When we were asked if we were ready for the cold during our holiday in the Free State, our reply was “Of course.”
Well I commend myself for being so naive. We left sunny Dubai at 4 am on Friday morning and it was a toasty 38 degrees, we landed in Johannesburg at 11am and it was a bearable 12 degrees. Well we thought we were set and off we went towards our destination. By the time finally got home at 17:30 the tempreture had dropped but not substantially. Our first night on the farm was a fabulous evening filled with laughter and good wine. While it was chilly we coped rather well and by Saturday afternoon we were happily braai’ing outside but by Sunday the weather started to deteriorate. As a celebration for my In Laws 33rd wedding anniversary we went to local Lion and Cheetah farm to mingle with the animals. Daniel was not so keen on the baby lion cubs but he was happy to chase the geese. One of the farm residences was a pair of breeding Emus and my future sister in law is not a fan of birds in general so to her the Emu following us around was highly disconcerting. As we walked around the farm a strange drumming sound and no matter where we were we could hear drums. Eventually after seeing the last pair of breeding lions we realised that the weird noise was coming from the flipped emu! It sounded exactly like a base drum! My poor SIL had had enough and her and the youngsters made a beeline for the local bar for a toot.
After a lovely lunch at the Rosendal Hotel where we basked in the sun like a bunch of dassies we headed home but the closer we got to home the colder and colder it got. But the whole 3 degrees was made alot more bearable by the roaring fire!
By the time we got to bed the temps where hovering at freezing and by the time we woke up the next morning we have sub zero minus 3! The cold hit me like a solid wall of snow but alas there was no white blanket on the gardens. But as we scrambled into the main house to the living room and the warm fire and I was forced admit that after so many years in the desert was wholly unprepared for the Free State winter but we have loved every moment of the refersshingcold and we are looking forward to the snow that’s due to fall later this week.