30th June 2011 w/p 750 S 26’ 29.432 E 031’.06 041 altitude 1350mts
It was a horrible departure from that beautiful place high on top of that Swazi Mountain ….a Lairds Scottish Castel …….we hope those SooLoos we purchased as a small departing gift ( beautiful crafted grass chicken coops) are working and those chickens are laying lots of eggs.
Swazi SooLoos beautiful hand made chicken coups/nesting boxes.
We will never forget your kindness smiles that infectious laugh and those rubbing hands…plus that Cayenne pepper I am still taking……100% Chris…..100%
THANKS SO MUCH TO THE THOMSONS AND THEIR WONDERFUL HOUSE ……QWABITI……..which has a wonderful translation from SiSwati, meaning ………..A BLINK OF AN EYE….
A BLINK OF AN EYE…………and we are gone time moves on, just that terrible feeling of leaving such a wonderful family …when will we be back I think….. When will we ever be back?
The weather is wonderful as we get ready to leave trying to find space as we pack the last bits and bobs into Victor, A perfect blue sky bends over the horizon with a soft cool breeze drifts up from below, rustling the native bushes along Qwabities mountain edge. Qwabiti sits at 1361 mtrs and the views are stunning, you can sit for hours drinking in the constant changing atmospheres, her mood swings we shall miss.
Several adult grey monkeys sit below on an out crop of rocks scratching and doing what monkeys do chatting away mothers with 2 small babies picking over their siblings soaking up the sunlight.
There are some many native birds I am constantly trying to identify them with great pain I scan over those bird books but just spotting them is reward enough.
Soaring Yellow billed Kites silently perch into the breeze stationery they wait their motionless bodies, there distinctive wedged tail hover waiting for their opportunity…..what perfection…what a landscape.
My soul drinks the last views of the rolling countryside stretched out below, those brilliant earth red roads cutting through the pine and pineapple plantations like a multi shaded tapestry ……something you would see from a floating hot air balloon drifting across the landscape below.
The dry winter air is cool at this altitude the tall Oaks have lost all there leaves like giant naked skeletons their golden leaves lay thick on the ground.
I crunch the fallen leaves under my feet heading towards Victor and Elayne that wonderful smell wafts from the fallen foliage imprinting the memory deep into my mind’s eye.
Jeremiah and John and Moses Qwabiti staff say their goodbyes shaking hands in the African way 3-4 handshakes their hard working hands and soft smiles say it all.
I feel tired, worn out, fearful, my emotions are running, adrift cut loose, I struggle to make sense of it all, outwardly everything looks in control but that is all an illusion …its tough to leave.
I press Victors start button and once again he rumbles into life, all is packed and once again our adventure begins , the reality, of not knowing what will happen to us , will Victor make it, will we be safe is swirling around my head, those last dizzy thoughts racing around my head as we cut our anchor.
Tough is not the word leaving such good friends and this wonderful place with all its amenities swapping all this for flimsy canvass walls a car with no locks made from disregarded materials heading into Africa.
All squeezed in Elayne and I wave our last farewells……………Victor slowly departs Qwabiti drifts from my sight, my heart still there.
The road was silent not a word was spoken Elayne and I with very wet eyes, as we drive away, the red dusty track leading down the mountain heading towards Oshoek the Swazi border to the West our first destination.
All chocked up, words unable to make sense blurred vision I’m not sure I ever want to go through this again. The red earthy dust beats from Victor’s wheels as we make our way through the high pine plantations weaving our way down the mountain track the mountain air is cool and crisp wafting through Victor the smell of pine sap tingling the our noses ,we could be in the Scottish highlands it is so alike so gripping, your soul is at home.
2 Large bucks jump across the track (Eland I think) they could well have been Stags their breath taking leap across the mountain track breaking the silence ….but still no comment from Victor’s crew still in numbed silence we sit, the scenery all stunning makes it even more painful to leave such a beautiful place on earth its captivating embrace amplified by the people we have meet in Swaziland so small in size, so humbling a Kingdom people, yet so big in our affections.
John had managed to arrange an extension not only for our extended stay in Swaziland but miraculously arranged somehow (after we visited the S/A high commission in Mbabane and spoke directly with the ambassador ….it was not possible to extend our already extended S/A visa) to have now a NEW South African Visa allowing us to stay for another 3 months was a real blessing having no problems crossing back into South Africa.
Swazi Customs was just the formalities those big brown eyes peering out of the windows…..what type off vehicle is that we are asked…….its homemade I reply ………is this the car made from old pipes and used parts …..Yes I reply……..the car in the Swazi Times……..Yes……the questions go on…..my son saw this car at his school one customs official remarks…..yes we reply we are so glad you remember Victor…..Is Victor the cars name the customs officials ask….Yes we reply as they are all fascinated with a car called Victor.
Most of the Customs officers and police are now outside waving us goodbye…we are off and our last farewells to Swaziland hoping to return in the future.
We look back to those wonderful Swazi Mountains my school boy memories come flowing back those bare breasted Zulu Swazi warriors and colourful costumes those National Geographic Magazines all make more sense now we have been here…..QWABITI…..A blink of an eye….