Day 11 - off to Bloemfontein

Time to leave Nottingham Road and Fordoun Spa and journey to Bloemfontein for the more serious part of the tour. As this is another travel day, this diary should be fairly short, however, someone obviously realised it was likely to be a slow news day, and contrived to make some - more further down.

After a swift breakfast and van loading exercise, we were on the road again, either choosing to take the fast route along dual carriageways, or the slightly slower scenic route through the Drakensberg mountains. The latter was the preference of many, and was well worth it for the stunning scenery and occasional baboon that it produced. En-route Gary attempted to level the score on the monopoly table, but once again failed, suffering another crushing defeat.

The majority of the team rendezvoused at Shawu Lodge, our accommodation in Bloem, sometime before 6pm, and after some shuffling around of people, rooms and kit, everyone was settled in and enjoying an evening beer by the pool (or in Laurens case, in the pool, but only very briefly due to the Arctic conditions therein). All except for Bus 4.

Day 10 - Fordoun Spa

Our last day in Nottingham Road, and a chance for the team to have a day off and indulge themselves in a variety of pursuits, from battlefield tours to golf, making use of the spa, or driving down to Durban to play the tourist.

The battlefield tour went well, which is amazing when you consider that Steve and Mick had been given directions to the wrong establishment for the commencement of the tour. Apart from looking slightly surprised, they organised everything very efficiently, and nobody would have been any the wiser had Karen not received a call from where they were meant to be going to say they hadn't turned up...

Day 9 - Nottingham Road

Our second full day at Fordoun, and a chance for the team to shoot against Nottingham Road in team formation for the first time. In order to make things more interesting, the team was split into three target teams of the RAF (assisted by Rick Shouler, conscripted in as an unpaid airman), 'Youth and Enthusiasm' (the enthusiasm being provided by Alwyn and Jon) and 'Age and Treachery' (varying levels of age and treachery per team member).

Unfortunately, not all the team were able to make it out for the shooting, CJ having been dubbed as the new diarrhoeist, despite Karen’s attempts to fix him up by means of vitamin C, quadruple whisky and an early night the night before (not necessarily an officially sanctioned medical treatment.)

Day 8 - Nottingham Road

So begins the (somewhat) serious part of the tour, for today we break the seals on our gun boxes and attempt to send small pieces of metal at high velocity through pieces of paper some distance away - yes, the shooting has begun.

The day began with a good breakfast in Fordoun, followed by a short drive to the range at Nottingham Road. First business of the day was checking that all our kit was present and correct, and getting rifles screwed back together after the trip to the southern hemisphere. Unfortunately for Gareth, breaking the seal on his gun box required a key, which wasn't sufficiently geographically close to be of any use (back in the hotel).

Day 7 - Nottingham Road

As recently as we arrived, it's already time to head off from Springbok Lodge, and off to the first of our shooting destinations, Nottingham Road (yes, despite appearances so far, this is actually a shooting tour!)

Before we went, there was a chance for the team to head out on another early game drive, where they sampled the delights of Mocharulas (coffee, hot chocolate and Amarula, all at about 8am) and also the sighting by half the team of one of only two wild cheetahs on the Nambiti reserve - definitely not an experience to be missed, which is unfortunate, as that is exactly what the Land Rover containing the other half of the team managed to do.


Photos and hopefully videos will be added to the website throughout the day.

We currently have about 5000+ photos to select and edit down into sections - this could take some time especially as the team are now at Fordoun Spa Hotel and the Team Manager has discovered the various pools and treatments!