Bloemfontein to Dullstroom
June 19, 2021

We had a 4-hour drive to OR Tambo airport to pick up R&J who flew in from Cape Town today to join our group. We decided to have breakfast at 7:30am so that we could get to JHB airport around midday. That should have also timed it well for arrival of MOSK (or SMOK or SKOM whichever you prefer). I say “should” because just as they were about to board their flight they discovered the plane had a technical issue. If we have learnt anything during Covid times is to take nothing for granted. After a period of time they were told the flight was cancelled and they would move them onto the next flight which was at 3pm! Given they were originally on a flight at 8:30am yesterday (that was also cancelled) and then moved to 10:15am flight, leaving at 3pm was not an option really. Nice one BA! After they got their luggage back, they managed to get seats on another airline which departed at 12:40pm and fortunately it did actually leave then.

Lots of whatsapp’s happened while we were driving (steadily and smoothly – the driving that is!) through the Free State, cross the Vaal River and into Gauteng. We got to OR Tambo airport at around 12:30pm and picked up R&J just around the time MOSK were finally departing from Cape Town. Fortunately they had their own car rental so the plan is that they would just follow after and join us when they could.

It is about a 2 hour 15 minute drive from OR Tambo airport to Dullstroom which is where our next overnight stop is. We stop for lunch on route and arrived late afternoon at Critchley Hackle Lodge ( in Dullstroom. We have stayed here previously and it really is a lovely setting around a Trout stocked pond. Dullstroom isn’t known for its warm temperature though – when we arrived it was 11 degrees C and currently while I type this (6pm) it is now 7 degrees. I reckon it will be a cold night/early morning! Fortunately each of the rooms comes with its own fireplace which may actually need to be used tonight. We had a short walk around the town after we had put down our luggage and then around sunset a group crazily went for a run.

MOSK arrived safely at 5:45pm after a full (long) day of traveling for them. We are delighted that they have joined us safely after the day’s drama. One well known member of our family has been known to say “you can’t fine tune life” and today was a reminder of that truth.

We had drinks in the bar before dinner and then the 13 of us moved to the dining room for dinner. A number of us were looking forward to trout for dinner only to be told they didn’t have any (even though it was on the menu). The second choices were good though and everyone seemed to enjoy the evening. There was live piano music and the one end of the table started guessing the songs while the other end were guessing top 10 countries by GDP per capita. Everyone seemed entertained at least!

Until tomorrow (assuming we don’t all freeze to death tonight … do have fire going in our room now).


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