Travels in South Africa
2002 Family Reunion the Eclipse
GeneralThis trip was one of mixed feelings as my Mother had recently died and whilst I had not been able to attend the funeral the family was to gather for the ashes to be spread over her favourite garden. The trip had been arranged several years before to introduce my wife Amelia to my Parents.
Flight outWe arrived at OR Tambo airport Jo’burg without incident and were duly met by my Father and Brother David. We went back to Dads for a coffee and then out to lunch before going back to Daves studio pad where we were staying. It was spacious and with access to the owners swimming pool.
Amelia This was Amelia’s first visit to South Africa so we went off to a local Game park at Krugersdorp. It is not very big but the real attraction was the Bird sanctuary which I would visit every time I was in Jo’burg and had the time. During our stay we met Dad on more than one occasion and taking him to lunch at his favourite fish restaurant.
Eclipse Another reason for the trip and why it was planned so long in advance was to see the total eclipse of the sun on Dec 4th. As the Drive was about 6 hours we set off early in the evening and arrived at the gate, which was closed, but we joined the queue of other eclipse watchers. The night was clear and with out the light pollution the stars were out in all their glory. When the gates were opened we all went our own way most to the dedicated spots that allowed visitors to get out of their car but we went out own way and had a game drive before finding a spot that was safe and secure to watch the eclipse. Visitors were so keyed up with getting to the viewing areas they forgot about the animal safety and were driving far to fast. As we rounded a corner the evidence lay in the middle of the road -- an African Rock Python with a crushed back. We took a photo of it and left it for nature to take its course as there was nothing that could be done, we knew which vehicle had caused the damage by the way it had forced us of the road as it sped by at excessive speed only minutes before.
As always the morning started cloudless and as the time approached for the eclipses the skies clouded over and all we could see was the silhouette of the eclipse as it progresses but no diamond ring (again!!!!)
We also visited the Kruger Camp at Punda Maria for a bite to eat before having a drive around the northern loop and our eventual departure and drive back to Jo’burg
Return All to quickly the holiday was coming to an end with our last day spent at my Brother, Ricks, were we had a family reunion and a braai before being taken to the airport.
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