The end of our wedding video shows us holding hands, romantically walking into the sunset. That is NOT how it happened.
A room was booked for our first night at a pretty B & B called Mount Grace. It was getting late and it was going to take a few hours to get there. We waved goodbye to everyone and got into our new second hand VW Golf. It wouldn’t start. Tony tried again and again, but no joy. I piled into Wilf and Val’s car with the cake, gifts and other members of the family while Tony and the guys tried to get it going.
When we realised it wasn’t going start, Rig said we could use his car. I met Tony back at Rig and Sue’s and off we went on honeymoon. At last.
Mount Grace: Let’s just say, we didn’t see the light of day.
I had tele-booked a few places in and around the Kruger National Park. The only thing we had to go by were the brochures sent to us in the mail. Our plan was to make our way around White River and Nelspruit in North Eastern Natal.
After a night and a day at Mount Grace, we drove to our next destination. It sounded and looked amazing in the brochure. It was a difficult place to find and arriving in the dark didn’t help. There was no-one at the gate when we got there, so I stayed in the car while Tony went to find the guard. He showed us to our room by the light of his torch and we unpacked the car. It was pitch dark. There was one dim light bulb in the room and that was enough for us to see what we needed to see. It was a tiny, dingy room with just enough room for small double bed. It was smoky and smelt like burnt porridge. We picked up our stuff and put it back in the car. The guard found the owner and we managed to get our money back. We took off into the darkness and found a place for our second night.
It was an adventurous, wonderful week. I had my first birthday as a married woman and was spoilt rotten. The highlight was our 3 days in the Kruger.
Tony had been among some wild people but never among wild animals. We drove around and found a mother elephant with her calf. The road we were on separated them from each other. We drove between them and Tony decided he wanted another, closer look. He got into reverse and went quite close to the baby. Mummy didn’t like that. She started to trumpet and charge us. In his panic Tony couldn’t get the car out of reverse. I was shouting and he was grinding the gears. Somehow we managed to leave her in the dust.
When our three days were up, we drove North. We hadn’t booked but we were sure we would be able to find a place to stay. We drove in the direction of Johannesburg and stopped at every motel, hotel and guest house on the way; there was nothing. Every place was fully booked so we kept on driving, and driving and driving. Before we knew it we were back at our cottage. Poor Betty was shocked and horrified when we knocked on the door. She couldn’t stop apologising for being in our bed while we were still on honeymoon. We made up a mattress in the lounge and fell dead asleep. We were exhausted.
We had driven five hours through the night looking for a place to stay. It was so nice to be in our cottage. There was no place like our first home. Even if my mother-in-law was there.