Butterflies, Booze and Bakkies

We've been busy!


It feels like I don't have any time to sit down and update the blog so I will break it into two! Mick and Debbie are heading out to an anniversary party and Zoze and I are having a lazy day at home. It's a public holiday here today, making this a long weekend so pretty much everything is closed.

I left off last time after visiting the brewery in Maritzburg. We've packed a lot of activities into these two weeks.

One of the local attractions is Butterflies for Africa, which is actually next door to the brewery. It was a screeching hot day, up in the 90s but we didn't want to just sit around at home! Inside the enormous enclosure, the humidity had to be up in the 90s as well, but the butterflies seemed happy. The lush, tropical foliage provides the ideal environment for them as they flittered around us, some completely camouflaged amidst the plants and flowers. Others, with more vibrant colors were easily visible. A special section had pupa which were actually hatching and we saw a couple of freshly emerged butterflies take their first flights!

Also in the enclosure were a couple of green iguana, which reminded me of my visit to the Green Iguana Sanctuary in Belize!

[box type="info"]Phone : 033 3871356, 37 Willowton Road, Pietermaritzburg 3200, South Africa[/box]

Soon after that excursion, I did my first South African distillery post, which you can see here.

I was so impressed with Andrew at Distillery 031. The enthusiasm and passion he has is so encouraging, given the haze of negativity that unfortunately so often surrounds anything South African. His belief in this country, and more specifically in our province, KwaZulu Natal, makes me want to move back here!

Although I had already been to the Shongweni Farmers Market, it's somewhere Zoze really wanted to go, and I never turn down a visit to any farmers market. As usual, it was wonderful. But this time, we decided to do our shopping first, and not come back on the way out! Last time, by the time we were ready to head home, it was so crowded, we had difficulty making our way through the crowds and some of the fresh goods were already sold out! This time, we prevailed and came home laden with amazing local stuff.

A Ride on the Wild Side

Last Sunday we went out to Tala Private Game Reserve, which is barely 15 minutes from the house. It was a crummy day, gray and a bit drizzly, but despite that, it was wonderful. However, it was a good thing we were in the 4x4 bakkie, or pickup, as the dirt roads were like a slip-and-slide!

The de-horned rhino were sleeping and grazing under the watchful eyes of the permanent armed guards. What a crappy situation! But it was still wonderful to see them and lots of kudu, waterbuck, gnu and zebra. Plenty of springbok were out too, and they are so pretty! We weren't able to get close to the hippos but we could see them on the opposite side of the dam from where we were in the hide. The giraffe also made themselves scarce, which was sad.

But I thoroughly enjoyed the drive. This is the kind of thing that is taken for granted here in this country. Living abroad for so long, I so appreciate it and for those who have never been to South Africa, be afraid, be very afraid, because once she bites, she never lets go!

[box type="info"] R603 Umbumbulu Road, Camperdown, Pietermaritzburg, KZN, South Africa. 031 781 8000, info@tala.co.za [/box]

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