After trundling back over the border of Mozambique in to Swaziland, we arrived at another safari park, no worry about being eaten alive…but maybe being trampeled on by a rhino, as this was one of the main place for rhino, a small safari but it had a pool, yes I know so what but…..after so many hours driving we all decided to go in the pool, against the recommendations of TJ….you gotta remember its was winter in south africa and despite the fact it was well in to the 30’s, well lets just say not taking the advice of a guy who lives in south africa I just went and jumped straight in and then immediatly jumped out.. wow it was cold!!! But being the person I am I decided it wasn’t going to beat me, and lowered myself in for the second time, well chaps you know what happens when you get in really really ice cold water…..that’s all I’ll say on the matter. Okay once the initial shock had died off either that or lost all feeling in my body, I clambered out and decided to baked myself in the sun, beer in hand.

That evening we had a feast of fish and chips cooked on a camp stove….bizarre again…but so dam good both us and the wildlife agreed…so much so that ninyala decided to have a face off with TJ….

Okay picture this, darkness descended (it went dark quick!) all around the trees glinting in the moonlight a camp fire providing warmth for 6 of us, snapping and crackling away. When from behind and out of the darkness we hear the rustling of our bin bag, we spin round head torches on catching the eyes of a horned beast, (am I building enough suspense) and I tell you the horns were at least 2 maybe 3 ft, again another bit of fortune, they say they are more scared of us more then we of them, speak for yourself I say!!

After three or four attempts to shuu it, and naming it travis, placing his beer bottle amougst his own collection of about six other empty bottles, we had been drinking a while, up stood the 6ft 2 south african and walked towards the beast, the face off began. Head torch in the eyes of the beast shining with blues and oranges, shinning in the light and cigarette in mouth, TJ’s torch lit smoke exhaling casually in a slow smooth manor face to face they stood, I got up (not quite as brave as TJ, oh I kept my distance handed TJ a stick), another exhale and a bang of the stick…….hang on before I go on….if you can imagine some spaggetti western tune playing in the background, it will add to the effect…thanks, another bang and a tiny step forward the beasts head dipped as if to launch its attack, exhale and eye contact remained, TJ banged the stick and edged forward, the beast raised its head and lowered again and edged closer (okay this was literally less then 1m away from TJ). A final frail of the arms, and a bang of a stick and an exhale…..the beast retreated in the dark dark forest. Oh come on its a good story!

TJ as cool as you like sat down and was handed another beer, he was asked did you not think it was going to attack… “no mate, he couldn’t see me I was shining the torch in his eyes”, “what about when he lowered his head” i asked….. “He was only smelling” came the response with a swig of beer after.

Was yet another amazing experience. Back over the South African border would be the next trip for the final night in a backpackers place.

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