14, 15 & 16 March 2008
Pics supplied by Mary Nellist
Report by Chris Dobson
The Spinney – Wet and Wild
Participants – Mary Clover & Mark Nellist, Keith & Margaret Ashton Bushy & Pat Kirby, Ossie & Libby Deysel, Hildegard Lenz, Margret Kirsten, Chris Dobson
Owners – Jan & Russel Hobday
We left a rainy Hillcrest mid afternoon on Friday, and an easy trip passed Nottingham Road, which became quite interesting shortly after joining the gravel towards Lower Lotheni, especially if your four tyres are one grade up from Slicks – the ditches become quite inviting. However, only a short distance to The Spinney turn-off, and we were last to arrive.
The Spinney is a small holding consisting of the main house, a rustic outbuilding, and a converted Cash Store, with a very comfortable and well appointed interior, capable of sleeping eight, with a mezzanine for dwarfs, but four very inviting mattresses once you’re up there.
We were treated to a very tasty evening meal, and with good conversation, poddled off to bed with the accompaniment of heavy rain on the roof sheets above.
Saturday morning was clear and a brisk walk along the road to impressive falls on the Nzinga River at the entrance to Umkomazi Reserve, then a quick recce into the reserve, and a hasty retreat back to The Spinney, before the heavens opened, where for me the noble art of catnapping was resurrected.
Our evening braai was over the fire in the lounge, and with a selection of side dishes, washed down with a variety of liquids, it became an amusing interlude. A card game, where the rules appeared to change each round, was lost by everyone except the organizer, and the weather outside did not interrupt an enjoyable evening.
Sunday was one of those wild days where you can’t wait for dawn - clear, cold and very windy. Our walk to Cyprus Cave in the Umkomazi Reserve had to be changed due to a raging Nzinga River, and redirected towards Mackenzie Cave, and able to stretch the limbs on the long uphill pull, and then, all too soon it was time to return.
With an abundance of hotwater, I returned cleaner than when first leaving home, and had to explain just how tough the weekend had been !!!
Our thanks to The Hobday Hosts, Mary and Mark, and a very pleasant time with a few new faces and topics.
1. The Spinney B & B
2. The Inzinga River
3. Playing Pooh Sticks
4. Another lovely day in the 'berg
5. Lunch stop
6. Umkomazi KZN Wildlife