The Inkungu ducks departed from Durban in two vehicles at 9am on Thursday morning, making their way to Inkungu Lodge developed in the majestic Champagne Valley in Central Drakensberg.
We arrived at Inkungu Lodge just after 2pm and were taken aback by the breathtaking 360 degree views of the mountain ranges. Immediately we got a taste of Mike and Paddy’s hospitality and were treated to a delicious lunch of lasagna, homemade bread rolls and a mixed salad, enjoyed by all at the edge of the rim flow pool on the deck with the majestic mountains as backdrop.
The Inkungu Ducks relaxing at the rimflow pool enjoying sundowners.
With full tummies, a few of the Inkungu ducks set off in Sheila’s 4x4 to the Drakensberg Sun for a short ‘flat’ hike to the Blue Grotto Caves. Sheila’s description of a ‘flat’ route was a bit generalised, as the route was more uphill there and downhill back. Sheila’s reply to the moans and groans about the uphills, was ‘the hills will sort themselves out’. Then of course this hike was a hike with a twist. The girls planned a topless photographic session between the rocky outcrops at the Blue Grotto waterfall. The expedition was of course planned for late afternoon and the register was carefully scrutinized to confirm that no one else was still en route to or from the Blue Grotto. The shoot was immediately co-ordinated and rehearsed with everyone’s kits still in tact. But just as it was decided that everything was well rehearsed and that the tops can fly, a stray hiker appeared out of nowhere all on his own and leisurely strolled around our scene snapping away with his camera at the scenery … as if he had a premonition that his going to strike it lucky with four topless Inkungu ducks sprawling around in the bush. Some more rehearsing took place and no sooner had the lonesome hiker left, did the tops fly and some serious posing was on the cards. Yours truly had to do all the leg work too, from, over water and boulders as the camera was set up on a tripod in the middle of a stream and the self-timer function was used, so as to include myself in the shots.
Suddenly, out of nowhere two huge male baboons came tumbling down the rock face in front of us, engrossed in a serious fight of their own with pink jaws and white teeth flashing. The Inkungu ducks broke the record for the fastest dressers without a blink. Me and Jeanette were shaking with fear as the adrenalin was rushing. Obviously the two male baboons were just as shocked seeing the white flesh of four Inkungu ducks sprawled over a rock face, and made their way up another rock face and disappeared into the bush. With the adrenalin subsiding, another topless scene was created and some more shots were taken.
Most of Friday was spent scrapping in the boardroom. By midday clouds were appearing on the horizon and a strong wind blew in. The temperature dropped and it became quite nippy towards the evening. Late afternoon some of the Inkungu chicks and one chuck once again piled into Sheila’s 4x4 making their way to visit Sweet Pea. Sweat Pea is a Duiker which was rescued from a veld fire minutes after she was born. Mike and Paddy Behr (Inkungu Lodge’s Management) raised Sweat Pea who became another loved member of the family which sometimes thinks she is a dog. She loves to lie on a bed whenever allowed inside the house. The only scars she has left from the fire are the tips of her ears which have burnt and did not grow back again. Sweat Pea felt like a celebrity with the Inkungu Paparazzi visiting her and was pouncing around showing off her best features, hardly affording the Paparazzi a second or two to capture her delicate beauty. But she was very generous in sharing her love with the Paparazzi in giving each Paparazzi member a kiss. Her natural beauty is mainly the result of her love for apples, carrots, Wisteria and Jasmine flowers.
I have to mention Carol’s pet, which she kept secretly in her and Shelley’s bathroom, and nowhere else but in the toilet of all places. Carol announced at one dinner sitting that she has just flushed their toilet and saw two legs disappearing down the toilet bowl and she thinks it could be a frog, but is not certain. Of course everyone wanted to know what colour the legs were and how big. But Carol said that it happened so fast that she could not really distinguish anything but two legs. Needless to say, no one believed her. So she went to relate her story to Mike and Paddy at reception which gave her one look and said that she clearly had one sherry too many. Carol gasped in disbelief as no one believed her story. The next morning and breakfast Carol once again announced that when she got up during the previous night she spotted the owner of the two legs i.e. which was a frog, and scooped it up with something’s lid and left Mr Frog in the bath. Very pleased with herself that at last she had the hard evidence to make everyone eat their words, she went to bed again. But Mr Frog did not play along and was nowhere to be seen the next morning. And once again everyone just listened to Carol’s story and proceeded to think that she is clearly seeing visions during the night. Sunday morning arrived and as everyone was busy checking out, Carol beckoned the first person she could get hold of to come and see themselves that she was not having visions. Alas, there on the floor in their bathroom was the smallest frog I have ever seen, no more than 2cm long. Carol of course said that the one she had seen was much bigger and that there is definitely another one …. well now we will never know whether there were two or more frogs. Must say that the frogs must get quite dilly of continuously being flushed away, or they are enjoying the ride and keep on coming back for the next one.
Saturday, was cold and rainy and ideal weather for some scrapping therapy and everyone made good use of this, getting up to speed with their scrapping projects. A shot of sherry now and then kept the moods and bodies warm. During the day numerous calls came through on the cell phones with jubilant voices announcing that it was snowing all around the central berg and round about 5pm Sheila came running through shouting snow, snow, snow and everyone was following her outside. The mist cleared for a brief while and the snow capped mountain peaks were visible. What a beautiful sight. Unfortunately the light wasn’t very good for photos and everyone was putting in their orders for blue skies on Sunday morning.
View from the rimflow pool at Inkungu Lodge on Sunday morning
Sunday morning arrived with the immediate surrounding mountains still covered in a blanket of mist, but the skies were blue. During breakfast everyone had their gaze settled on the blanket of mist which was gradually lifting from the snow covered peaks. Without much deliberation it was unanimously decided during munching breakfast, that the Inkungu entourage will set off after checking out to Injesuthi, about 45 minutes drive, to perhaps see more snow. We were well awarded with beautiful white capped mountainous scenery on our way to and at Injesuthi. And of course the paparazzi were once again out in full force capturing the breathtaking scenery. It was decided whilst saying goodbye at the Injesuthi base camp, that our next spring scrapping breakaway should be a 5 night/6 day breakaway at Injesuthi itself. And of course you Doing Lifers can still see the green glow up here in Gauteng, as the girls going back to Durban all stopped over at Mooi River and Nottingham Road where the snow was abundant and they could build snowmen and bomb each other with snow balls. Us Gautengers reluctantly took the four and half hour drive back, but not before we had a pit stop for lunch at the majestic Little Switzerland in the Berg. Thanks to all the Inkungu chicks and chucks for making this berg breakaway a memorable one indeed. Doing Life also would like to thank Mike and Paddy Behr as well as Jani for all the little things they did to make our break even more special, it definitely did not went unnoticed. If you ever make your way to the Central Drakensberg, make sure you spend a few nights at Inkungu Lodge. Apart from everything else, the food is absolutely delicious and abundant.
The kits for the three layouts that the Inkungu Ducks did are available over at Doing Life's Shoppe. The kits are:
Koo36: Nobody Trips Over
- Snow struck signing off