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OCTOBER 2005 BREAK

Took a very well deserved break from 3 to 9 October 2005. Visited a few places, and most of them were pleasant enough. However, South Africa is still quite disabled unfriendly and most people here don't even realise it! Apologies if this page takes a while to load, we got some really great pics.

We booked a chalet at Ngwenya Lodge, which is near Komatipoort and about 9 km's from the Mozambique border. Even though we specified that we needed a ground unit for somebody who was disabled, we arrived to find we had been allocated a unit on the 1st floor with the terrifying wooden steps. After a couple of toots, even an able bodied person would shy away from them! It tooks literally HOURS before we were told where we would be moved to, and then we were relegated to the END of the lodge, next to the fence, on the pretext that I "would be happier there because it's close to everything". HUH? If I were a wheelchair user, getting around inside the chalet would have been completely impossible. Useless in fact. Thanks RCI! Prats...

Every morning we had a young bull who visited the camp and systematically went through the trash cans looking for breakfast. He was amazingly even-tempered for a young ele, although we did see him flap his ears and mock charge one of the workers who tried to hurry him along one day.

Ngenya Lodge Elephant

This was what we saw in the morning from our chalet. It was a haven for birds, and I have decided that I am somewhat of a 'twitcher' (which I believe is a birder...) because the birdlife was fabulous.

We took a trip to the Kruger (how could we not?) and we were lucky enough to see so many animals and birds of prey. There are still some good rivers there, so the animals are not looking too bad. However, we did go through a stretch of the park that looked like the arse end of a bad Mad Max movie. A moon scape. Barren and desolate. Then again, we did travel along a 2 hour piece of sand road that was (not clearly!) marked NO ENTRY. Note to self : Don't ignore those signs in a game reserve again.

Here's pic of the landscape in the 'closed' bit of the park, and some of the MacDonald's of the bush. So known because they are the staple diet of the big cats, and there's one around every corner! There were tons of them.

Kruger Park Impala

We were lucky enough to spot 3 White Rhino, and this one decided to inspect some leftovers in the road for quite a long time. But check out the caravan perched on the flat bed. Camping in African style!

Kruger Park White Rhino

This was another great moment when a herd of ele's crossed the road. The mother nursed her calf for ages on the road.

Kruger Park Elephant

And another ele pic, and yes, we were this close! Amazing animals. The African Elephant is much bigger than the Indian Elephant, huge ears (when they flap you run away!) and more aggressive. I love them!

Kruger Park Elephant

This pic will give you some idea of the size of our African Elephant. This skull is huge.

Kruger Park Elephant Skull

And what would a trip to the Kruger be without seeing the graceful giraffe. We were quite surprised at how many we saw. Next to the Impala, they seemed to be everywhere.

Kruger Park Giraffe

This is a view of the very diminished Crococile River from Nwenya Lodge. This is the WHOLE river bed, with only a trickle of water. The trees you see on the far side are where (some years ago) the other side of the river bank was. It's very dry, but when we left, it started to cloud over, and hopefully they are getting some much needed rain now.

 

Part 2 of the trip away...

 

 

COOL LINKS

Chronic Pain Chronic pain management by Dr Mitchell

To be or not to be Active Living article by Kimberley Barreda

John Callahan Paraplegic humourist - not for the feint hearted

Disability sport in South Africa DISSA

THE ANGRY GIMP Awesome must read site!

Marco Du Plooy My Pretoria based prosthetist

Sleeve Art by Fred's Legs

Employment Guidelines from SA Dept of Labour for PWD's & employers

Amputee Resource - Al Pike CP

MAS Socket - information

Fly SA - Paragliding

Co LeDahu - Personal Website

Jam Ally Entertainment - where Ally works

Eric Morse - Para-sport photographer & friend (Canada)

 

 



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