May Day 7: umlahlankosi & amaqanda aluhlaza

After a night of tasty, poly unsaturated fat from like, twenty ducks, courtesy of Dargle Ducks  at Eiden and Malcolms’ place we had to set off back to the river that we all know and love.

I really did not feel like hacking through brambles or looking like a porcupine from the black jacks – so I was hoping for green pastures, veld grass, indigenous forest or the rock hopping that I am really fond of.

The highlight came during the first few minutes when I realised that we had hit a stretch of Ziziphus mucronata (Buffalo thorn, umlahankosi) trees along the banks. As most of you know, the Buffalo thorn trees are very significant in African-Nguni culture in the sense that we use the branches to communicate with and collect estranged spirits and lead them to their peaceful, final resting place. I found a mighty big one around the river bend that begged me for a hug. To tap into that ancient energy was the most amazing feeling.

We then crossed the river and hopped over another fence and were greeted by scree slopes where the dassies dwell. This was great because we were made part of the  “Adopt a Dargle Dassie“ programme by Dargle Conservancy.  So we spent ten minutes of quality time gazing at them from across the river, at that very moment the Jackal Buzzard was circling above.

That was one of the many pleasant stretches we had today.

We had what I call a lazy Sunday.

We were dawdling about through veld grasses, crossing swamps, passing the most pump stations that we have encountered on the walk so far.

The great thing is river health wise, things are still good and the water is still pleasant to drink according to the locals.

I had always thought one would find Springbok in the Karoo or some semi-desert area, which I’ve never been to.  When we were walking below the massive soya patches I gazed across the river bank and I saw what I thought was a Blesbok herd but no! It was just one and the rest were Springbok. So there was my first sighting of the “pronking” beings.

I make a habit of chatting with the farm workers and asking where we are and how everything was going.  I then saw a strange bird which the worker said was called an ‘Intshe’ and was told it laid ‘amaqanda aluhlaza’ (blue/green eggs) so that was suprising. I don’t think I’d like to eat any.

We walked 12.8 km today through the most beautiful scenery of the Dargle arriving at the home of Gavin and Kath Coulson, our hosts for the night.  The team would like to thank them for the lovely dinner and gracious hospitality.

Posted by Penz Malinga (aka Herbivore Malinga – who most definitely did not partake of the roast duck)


About Nikki Brighton

I live in Howick, between the river and the hills. I enjoy pre-dawn walks in the streets with my dog, sitting on the veranda with crochet and tea, and harvesting vegetables outside the kitchen door.
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One Response to May Day 7: umlahlankosi & amaqanda aluhlaza

  1. Dean de Chazal says:

    Penz darling, the fat of duck is’good for you’. As I like to say it “gives you wings”, to get you over the brambles and black-jacks and keep the water off your back. Mike please keep Miss Malinga under your wing. Well done DUCKED for one week done. I will give all members of your team 2 free frozen ducks (and to Miss Malinga – 2 live ducks) which must be collected at the Dargle Local Market, first Sunday of any month.

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