Friday, January 14, 2011

Day 17 & 18 Igloo Inn

Baobab Tree and Igloo Inn
(written by Richard)

Day 17, the day swiftly arrived and it was time for us to head to our new home for the next two nights, Igloo Inn. The interesting name of our destination meant there was excitement among the group as nobody knew what to expect.

Just like all the days before it, todays drive to our next camp was a great experience on its own. I have thoroughly enjoyed every journey so far through our awesome country and today was no differant. With new horizons looking out the window, new faces along the road and just the idea of being somewhere else for a while. Refreshing.

Seeing new things and experiencing new adventures is what its all about I guess. You try do something new everyday, lock it in your memory and then do something else tomorrow. When I was younger we once went to a Baobab Tree which I can vaguely remember. We did that old 'lets all hold hands and make a circle around the trunk' story, you know. Offcourse we didn't make it around but we took photos and all that.

Being with new friends here, it was decided within the group that we would visit one of these 'peaceful giants' again on our way to the next camp.

...and what a site it was..

It was a lot bigger than i remember. Compared to the "big" trees that we're normally used to and that were sorrounding this big guy, it was just incredible. Standing proud, it was very impressive. It was almost like the sorrounding trees were bowing down before it.

After standing silently for a few moments in awe... we climbed in. Literally. Hidden in the base of the trunk there was like a hollowing, like a small room in the big tree's belly. We were like ants, in the tree, on the tree, around the tree, it was a good experience, was awesome!

Me (Richard) climbing inside the belly of the Tree 

 Inside the belly of the Tree - How Amazing

 The view looking up into the tree and that's Chris climbing the tree

 Huge spider webs

 The bird life

In the afternoon we arrived at igloo inn. It was a very small and unusual place. nothing we'd seen before so no one knew quite what to make of it or quite what to think, but... we've been to weird places before so it was all just another experience.

After investigating and exploring the new area, we all sorted out layouts and got to work on our tents... It was insanely hot here and the quicker we could pitch our tents the sooner we'd be in shade. The scorching temperatures meant we were all desperate for the pool, to which we soon found out that there wasn't one?! In serious need to cool down some decided to use the showering facilities for a quick... eh.. spray?

A view of Igloo Inn

 Another view of Igloo Inn and that is pretty much all of Igloo Inn

 Following the shade, hiding from the scorching sun

 Just chilling in the shade

Just Chilling

 Richard winning the immunity necklace

 Percy after  fixing our mattress once again after the valve just popped out

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day 16 Pezulu Tree Houses

Pezulu Tree Houses Hoedspruit
Day 2
(Written by Tammy)

After one of the most peaceful sleeps we all met up for breakfast. Some of the group had decided to make our way to the wild life rehabilitation centre called MOHOLOHOLO. An educational experience for all who went.

The first animal we were introduced to was Juba. A 7 year old cheetah
He was born and raised in the rehabilitation centre to speak out on behalf of his species.
Our guide would not leave his side. Everyone had a chance to pet him and give him some love.

We then moved on to meet a cute little fellow. 11 months old and weighing in about 250KG.
Baby rhino.
He was found when he was a new born in the Kruger park, abandoned by the mother due to the fact that she could not get her little one out of the mud. He was stuck for 3 days until a group of people discovered him and called the guys from MOHOLOHOLO to help. He is growing strong and one day he will be back with his own kind.

Next was Shadow. A very big female Hyena and her little one, Luma(biter)
The amount of strength in this animals jaw can snap an elephant's rib with one bite. She wanted to eat me when she saw me.

The vultures were the most interesting for me.
Vultures were designed to eat the meat of diseased animals which have died to stop the spread of that disease. They are endangered because the sangoma's use their hearts and feathers and all that for muti. They poison live stoke and then the vultures in hundreds come eat them. Only 1/5 of the dead vultures are taken for their spiritual practice.
One full grown vultures weighs up to 25KG.
and what you see above is me holding one on my arm. They are super heavy.
There were many other animals, to many to tell a story about. But all I know is I am all for the work these people do.
After dinner that evening, we were surprised by the pezulu staff. They had all come together to bid us fare well in song. We had all enjoyed our stay and did not want to leave. Pezulu will definitely be expecting us back. Next time, longer than 2 days.

Day 15 Pezulu Tree Houses

Pezulu Tree Houses Hoedspruit
Day 1

How do I explain the 2010 Trip to someone that has not experienced it with us?
The trip started off as a holiday but soon changed into a full blown adventure and
day 14 is not different!
It started off at Graskop Big swing. Some fearless individuals decided to do
the Big Swing. A person free falls for 70m and then swings accross the gorge, Me of course,
gave it a huge miss as the jump was in dense mist. It was quite
an adrenalin rush for those who did it and they received certificates for jumping. Well done!

We finally arrided at our long awaited tree house accommodation, PEZULU.
What a resort! If you would like 4-star accommodation combined with
with 5-star service in the bushfeld, then this is the place for you.
'Awesome' is the closest word that describe the tree houses. A person needs to
be there to to fully experience that! Some of us were so taken by Pezulu
that we forgot to drink our welcoming juice.

We ended the day with a three course meal in a huge lapa where we were treated
as kings and queens. As per HKGK tradition we had our Tribal vote and Chris was voted
as the 'King'. Big mistakes for some of us but that is another day...
You needed to be on this trip, for a one in a million adventure.
That's me signing off....

Treasurer Taylor - Norman

The big preperation prior to the jump, Safety first!

An overall view of the jump.Eish! Too high.

Piet playing it safe.

Our adventurous gang. Spot Megan!

What a rush!

Gutsy Megan. Well done girl!

Go Sam! Notice the fog?

And Richard is on his way....

....closely followed by Mandy...

Even Chris had a chance!

There goes Gillian, very vocal in the beginning of course!

Shaun's welcoming committee! He needed to replace both wiper blades!

A view on a typical tree house.

 An end view on the same tree house! (3 in one house - Terminalia)

View on the Honeymoon Suite - Huilboerboon.

 Stairway to heaven! Sorry, The honeymoon suite. He he.

 View from inside.

Need I say more? View of a typical bedroom.

 View on a water hole. Awesome! There is more, wait....

What a view from the bathroom - Honeymoon suite.

 The same water hole. Look Ma, a buffalo!

 Oops, look Ma, three buffaloes!

A typical view from the tree houses.

With a couple 'locals'. Can not go to the bush without them?

Me enjoying my treehouse. Let me be!

A rare moment, Dirk without his camera! Nou hoe nou Dirk?

There has to be bar, even in a bush lapa. We are watching you Justin.

This is the HKGK Tribunal council in session. Silence please!

This is a proper democratic voting. No interference from anybody.

Pezulu staff handing the Immunity Idol to our newly elected king, Chris!

Look at that smile. Wonder why?