Sunday, 21 February 2010

Day 12: Fishing on the Sabie River

Friday 7th August 2009

This was our last full day in South Africa, and I was allowed to spend it fishing while Harriet and Izzi pottered around the town. Fly fishing is very popular in that part of the world, and there was an excellent shop in the town where I spent a long time (and many Rands) finding out about it. There was no problem in hiring the necessary tackle, as I hadn't brought anything with me.

I became a temporary member of the Sabie Fly Fishing Club, which owned the rights to a 5km stretch of the Sabie "River". Not much of a river - more of a small stream - mostly overgrown, and overlooked by a huge plantation and saw mill.

Not the most attractive of locations, but it was fun to relax a bit and have a day on my own. The fishing was slow - I managed a couple of small rainbows - but that didn't matter. What was more of a problem was the mud, which had to be traversed in less than ideal footwear.

Given that we had a longish drive to Nelspruit ahead of us, Harriet phoned me about 2:45 to say that my time was up. Reluctantly I headed back to the tackle shop to drop off the items I'd borrowed, and then we drove south towards our final destination for the holiday: the Hawkshead Holiday Camp, about 15km out of Nelspruit. The cottage there was fine, except the whole area was incredibly noisy due to its proximity to a motorway, the N14.

We attempted to get some food at the local shops, but gave up very quickly since they turned out to be a petrol station and a rather seedy looking liquor store. We then did what seemed a good idea at the time: namely to drive into Nelspruit to find a Nandos, or equivalent. Big mistake! The driving was incredibly hairy as there is no central reservation on South African motorways and the local inhabitants seemed ambivalent as to which side of the road they should drive on. In the end we gave up looking for a restaurant, opting instead for a Super-Spar where we bought food to cook back at the cottage. The last braai of the holiday was a bit hit and miss, owing to the fact that the outside light was broken. Come to think of it, the bedroom light was broken too, along with several other things in the cottage. All in all, fairly typical of South African accommodation!