Geology weekend (2). 15- 17 June 2018.

And finally we come to Borakalalo!   Many of us have been chomping at the bit to visit Bora of which we have heard many a tale.   The road there is interesting to say the least, but dodging potholes and pothole “repairers” was certainly worth it.

From the moment we arrived we knew that Bora is very different from Pilanesberg.  There is a much more “wilderness” feel to the Fish Eagle camp site – for one the grass is longer and the regular call of the fish eagles gives it a different feel.

Night fell quite suddenly and with it came the cold!  Couldn’t say we weren’t warned.

SATURDAY, 16th June 2018

On Saturday a number of half frozen aspiring Honorary Officers (HO’s) crawled out of their respective tents in strange and wonderful attire. We even had a Panda amongst us!  It took a while for us all to thaw, and then it was off to the lecture hall.

What an honour to meet and enjoy the lectures by Prof.  Judith Kinnaird.   She is exceedingly knowledgeable and has the rare quality of igniting excitement about ……  wait for it ….  ROCKS!

We learnt much about the wonders of nature beneath our feet.  We played with stones and pebbles, with acid and glass, and rocks and rocks (and more rocks).

Listening to the stone stories of the old quarry

An interesting visit to the old quarry followed, where Judith, Ian and Bevan read the stories told by the cliffs around us.  I for one will never drive past a quarry again without wondering what the writing in the walls are whispering about, what secrets they can tell and what they have witnessed.

Keeping warm at the bonfire

On Saturday evening the whole group met around a lovely bonfire where we talked and chatted about everything under the sun.  Bevan proved to be a “master breadmaker” and had us all coveting a beautiful cheese and peppadew loaf.   He kindly shared generous helping with us all.

SUNDAY, 17th June 2018

Sunday’s lectures blew a couple of minds.  Judith has the amazing ability to entice and tease, and make a difficult subject interesting. We learnt about plate tectonics and continental drift – all very topical when one considers the current volcanic activity all over the news.

The Pitjane hill slopes

A walk up the slope to visit the rock face near the Klipvoor Dam wall was a pleasant experience.

Just pretend I am not here

While the students were getting up and personal with the rock face, a sleepy monitor lizard gave some of us a real fright.   After a gentle stroll down the hill, we explored the differing soils on the catena and then it was time to go home.

Bora was certainly a pleasant surprize and we are looking forward to our next visit.

Ed’s Note: Special thanks to student Annette for providing us with this account of her Geology weekend and the monitor. As Ulrich would say “it must be a rock monitor because it’s on a rock.”

Bushveld Mosaic a course for the curious, fun loving, serious, passionate or career-minded nature enthusiast!

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