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

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/

Africa, Family & Kids, Food, Life, Nostalgia

Happy Wanderers. Again. Like Boy Scouts.

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This time in winter. Tom loved it. Caught many small blacktail, karanteen, bronze bream, one shad and stayed on the rocks for hours. I had to fetch him and march him to the showers threatening not to feed him till he smelt civilised.

Jess and friend Jordi lay in their tent and watched videos. Could just as well have been at home. Then she asked to go home a day early, after four nights instead of five. Tom said fine so we got home today instead of tomorrow. Suits me.

When we got there Monday I found I had only forgotten the tent poles, the flysheet, the groundsheet, the kettle and the food, but otherwise we were Be Prepared. Like Boy Scouts.

So we ate at the restaurant, the girls slept in the back of the bakkie, Tom slept on the front seat and I slept under the stars. It rained, but I was warm despite my ear filling up. Tuesday I went home and fetched the above-mentioned and we were snug as bugs thereafter.
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Steve:

Get the kids to put together a check list for next camping trip while the discomfort is still fresh in their memories…. Tape it to the inside of the bakkie. And put them in charge of “equipment”
Yeah right,
Just joking. my two would just roll their eyes…
(They both arrived last night on a flight from Auckland)

Ending the trip a day earlier – sounds familiar.
I think it happens when the home comforts beckon
Specially that new bathroom.

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Kathy:

Thats so funny ! We forgot our tentpoles too once and had to crash on some poor chalets carpet as it was 4 hours from home . All five of us . very embarressing . But you beat me here ! Nice fishing Tom , Leo would be so jealous . Those two must fish together one day . And you know , kids , there is dad – killing himself and sleeping in the rain and they wanna watch videos and go home early . I can picture mine saying that too . Id force them all to stay and we d pull faces at each other for 2 days . You re much wiser . We had this grim holiday in Port Alfred once where it rained nonstop and was freezing . Jacques got flu and depression and stayed in bed . I tortured the kids for a week until Jacques persuaded me to give up and go home . He drove back so fast and only stopped once for a sandwich – no peeing allowed . You win some , you lose some .