Ratelfontein – Day 3

13 Jan

We woke up to a chilled yet sunny day and were greeted by deers. A few adults and some babies were playing by the puddles of water in front of the main house. One have to be as quiet as a mouse so as to not frighten them, which turned out to be difficult.

Here is just one, before it ran off.
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So we went and fed the geese instead. They are much more tame – food helps!

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Then Killian went exploring the surroundings, very slippery surroundings with mud everywhere and the result was this with a very unhappy Killian.

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But after a change of clothes, we went out for a walk and stopped at every little – and not so little – insect that one can imagine.

We saw giant ants, rice ants and anthills, looong black millipedes, dung beetles, toc toc beetles, locusts, dragonflies, chameleons, fresh water crabs, scorpions, bats…

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Who knows what lives in this hole but the ranger told us never to face the hole in case it comes running out…

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This poor chameleon has been touched, moved, passed, stroked… and by the time we were finished with him, it probably felt totally spent 🙂
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These two crabs were quite funny. the one was the non adventurous one, safely staying tucked away in a hole. The other one was the Stanley Livingstone of crabs (ou pour les francais, le Nicolas Hulot des crabes!). it wanted to come down these rocks where water was pouring down and it was – literally – hanging by one pinch!

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It looks like it’s falling but it isn’t! It made it to the safe hole where it wanted to go 🙂
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I couldn’t get a picture of the blue dragonfly so i got a picture of Rebecca taking a picture of the blue dragonfly. her zoom is much better than mine!

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And these two looking at something very interesting,

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Two big tortoises 🙂

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In the afternoon we had another storm – I know, the Karoo is supposed to be a desert but it rained 32 ml in two afternoons!! Nonetheless after the sky lightened up a bit, Eugene and Celia took us for a short drive. In fact shorter than expected because Celia who was driving the one ranger got stuck in the mud. Properly stuck!! She went aside of the road to avoid the mud and to avoid ruining the road but didn’t realise that the side of the road was like a swamp. Knee-high deep!

Ok, maybe ankle-deep …
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Fortunately Eugene is very well equipped and went to fetch THE car, the big double cabin land rover with the winch and took Celia’s car out in two moves. Killian thoroughly enjoyed this and Eugene is definitely his new hero!

On our way back, Mervyn tried to take us to see the wet land but the roads were too muddy and he didn’t want to damage them. So after a three (maybe four 😉 ) point turn, and after ‘fixing’ our tracks, we went back home for another lekker dinner by the calm sunset of the peaceful Karoo…

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