Sadly today we left Kruger National Park and started on the first leg of our journey back to Struisbaai and Napier. The Earl and I were ready by 07:00 and left slightly ahead of Alec and Cathy. We drove slowly along the S110. My favourite creatures were there to bid us farewell.
Just before we were due to turn off onto the H3 which would take us to the Malelane Gate we saw a line of cars moving very slowly toward us. But who were they following? The king and queen of Kruger.
But instead she broke away from him and passed right by my open window,
It was a heart stopping moment and a wonderful way to end our visit.
Alec and Cathy were slightly delayed by the giraffe crossing the road and they too saw the lions but by then they’d left the road and were wandering off into the bush.
We waited just outside the exit gate for them to catch up and then drove in tandem the rest of the way. We tried to find a place for breakfast in Carolina but there was nothing suitable so we pushed on to Chrissiesmeer. The restaurants we passed looked a bit dodgy until we found Lake Chrissie Lodge. Outside a sign announced that the pub was open. I went in to ask if they did breakfast and the barman went in search of somebody in charge of the kitchen. A charming young lady emerged and said they would cook breakfast for us. I summoned the others and she showed us to a lovely dining room, brought in some coffee and within 15 minutes presented us with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and chips. We were the only patrons and it was really kind of them to accommodate us. The breakfast was lovely.
The roads we travelled were mostly good until we got to Standerton and travelled the R546 to Vrede. We had to play ‘dodge the pothole’ all the way and then turned onto the most horrific road to get to Moreson Ranch. Before booking Cathy had asked what the road condition was like and the reply had been, “It’s fine. It’s a tar road.” Well it might once have been but now it’s a corrugated mess which shook us up and rattled our vehicles and caravans in the most unpleasant way. To add injury to insult we found the campsite less than satisfactory. We were the only caravanners there. Our sites had not been raked or cleaned of buck droppings and the private ablutions had not been cleaned. The electricity also tripped because of the hot water geyser not functioning properly. Cathy reported the problems to reception and after a while the farm manager, Peter, arrived to sort everything out. Two young women came to clean the ablutions and later Peter himself came with a bucket and mop to clean another ablution that we had to use because the hot water problem could not be fixed.
Our campsite has a lovely view across the valley but is spoiled by a full on view of the lions they have in captivity. This farm breeds lions, a practice that I just don’t approve of. I find it upsetting to see these lovely wild beasts living in enclosures, never being able to roam and hunt or do things that lions should do.
We went to the restaurant for dinner and all four of us had rump steaks with mushroom sauce, chips and salad. The food was good.
Peter told us that he has just taken over the managing of this establishment. He knows there is a lot wrong and he intends to sort out all the problems as soon as he can. It’s a matter of putting to rights the things that have been neglected due to past bad management. He is a lovely young man and we wish him luck but it’s doubtful that we will ever come down that dreadful road again so we will never see the progress.