The Jaguar and Buffalo

This morning I woke up at Nyati Valley Berg House (Nyati means Buffalo in Zulu. So, along with the Jaguar iPace, which should been called the Panther ’cause it’s black, we’re really getting into the animal theme of our road trip!). Today has been a long, long day. But I’ll tell you about that at the end of this post.

As mentioned yesterday, it was dark when we arrived, so we saw very little when I walked The Fossil at night, except for what I sensed on the other side of the boundary fence. When I took The Fossil for a closer look across the fence it turned out to a Zebra. I wanted to taste it but was pulled away. “Remember what happened when you tried to taste the horse in Hout Bay, Jaxx,” said The Fossil. “You ended up with a few broken ribs from the horse’s back kick!”.

So, Berg House, Nyati Valley, has benches in the garden for pet owners to sit and gaze at the amazing views of the central Drakensberg ranges’ Champagne Castle mountain. According to The Fossil, it’s the second highest peak in South Africa and has other peaks, like Cathkin Peak, Sterkhorn, Monk’s Cowl and Dragon’s Back. I didn’t see any monks or dragons but my curiosity was piqued.

There’s also an Africa shaped boma braai near the swimming pool at the front of the house for people to cook the dragon’s back if they ever find one. The property is really big but there’s no entrance gate and the boundary fencing isn’t secure enough to let dogs roam freely, so I had to keep my harness and leash on at all times.

Inside the big house, there’s 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, each with a bath and a shower. There’s a living room, a dining area, and a fireplace. A fully equipped kitchen with microwave, kettle, fridge, and all the other things needed for people to cook and eat their meals. They don’t even need to bring their own towels and bed linen as everything is provided in the holiday home.

Getting back to our long, long day, we left Berg House at 09h00 this morning. “There’s 177 km of charge left in the car,” observed The Fossil. Plenty to get us back to the N3 and the nearest battery recharge station.” “Famous last words”, I thought, as he set the car’s navigation system and drove the Jaguar iPace (with me sleeping in the back, of course) but when we got to the highway, the station he’d selected was on the wrong side of the highway and about 35 km in the wrong direction.

So he searched the car’s GPS navigation system again and selected a station about 65 km along the highway towards Durban. “That’ll leave us with 45km of battery charge to spare,” he said. “More famous last words”, I thought. Before we got to that station the GPS indicated that one’s off-grid, so we headed for the next one near Mooiriver, about 38 km away.

We were driving along happily when suddenly the car’s dashboard icons started glowing orange. And then angry red with warning chimes telling him to stop the car. Well, he couldn’t. ‘Cause at that point we were driving up some hills with sharp bends where we couldn’t pull over to the roadside verge safely. By the time we got to a straight section of highway at 11h30 the EV car ran out of energy and quit – just 8.8km from the Mooiriver charging station!

After calling JLR Assist (that’s an acronym for Jaguar Land Rover, their new brand) and battling to get the car onto a flatbed tow truck, we got piggy backed to the Mooiriver charge station at 13h40. But that one wouldn’t charge ’cause the battery was too flat, so we set off for the Jaguar dealership in Pietermaritzburg where we arrived at 15h30.

To cut a long story short, we had to leave the EV there and continued our journey to uMdloti at 18h20 driving a Toyota Corolla, which the manager kindly loaned us. Tomorrow, we’ll drive back to Pietermaritzburg and fetch the iPace when it’s battery is fully charged. But that’s another story.

Oh yeah, remember that present from Sharlene at Mystical Pawprints that I mentioned in yesterdays blog post? Well, The Fossil opened it before we left Berg House this morning.

Well, the present contained a duck (not a real one but it does quack when I bite it!), a bottle of PURL foam shampoo, two balls, and a MiKKi hair brush!

That’s all for today. I’ll tell you all about uMdloti when I take The Fossil for walk on his leash on the beach in the morning. Remember, sharing is caring. So, go ahead and click on these HRSA or SPCA donation links to give for my Husky pals (or any other breed of dog or cat).

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