This week we started targeted trapping for one particular male leopard who is currently collared. Setting up the traps was pretty intense work (more so for Gareth, than I!) but now we just check them around dawn and then reset them again at dusk.
In between we certainly don’t rest – we are out doing long hikes to set up more cameras or collecting old ones. Subsequently I am sleeping rather well.
Last night I was allowed to go and reset the traps on my own! This involves a one hour drive on some interesting 4WD tracks and I felt truly triumphant when I returned sans issue I think I might have earnt a trust brownie point as today I was allowed to drive on my own on a rather hectic 4WD track on the side of a mountain. I’m feeling quiet the adventurer driving the beat up Cape Leopard Trust bakkie (4WD ute) around the Swartberg ranges.
So enough about work for now – hopefully next post will be about the intense times involved in catching a leopard!
Some observations now on South Africa in general, and because it is my main passion at the moment, I will start with the supermarkets. The powers that be have obviously decided that this market likes sweet food. The breakfast cereals generally have some sort of chocolate flavour, there was even one with bubble gum flavour and marshmallows – which Gareth decided to buy just to shut me up and prove that people above 5 years of age eat it.
All the juices and yoghurts are sweetened, the cheese selection is pitiful (no parmesan!) and people looked at me oddly when I asked for chorizo. So from this day forward I will not complain about selection in Australian supermarkets. However, the naartjes (mandarins) which I have previously mentioned are just lekker (good in Afrikaans). They are one of the joys of my day. And I am about to go into mourning as tomorrow I eat my last one and the next supermarket trip is not for a week.
The wine however is a different, happier story. I bought six bottles of great wine and a superb tawny port for the grand total of $42.00 AUD. They are from a local winery called Bo Plaas and with their evil influence my wine behavioural habits are quickly evolving! For instance previously port was only ever drunk to accompany card games and only if it came from a nice oak cask. Now however anytime is a good time to consume this sweet, sweet nectar.
The nights and mornings are getting much colder now. I bought a flannel sheet for my little bed which was easily one of the most inspired ideas I’ve had this year, so cozy! The cooler temps make for brilliant hiking weather, I don’t think I could have come at a better time.
Chow for now my spaghetti bolognese awaits me! Chat soon