Minnesota Farmer


South Africa Bound – On the road

The second week is underway for those who traveled from the Shetek conference of the ELCA to the Ondini Circuit of the ELCSA.  Today we are playing tourist.  We left Kwazamohkuhle after chapel and headed down the road toward Durban.

our van full of tourists

Barb, Paul, Marcia, Loretta, Levi and Ted took the back seats as I drove and Jessica navigated.

Being a farmer I was tuned into the crops being grown along the way.  The corn and soybeans seemed to be growing well.  Most seemed to be nearing maturity, but some had only recently been planted.  With all of the rain some did not look too good.  There were spots that were yellowing from too much water.  We did notice that no one seems to believe in end rows around here.

As we made our way toward Durban we started seeing some sugar cane growing.  The cities didn’t look much different than many other southern cities.  The houses may have been a bit smaller and more gaudily painted, but everything looked prosperous.

walking bridge

This walking bridge across a deep cut was interesting.  As we neared the Indian Ocean all eyes turned toward the coast.

First sight of the Indian Ocean

After having lunch in Stanger we made our way to the beach to play in the ocean.

Macia, Ted and Jessica at the ocean

The sand was so hot it burned your feet until you got close to the water.

The waves come in on Levi and Loretta

The waves were really coming in so taking a swim was out of the question.  Some of the kids got wet when they were not planning on it.

At the waters eye level

We said good bye to the ocean and headed northwest along the coast.

Fuel pump

All the fuel pumps we saw were full service.  There would be someone there to direct you to a pump and pump your fuel.  Usually someone washed your window also.

We saw many crews out mowing grass along the road, but rarely saw a tractor powered mower, or even evidence that someone was baling the hay.  The grass was cut by a gas powered weed eater and raked up by someone with a small rake.  There was usually someone there to sweep the grass off of the road also.

People were walking on the roads everywhere.  Busy roads had fewer people on them, but it was not unusual to see someone crossing the busiest of roads.  When traffic slowed down people were selling fruit on the edge of the road, or if you had to come to a stop, would approach you with bags of fruit.

Most of the larger roads were toll roads.  We usually managed to have the exact change for a toll so we kept moving right along.

harvesting wood

As we made our way further west the sugar cane made way for large plantations of fast growing trees.  You could see the fields that had been recently harvested and some that were planted not that long ago.  Plots of trees were in all stages of growth.

Our goal for the day was the Hluhluwe game park.  We were going around to the northwestern side to go into the Memorial gate.  The roads got smaller and livestock again became a presence on the road.  Mark almost got kid on the grill when a young goat dashed across in front of him.

We checked in at the park gate and made our way up to Hilltop Camp.  Last time when Mark was here they saw only one elephant.  This time we were greeted by herds of them.

elephant herd

We had to wait while they crossed the road, and then stop and wait again.

rhinos

We also saw rhinos, cape buffalo, wart hog and giraffe before we even reached the camp.

giraffe

This giraffe was eating right at the side of the road.

We made our way to Hilltop Camp, got our room assignments had a wonderful prime rib buffet for diner and then headed off to bed.  Tomorrow’s wake up call is 4:15.  The morning game drive leaves at 5:00 a.m.  It’s going to be a short night.

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