Africa, Family & Kids, KwaZuluNatal

Kelso Rocks

Go to bed early and be up early guys! That’s Tom, Ryan and Ziggy. They want to go fishing in Kelso on the rocks in front of Tom’s happy childhood haunt Happy Wanderers.

So they get to bed at 2am and I have to roust them at 5:45am. C’mon, move! We drive off at 6:20am and get there in an hour. They go fishin’ and I go for a peaceful breakfast in Scottburgh, then birding and butterflying. No pictures, though, nothing would sit still. Luckily Ziggy took pickishas of them . .

They even catch. Shad and an eel. The eel gets released, but two shad are brought home against my wishes. Too late, by the time they get back to me they’re dead. But Dad, they’re legal and we want to have them for lunch!

I take them a mid-morning snack which is accepted with huge cries of welcome and relief like they were dying of thirst and starving. I have to interrupt Tom and tell him to write a book about the tough time he had in The Struggle!

More surprises: At the end they go for a swim in the waves and even Tom goes in! Amazing. Tom got wet in the sea! – and he wore shorts! ex Africa semper aliquid novi ! On the way home they’re bubbling over with excitement and chuffedness and tall tales and heroics and what-they-would-have-done stories.

We’re talking so crazily and over each other and laughing and shouting that I don’t see the cop till he jumps right in front of me and flags me down! Yes, YOU, he indicates. It didn’t feel like I was going fast, but I spose it never does.

I pull over in front of a big truck they have also flagged down and haul out my licence and wait. They’re all over the truck, write him a ticket and walk back to their camera. The truck pulls out past us and the passenger shouts to us in isiZulu: ‘They pulled you over for nothing! Go!’

So we go.

~~~oo0oo~~~

As I write there’s a happy fish braai happening outside my office window:

Later: The fresh shad was succulent and delicious! Ziggy is a qualified chef and she seasoned it to perfection! I told the fellas to take notes . .

~~~oo0oo~~~

While waiting for the fisherfolk, I lurked in the coastal bush shade.

~~~oo0oo~~~

A few days before, Ryan’s Dad Andy had taken them to Durban harbour, where they caught a tiny little smelt:

~~~oo0oo~~~

Africa, Birds & Birding, Family & Kids, Sport, Wildlife, Game Reserves

Albert Fell

‘Just two schoolboys and me,’ I told the lady at the entrance to Albert Falls dam recreation area.

OK, two adults and one pensioner, she said, totting up the fee. And sizing us up at a glance, bitch. Oh well, she was spot-on – they are in matric after all.

They were after bass and I was after birds. They got one and I got many.

Africa, Family & Kids, Travel Africa

Bass Beware Again

The bass in Inanda Dam had not been unduly troubled by Tom and Ryan’s kayak-based onslaught some time ago. In Albert Falls Dam they also needn’t have worried. This time Tom and Ryan attacked them from the shore. But the bass were safe again.

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The old lake was called Peattie’s Lake. The dam wall was just above Albert Falls. Then they built a bigger dam which drowned the old dam wall and the falls. Pity.

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Those falls are drowned somewhere under this:

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The frying pan wasn’t needed. Luckily I had bought some meat to cook.

 

Birds & Birding, Canoe & Kayak, Family & Kids, Food, Sport

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.

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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.

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

 

Family & Kids, Sport, Wildlife, Game Reserves

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. This rustic contraption immediately sparked his interest. A fascination started that has endured.

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When Trish’s Dad Gompa Neil found out, he gave Tom two big surf rods as he had decided to give up fishing. We took them along 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 for them to grab hold of the hook!

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Some of the other times:

Family & Kids, Travel, Travel Africa

Salt Rock Gap

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Gail & Sean Robinson invited us along to join them and friends Len and Ann on their Salt Rock getaway. Brave souls! They probly thought “Let’s ask Pete, Jess and Tom”. They got Pete, Jess, Tom, Lungelo, Ryan and Andile!!

Luckily the boys slotted in smoothly, eating, sleeping and fishing like Vaalies-by-die-see. And even getting a bit of exercise walking to Tiffany’s centre a few km’s away when they ran out of bait.

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The girls did much the same except for the exercise and fishing parts. They did swim, and they rescued tiny toadlets from the pool – so the birds could eat them.

Whatta lovely weekend, with the weather doing all its things: Rain, wind, sun, quiet and cool. Everything but hot. Wonderful.

I walked to Chaka’s Rock a kilometre or so South where we had enjoyed our first by-die-see as Vrystaters in 1963! It has changed somewhat!

see: https://vrystaatconfessions.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/chakas-rock-1963/