Archive for April 2012

Hlosi – a new family member

Sunday, 29. April 2012

Hlosi – speak shlozy – means cheetah, and is the name of our new family member, a four week old foundling.

 

After Cramby’s tragic end, you can imagine how protective Monique is with that little kitten, brought to us by a friend.

Especially since Mungane  – just becoming a teenager and used to rough play with the pack – is too vehement.

Downside: little space for humans.

Alerting Encounter

Saturday, 21. April 2012

I was walking Mungane this morning, our more extensive walk. Reaching the edge of a property with electric fencing I heard the ticking of a short-circuit.

The cause
– a snake.

A dead snake ! ?

I knew there was a pretty dangerous species, that plays dead,
and then strikes.

But was it one of these?

No idea, there was little specifics to describe but the size of the snake, and of one color, almost black.

Got home, sharing the sighting with Monique, looking our wild life books, asking the neighbours. Finally we went back to the place accompanied by Claudia, one of our neighbours.

The snake was dead! And it was of the species that plays dead – a Rinkhals (we could identify by lifting it up and and seeing the white collar rings),  a snake of the cobra family.

Bottom line: we have to be very cautious when walking our curious Mungane,
Where there is one Rinkhals, there  are more Rinkhals!

African Tale – Last Chapter

Sunday, 15. April 2012

After being ripped of by the taxi company I finally made my way from Richards Bay Airport to the B&B where we had been staying while our odyssey.

At least Land Rover Empangeny had brought the car here as agreed. I am looking forward to great cappuccino at the cafe and then my drive home.

I open the door to put my bag in the Land Rover and I encounter the next shock: “beep, beep, beep, …”
Sh…, if that is not the alarm of the dual battery system I’d be surprised! Ignition key in, turn, … – not even the ignition control lamp is going on.  The battery is flat, flat, flat.

Opening the tailgate I encounter the Fridge is still on!

Battery must have been flat already at Land Rover. I encounter Mungani’s blanket has been released from grid behind the back seat: a prerequisite for turning down the backrest to reach the battery system. They seem  to have jump-started at the workshop and then driven the car max 4km to the B&B.

The next call to AA, since I have got all kind of tools in the vehicle, but no jump-start cables, and nobody at the B&B has neither.

I order a cappuccino, and the lady of the coffee shop is calling her husband to come with a jump-start cable. He arrives after 10 minutes with his Toyota and is making jokes that I had chosen the wrong make. But his jump-start cables are not long enough, only reach the second battery.

Meanwhile AA has called back and the breakdown service arrives after another 10 minutes. His jump-start cable is long enough. Connecting, turning the ignition key, nothing but a click under the bonnet.
Letting it charge for about ten minutes before the second attempt. Better, but no success – just  one engine turn. Too little to get is starting.
I buy the service guy a cappuccino, and we wait for charging almost half an hour. Then, turning the key and the engine starts and purrs like a sewing machine.

I finally leave Empangeni 6 hours later than planned, getting on the road towards JOZI. Eventually arriving home at 1:30 AM