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Flying South

The long drive home

SOUTH AFRICA | Sunday, 2 February 2014 | Views [205]

Although it didn’t seem it on the way down, mainly due to the fact that I flew to the halfway point, it’s quite a slog from Paternoster to Jo’burg. We did the trip over two days, with 9 hours driving one day and 7 or so the next. We came a more central route north of the mountains so the scenery was very different from the coastal route we’d been on most of the trip.

The first thing I noticed about the scenery was that it was big. By that I don’t mean necessarily in size but scope. The landscape did change along the route but slowly. I mean 2 or 3 hours of the same scenery not changing not looking any different. It was desert scrub land for the most part, with mountains in the distance, and boy did those mountains take a while to reach.

We saw some interesting birds of prey over the two days we were travelling. We can’t be 100% on some of them but we’re pretty sure we saw, among other things:

Verreaux’s (Black) Eagle

Tawny Eagle

Booted Eagle

Black Harrier

Chanting Goshawk

Peregrine Falcon

Amur Falcon

Greater and Lesser Kestrels

 

We stopped on the Saturday night in a little place called Colesberg, in a guest house which was an old farmhouse and was being run by a old lady whose name I forget, but she was lovely and she had some wonderful stories about the place her family and the local area It was an amazing little place with some antique guns on the wall as you climbed the stairs. I couldn’t identify them all but there was a percussion shotgun (side by side), some sort of fancy percussion rifle, what appeared to be a cut down percussion musket which was stamped for the Tower and what was either a Lee Metford or a Mk 1 Lee Enfield (long nose).

 

We ate out at a little place billing itself as the best lamb in town. Sadly this was more a statement of optimism than fact. It was ok (for ok read edible) but not the best lamb I’ve had here by a long way. Sunday’s drive was more of the same although the countryside was less desert and more farmland in look and the birds of prey were more kestrels than eagles. As long drives go, this one was not too bad but the Sunday definitely seemed to drag more than the Saturday!

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