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- 22.04.18 / 9am
Far Horizons - The Great Karoo
Early one crisp evening I stroll alone from the patio of my cottage in South Africa's heartland of the Great Karoo into the surrounding scrubby bush. Purple mountains ring the horizon and fluffy clouds scud across the lavender arch of the sky. The air is pure and sweet.
A loud hiss stops me in my tracks. A large, beady-eyed tortoise is telling me to get out of the way. I know it's a leopard tortoise because of its attractive spotted back. I've read they can live up to 75 years. They are found throughout our African savannas, from Sudan to the southern Cape. What I didn't know is that they hiss loudly and can look quite intimidating – especially when they meet a stranger. I take a step back. Do tortoises bite? It gives me another glare before lumbering on its way.
The shadows lengthen; the mountains etched against a reddening sky. The cats sit up, groom themselves, stretch, drink from a nearby puddle and begin to amble off when the mother spies a steenbok in the distance.
GO TO THE FOLLOWING LINK TO SEE THE REST OF MY STORY PUBLISHED IN CITY PRESS 15TH APRIL 2018