Spring: Another Trip: A travel story

The mountain is abuzz with life and colour.  This is thanks to the generous rains that we have received in the Cape.  The spring flowers are out as well as every kind of beautiful insect you can imagine.  It really is such a gorgeous time of the year.

This is also the time of the year when the whales hug our shores with their brand new calves. Sometimes they come so close in shore that I can see the barnacles on their bodies from my vantage point on my deck here at House Clifton, perched up against the mountain slopes of Lions Head with a sweeping view of the sea below.

Last evening while wandering around the garden enjoying the evening fragrance of the flowers in bloom, I saw one of the three clicking stream frogs that grace my garden, this one looking decidedly fat which makes me wonder if it is about to produce some offspring. Well it is spring!

And now I’m planning another trip, this time to Mozambique. I have on previous occasions had some amazing intrepid excursions to this part of the country; it will be interesting to see what this one brings.

I must look through my files for the written record of one particular trip. Returning after a scuba diving trip from Mozambique to Durban in a light aircraft, where soon after departing the airport we were engulfed in an unprecedented, tumultuous storm. Not being an instrument rated aircraft we were largely dependent on visual navigation…..there was virtually no visibility for the storm had closed in on all sides.

Skimming precariously over tree tops, trying to look for roads to guide us, we suddenly found ourselves over a large lake and then equally suddenly there was this large mass directly in front of us. The pilot’s good reactions and flying skills got us over the top of a huge range of high dunes where we picked up the coast line. We continued flying precariously low, following the shoreline as this provided the best visibility and if we were going to, possibly also the safest place to crash.

The plane was being tossed and buffeted all over the show, up down and sideways, and my body along with it. The pilot sitting next to me began to smell, it was the smell of fear, I realized then that we were in deep trouble.

We repeatedly sent out calls that we were in trouble, our signal eventually got picked up by a Boeing ‘The Springbok” flying directly overhead, they relayed our distress message and location to Virginia airport in Durban, gave our estimated time of arrival, so that if we did not arrive in or around that time, a search party would be despatched.

There were many times that I felt sure we would ditch the plane, but we made it, thanks to the pilot Peter who is one of my dearest and closest friends. There were 4 of us on the flight. Three people being qualified pilots.

I should write about the time Peter and I flew across Africa in this same small aircraft, but that’s another story.

Peter and I on our diving trip off Margaruque one of the Mozambican IslandsDiving off Margaruque


6 thoughts on “Spring: Another Trip: A travel story

  1. LAIRD

    The flight sounds frightening – pleased you wrote it after my recent holiday! Enjoy spring – here autumn has enveloped us in cloud & rain driven by gales !

  2. Judex

    Hello Spring !Kate, you write so beautifully, I could feel the Spring and see the flowers and hear the insects and birds ! Thanks so much to share.I take this opportunity to say something about Autumn in the northern hemisphere.On the other hand, I miss so much Autumn at Laird’s place when and where the leaves turn brown and yellow, The birds preparing to fly away to warmer regions. My last experience of Autums was years ago. I do not remember the months, but the last thing that I still remember was when the Swallows (Hirondels) got together before the take off altogether ! If I remember well, I was in Alsace at that time.Enjoy Spring !

  3. Suki x

    Your description of the Cape sounds fantastic at this time of the year! Enjoy the Spring flowers and the whales it all sounds so wonderful. Your description of the flight in the storm sounds terrifing though, glad you made it back safe and sound, enjoy your next holidayLove Suki x

  4. Kenneth

    I don’t know why so many people fear flying, after all it is the safest way to die !!! But if it had been "me" you were sat next to, during your hair raising flight. It would not have been "fear" you could smell :)Enjoy your spring Kate, sounds like the clickers have already. Lucky them !

  5. LAIRD

    Kenny – I do not have a fear of flying – I even smiled whilst I was watching the life jacket demo – for a journey over Eurasia !!

  6. Kenneth

    Laird. I was not referring to you, I was talking about people in general. Anyway I understand you have overcome your aversion to flying. Just for the record, I do not look when they do the life jacket demo. It brings it too close to home what could happen.


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