Dont mention the C word

“Don’t mention the C word”

When we want to Braai we never actually say the word, as it always seems to rain when we do, therefore we usually say “should we do a B word tonight” or “don’t mention the B word”. This Saturday we went camping with our “Clarens family” Mark and Kathleen and now we have a new saying “Don’t mention the C word” as on Saturday it poured down, thankfully the cloudburst happened just before we arrived as I think we would have been flooded out.

We had decided a few weeks back to go to Meiringspoort, that’s near Fouriesburg about 35 kms away from Clarens, so we loaded up the car, bakkie and trailer and hit the road, we knew it was going to rain for a while as we hit surrender hill and the clouds descended upon us, raining all the way to the campsite, we crossed a bridge that had seen the river burst its banks over it and negotiated the less than adequate road.

Ok so by now you know it rained, we picked a site that did not have to much water and a couple of trees to give us little protection, we set up the tents, put p the gazebos and got as comfortable as possible, got the food on the go and had a few drinks while talking about this and that. I really wanted to have a lekker fire and sit around it, but with the rain we mad the best of it under the gazebos. With Mark and Kath the conversation is never forced and we always seem to have fun. Mitchell “the red headed stepchild’s and Liza’s son also came with and while he made himself comfortable in the back of the bakkie , Gabby “that’s my daughter” made herself comfortable in a tent.

Bedtime was around 10pm and Kath had made mention that we would lie in till 9am in the morning and then we could get breakfast going. Ok well that was the plan! I don’t know about you but I am not a great camper, when I was a kid my folks caravanned a lot and that I enjoyed as it was an adventure, as an adult I have camped a few times in my life, with perhaps the most memorable being at the Bear Butte campground just outside of Sturgis in 1995. Saturdays nights sleeping arrangements while adequate, had Tania and I moving around on the blow up mattress every time one of us moved and as I said early on Sunday morning “as I think we managed to get to 6am and not 9am” was “that has to be the fourth worst night of my life” with the other three also “funnily enough” having to do with camping, those being 2 nights at the Dolphin Rally in September 2007 and a night we spent with a family of baboons in a cave on my friend Thys’s farm near Kiara Lodge, “but those are stories for another time”.

At least this morning the sun was trying to break through and it was not raining, after a cup of “Roffie” thinks looked up “for those not familiar with army speak, as Mark and Kathleen were in the SANDF and the navy, that is Coffee with a shot of rum, a “Broffie” is brandy and coffee and I am to scared to ask what a “Moffie” is. After the second Roffie and a lekker “free - range egg” omelette on rolls we decide to go for a walk. As is the norm we took camera’s “just in case there was something we may want to photograph, as Mark, Kath and I sometimes take a “few photographs”

Meiringskloof is very nice and while the walk was a tad squelchy from all the rain it was not over strenuous and we saw an old bushman’s cave, a holkrans and a couple of nice weirs and rock pools, one that now has two resident Crocs living in it, “not the round snouted Nile type”, “the R50, Mr Price plastic type”. Mark and I were looking to get down to a better position to take photos of the water cascading over rocks and one of my Crocs decided to go swimming, Mark bravely went Croc hunting but it got stuck in a eddy and try and he might it was lost forever, I thought well I cannot leave the left hand Croc on its own and sent the right hand one to keep it company. Mitchell and gabby also swam as much as they could over the weekend.

After the walk we had wors rolls and chops and just chilled until we arranged a “back yard” cricket game with a few of the kids in the camping site and had some great fun, the girls Tania, Gabby and Kathleen sat and watched while knitting and if there was a particularly good shot or catch then a Mexican wave would be forthcoming. We packed up and left at round 3pm and got home in the rain. Great weekend with “family” and we are planning another camping trip in April to Bergwoning, near Golden Gate, I will also be camping at Greytown 24th – 26th of April with Ryan, “my Boet” at the Mighty Men conference, they are expecting 220 000 men this year, I must say when Ryan asked me if I wanted to go I was in two minds, but I am really looking forward to spending time with him and to experience Angus Buchanan “the faith like potatoes guy”. “Who knows it may just be the weekend that I get to see what I am perhaps missing in my life regards faith and my relationship with the Lord”

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