When Renee and I tried to get places in the club outing to Bastiaanskloof in Bainskloof, everything had been taken, so we decided to try our new caravan, and camped at the Tweede Tol site in the Limietberg Reserve, just 5 kilometres to the west. It is a pleasant site and we had an open spot near a fast flowing stream, but, like so many camp sites, the ablutions could do with some renovations.
The rest of the members stayed at the Bastiaanskloof cottages, but three couples who were scheduled to stay in the main cottage were asked if they would mind moving to India House, as the cottage was no longer available – well, it was a complete no-brainer! India House is a magnificent lodge with everything that opens and closes and bathrooms to satisfy even the most fastidious of clients. This was where we met for evening meals and it certainly set new standards for the bird club!!
The birding itself was not fantastic – no fault of the organisers – but there was a strong south-easter, which did not work in our favour. That same wind had meant that Renee and I did not sleep much on Monday night, as the caravan was buffeted wildly and the fly sheets flapped and banged all night!
On Tuesday we visited the Kluitjieskraal Forest area and the associated wetlands. From there we went up the pass behind the reserve and were treated to magificent views across the Wolseley/Tulbagh valley. The veld was beautiful, but we were told not to use the ‘f” (for flower) word as this was a birding trip! Pity, because there were many nice ‘f’s. The same could not be said of the birds and we did not see that many, however the club stalwarts used the opportunity to update their atlas data and will no doubt have made a contribution to the greater knowledge.
On our return to our camp, after a pleasant lunch in Tulbagh, we were distraught to find more wind and more damage to the set-up. We decided that we could not endure another sleepless night, so, with our tails between our legs, we returned to Hermanus, missing the final day of the outing. It was a pity, but we nevertheless had an opportunity to make new friends and to see another part of the world – and to try out the van! We learnt a lot!!
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