Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Road Home


All good things must come to an end, but we lingered this morning squeezing every moment out of the weekend.

Breaking up camp:

(Photo by Martin)

Some last minute chats:

(Photo by Pmdb)

LGF, Kermit and I decided to ride through Sanbona once again via a different (longer) route with the hope of spotting some more game. We'd exit the reserve at the South Gate and have something to eat at the Karoo Saloon before heading back to George.

Signing in at the Eastern Gate. Being bikes only today we were assigned an escort through the reserve. R.O.V.Rat and his group was riding with us, but they would exit at the Western Gate (like we did yesterday) while LGF and I would split off to exit at the Southern Gate.

We entered the reserve much earlier today and as a result we saw much more game. First up Ostriches:

Every time I stopped for a photo like the one above we'd fall behind the group and we'd be all alone for a while. Kermit was quite nervous about this.

In the back of my mind I wondered about the dangerous game. Surely if the animals were more active earlier in the morning the dangerous game will be more active as well? This thought was still lingering when we rode up to game rangers watching a heard of Elephant:

Beautiful beautiful animals but clearly agitated by the sound of the vehicles so we made our exit soon and as quietly as possible.

Check the little one:

We got to the split where LGF and I stopped. There was a sign that indicated that the road is closed but a passing Ranger assured us that we could follow the road to the Southern Gate. He did not know where on the reserve the lions were at the particular moment though.

So for the rest of the journey we'd just be 3 people on two bikes. I was acutely aware that should one of us have a flat tyre near 'n pride of Lion our situation would be less than ideal.

Still lots of game around, but most manage to scatter before you can photograph them. Some Kudu:

Great views around here as well. You ride though this scenery with a sense of excitement, feeling alive.

Eland and an Oryx:

The road ahead:

Riding through the wide open spaces spotting the game is great, but sometimes you'd have to ride around a corner into some trees and a river bed like in the next clip. I couldn't help but wonder each time what would happen if a pride were laying there while we came round the corner. I sounds stupid I'm sure, but in the situation and with my youngest also on the bike I was a little worried about this. In the wrong set of circumstances this could end very badly indeed.

Luckily it didn't. And we were never worried. We take this kind of thing in our stride


Unfortunately the footage in the next clip is not that clear, but a Springbok jumped out from behind a bush and ran alongside the bike. LGF clocked it at 55km/h We also happened on more Oryx.

What magnificent creatures. They reminded me of the farm we had in Namibia. What a great day in Africa we're having.

Arriving at the Southern Gate we were met by a very agitated guard. 5 bikes signed in at the Eastern Gate and only 3 signed out at the Western Gate. They already sent out a search party to start looking for us! But we specifically told the guard at the Eastern Gate we'd exit at the Southern Gate Apparently the road to the Southern Gate is private and bikes certainly are not allowed on that route. Well no-one told us. We were even given directions to the Southern Gate by a Ranger. Ah well. All's well that ends well. At least we weren't eaten.

The ride through the reserve took a lot longer than we expected and we arrived at the Karoo Saloon for lunch, Kermit having earned his badge

After lunch we hit the road home.

What a nice weekend. It was great seeing old friends again and the last game ride was an absolute highlight. Especially since it's unlikely to be allowed on that route with a bike ever again.

Thanks Guys! Till next time Donkieskraal?


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