by this point on the Umgeni river.

 

Generations: The (rugby) Legacy

I lost a bet to Tom with the Springboks’ loss to the All Blacks this weekend.

Paying up was painless compared to sitting with him watching the match!

Then Sunday I went to Pietermaritzburg where I got a blow-by-blow “Hoor Weer” of the match from the Ole Man.

Both my deskundiges cannot BELIEVE how the Boks just don’t LISTEN to their (simple, foolproof) advice! One says they should just play like he played for Westville Boys last year and the other says they should just play like he played for Maritzburg College in 1937.

Fuckit I’m going to heaven I swear. Or at the very least I’ll get a diplomatic posting.


Hoor WeerKyk Weer, but aural – a verbal re-run and re-hash

Deskundiges – experts, but more than that

Old school rugby.jpg

Our Fisherman Tom

The first time: He found a bamboo with a line tied on the end at Kelso beach when visiting the Harveys, Margaret and Bryce.

MargBryce Kelso2005 (18)

When Trish’s Dad Gompa Neil found out he gave him two big surf rods as he had decided to give up fishing. We took them to Cape Vidal and three year-old TomTom waved them around like fly rods in the surf. The fish were quite safe, there wasn’t time to grab hold of the hook!

Cape Vidal Oct 2005 (6).jpg

Some of the other times:

I shoulda said Gosh! Or Darn!

Jaynee J had a luxury courtesy suite at Centurion Park cricket ground and she invited us to watch a game. The Springboks / Proteas were playing someone in an international test match. 2001, so Sri Lanka, maybe.

Also: Jayne called it a ‘champagne suite’ and – as always – she had laid in enough stock for a siege. Or a rainy day. And that day Centurion Park was not like this:

Centurion cricket ground

I had great fun watching the people. Especially a guy in the next-door Telkom box, scanning the crowd with powerful binoculars, looking for girls. Whenever he saw someone watching him he’d say “I’m looking for my sister”.

We had to take two year-old Jessica along and it wasn’t really her thing. It rained off and on, so we were indoors with guest barman Johnno, who was intent on quality control and sampling. Aitch and I took turns amusing Jess and keeping her out of the adults’ hair. Here she is puddle-jumping behind the stadium:

After a while (cricket matches carry on and on and when you think they MUST be finished – surely? – they stop for tea) I had to feed and change Jess and decided to take her back to Jayne’s home. Change of scenery and a break for the adults.

On the way back to the stadium, freshly-fed and -wiped Jessie strapped in the car seat behind me, I missed the freeway offramp to the stadium. Didn’t have a clue how I’d get back to the stadium now, so I was kinda tense and focussed and fuming – what if I missed Jayne’s famous lunch? – until I finally figured it out and managed a tricky u-turn after the next offramp and got back on track. Finally I could relax.

“Pete?” came a little voice from behind me. Yes my love?

“FUCK!”

“FUCK FUCK FUCK!!”

Oh, boy . . . . .