This time, Ingrid watched the kids while Dad took David and I on one of his routes. There was no wind and lovely crisp sunshine. All the monkeys were out on the ground - we saw some troops of almost 50 vervet monkeys rushing from the ploughed cane fields to the treeline when they saw us approach, some carrying pieces of cane. They were particularly angry with The Dog (Charlie) and made ferocious barking chortles at him from the safety of the canopy. Unfortunately I was unable to get close enough for a decent shot.
|Dad vanishes down a road towards the river.|
|Washing day under the highway.|
We also noticed a security guard posted to watch some huge sections of pipe that had been assembled by the road works. I can imagine the pipes (about 5 feet in diameter) would make a good shelter in the rain.
The Bad Biting Dog
Dad has been making a lot of effort to socialize the dogs and we have not had another biting incident. That said, we are careful to keep the kids away from unsupervised contact with them, especially Charlie. Wren had a chance to feed the dogs today and I also had some time with Charlie, without snapping.
|Charlie at the river.|
The ride itself was a mix of easy riding along the river and an extremely long and strenuous climb up to the ridge. David reached the top first, followed by me and then Dad (who has a bit of a cold and is feeling under the weather but denying it because That Is His Way.) Anyway ...
I kept thinking how much Frost would enjoy the ride and that, but for the tricky patches of fine deep red sand which bog your tyres and make the bike unsteady, it was an easy ride.
|Me: Call Charlie! MONKEYS!! He will catch a monkey!|
Dad: Oh, another monkey. He hasn't a chance of catching one.
|Dad pushing up a very sandy patch of hillside.|
We saw a few birds, fewer than I expected, but Dad was excited to see a yellow billed kite, least I think that was what it was, newly returned from the winter away from the region. Looking across the reeds we saw only a few weavers. The most excitement (beside the hundreds of monkeys) was David seeing a duiker escaping through the brush below the road.
|Below the Campbell House looking for birds|
Frost in sloth
Frost has been pretty languid and still prefers to stay at home unless a particularly child-enticing outing is planned. He is building many warhammer guys (although we have yet to locate a shop selling the spray paint needed for the undercoat) and Orion has been letting him watch TV shows of questionable suitability on the laptop. Orion and David's room seems to be the boys' den where TV on computer is watched, music is played and sleep occurs at all hours of the day. Frost wants to be one of the guys and hangs out there when he can.
Tomorrow, I hope to take him for a ride and get him out a bit more. We are also planning to do some math practice (ahem) which has not happened since we arrived.
|The Ohlanga River - meaning "reeds" in the Zulu language.|
Umhlanga is named as the place of these reeds.