Day 24, Year 6 Rain, Rain, Go Away!
Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Weather: Rainy All Day
Location: Tuzi Gazi Marina, Richards Bay, South Africa

It was yet another cool, rainy day. Chris and Geoff of Shambala had invited a group of us to go walking this morning at 6:45 am to see the bird watching areas near here. When we woke up at 6 am it was pouring rain, but by 6:30 it looked like it was going to clear, so off we went. Hebron, the young man who works on boats here, led the way. We had to go out and cross the highway and when we got to the head of the bird trail there were loads of vans sitting around. A security man stopped us and we checked to see if we were allowed to head on down the bird trail. The answer was no. Another man came by who seemed in charge and he explained that the vans were all part of a film crew making a film called Mr. Bob for French TV. They were using the part of the bird trail that we wanted to visit as today’s location, so we turned back. And at about that time, the heavens opened up. We walked on in the rain along the channel that leads to the river, but it was raining so hard it was impossible to really enjoy the walk. We finally turned back and vowed to try it on another day, preferable a sunny one. Chris (of Shambala) had planned a braai (barbecue) for last Sunday evening and that got rained out, as well her walk planned for today, so she says she is planning nothing else.

Once we returned, it was too wet for outside work, so we did computer and book research on the Caribbean trying to find a good place for our children and grandchildren to visit us. Peppe of Far Niente came over and we planned our outing for tomorrow to the iSamangaliso Wetlands Park. The Lonely Planet describes this World Heritage site as “a phenomenal stretch of natural beauty, with a fabulously diverse mix of environments and wildlife.” Tomorrow we will drive to the town of St. Lucia and do a quick early morning walk on the Igwala Gwala Trail and then drive what is called the Eastern Shore north to Cape Vidal in hopes of seeing lots of birds and natural beauty. We will then come back to the town of St. Lucia where we will eat lunch at the Ski Boat Club where we can watch hippos and crocodiles in the river as we eat and then end the day with a two-hour hippo-croc boat tour of the St. Lucia estuary. We’re just hoping for some sunshine.

Tonight we went with Ed and Lynne to the Zululand Yacht Club for Happy Hour. We went to meet Irene and Duncan of Moose (Canada), which we did, but we also caught up with Harry and Ellen of Swerver (Netherlands). Harry and Ellen have spent a great deal of time in South America and went around the Cape of Good Hope to the Pacific. Irene and Duncan spent a great deal of time in the Caribbean before heading across the Pacific, so we shared information on our ports from here to the Caribbean. On Monday nights at Zululand they have a ‘bring your own’ for a Monday night braai. We said we would come for that the Monday after Kruger. It will be great to continue our conversations.

We are really looking forward to tomorrow’s trip to St. Lucia and the iSamangaliso Wetlands Park. Peppe and Bob of Far Niente are going with us. They are avid bird watchers and we hope to learn more about the aviary world from them.

101117 Day 24 South Africa–Walk in the Rain