2 Girls, 15 Guns, some Rabbits and a Pig


It is that time of year where office parties reign!  I was invited as a guest to a end of year function yesterday by my brothers company.  It was a function for suppliers and clients.

My brother decided to do something out of the box this year and arranged for a day at the Clay Target shooting range at the Waterhaven Country Estate.  I run an IT company so I offered to sponsor a few gifts.

I have never shot a gun before so decided to take up the challenge and take part.  It was a typically male orientated day so I was one of 2 women.

I left home early that morning to drop kids off at school in a short little summer dress.  The weather did not look fantastic but there was blue sky and I thought the day would improve. By the time I had done the school run, the clouds had come over and rain looked imminent.  So I went back home to change into something more suitable – jeans and a t-shirt!

I arrived with my fellow compatriot as we agreed that us girls would stick together.  We had to travel along a dirt road for quite some time to get there and it had been raining heavily over the last few days so I was rather grateful I drive a 4×4.  Needless to say we took the wrong road and ended up going a little further out than we anticipated and ended up doing some real 4×4’ing.  (So glad I went on that 4×4 course – read blog post here) We eventually figured out we had gone too far and doubled back.

Eventually we arrived at the Waterhaven Estate.  Everyone was there already and socialising.  It was beautiful out there.  There was a “lapa” area and we were welcomed with coffee and muffins.  The bar would be open after lunch.

As pictures tell a thousand words I’m going to go through the day pictorially where possible.

View from the Lapa

One of the shooting ranges

Coffee and Muffins

The Bar

Our minders for the day

I was introduced to our minders and our hosts.  Our hosts were David Tweddell and Cathrene Walton.

We would be broken up into 4 groups, each with a minder.  I had an interesting conversation with David about clay target shooting and he explained quite a few things to me.  Things like it was important to know which eye was dominant.  It so happens I am left eye dominant – meaning it was recommended that I need to close my left eye while aiming (although this doesn’t work for everyone and you do what is best for you).  He also explained the gauges to me and the grams of the shells.  We would be using 12 gauge shotguns and 21 gram shells (hope I got that right).  Apparently 34 grams is typical but the recoil is a lot worse and as I was new at this, we would be using 21 grams.

He then went on to show me how to stand.  Feet apart with the left leg slightly in front – facing forward and leaning forward, giving your body space to move back.  Legs straight.  It was important to have the shotgun tucked into your shoulder and your cheek resting on the shotgun, otherwise the recoil would result in the shotgun hitting you in the face.

So us ladies were allocated 4 clipboards and we had to assemble 4 teams.  Once all done, we started heading out – each team to a different range.

My team (of 3) ended up at the most difficult range first – called “the Wobble”.  The target doesn’t shoot out in the same direction all the time and randomly shoots out wherever. Rather challenging for my first time.

The wobble
The Wobble machine

Our minder (Mark) showing us how it’s done

Yeah – we had some comical moments too

Me taking instructions

Needless to say, I didn’t manage to shoot anything here – it’s my first time anyway so I decided not to count these points (I’m allowed to cheat).

So we then moved onto the “Rabbit”.  This is where the clay target comes out from the side and rolls on the ground.

Actually managed to shoot something here – got 4 out of 5 – Whohoo!

My fellow compatriot taking instruction from Mark too

Then it was off to the next range……

Yeah, I’m starting to get the hang of this!

Totally at ease!

Then we went on to some more ranges ….

Us girls rule!

Fellow team member having a go

I’m beginning to like this….

We eventually finished and it was time for lunch, and we headed back to the main building.  Us ladies were not left without some form of reminder for the next few days:

This was going to leave a nice blue mark!

Then we had lunch – a typical South African meal – a braai with salads and pap and sauce and then the bar was declared open.  We even brewed our own beer for the day (shhh, don’t tell anyone) .

Freshly home brewed

Look what I found roaming around:

Isn’t he cute!

It was finally time for prizegiving!  Yay

3rd Prize of an iPod Touch (lowest score)

2nd prize of an iPod Touch (Second highest score)

1st Prize of an iPod Classic (Highest Score)

In case you were all wondering, I got 12 out of 25 20 (I refuse to count the first 5 points lost for the wobble)

Then it was time for some fun in recognition of MOVEMBER!

Even us girls had fun 

I had an amazing day.  The Waterhaven estate is an amazing experience and I’m so glad I went along.  I had loads of fun and my next challenge is shooting a hand gun and I’d like to try archery as well.

I uploaded some video’s to YouTube  – shot with the new iPhone 5S using the slow motion function – it is an amazing function and I am really impressed with it.

(I shot the first target, the second was a dud so I didn’t shoot it and I shot the next one as well – 2 out of 2! – bear in mind that it is in slow motion)

Lanthie Ransom

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Paradise

Thought I would make you all jealous this week and tell you about my trip to Mozambique – Ponta Malongane to be exact which is near Ponta Do Ouro.  Regular readers of my blog will remember that I did a trip to Mozambique back in March as well.

My brother is building a holiday home there and he invited me along for a quick trip to have a look at how the building work is coming along.  It was a quick trip – we left on Monday morning at 6.30am.  It is a long drive of about 8 to 9 hours depending on traffic.

The trip there was fairly pleasant.  We stopped off for brunch at a town called Piet Retief.  Piet Retief is probably around 350km from Johannesburg – about 4 hours taking traffic into consideration.  Im  not going to say too much about this little town and will perhaps leave this for another time.

After Piet Retief we drove around the bottom part of Swaziland and then headed up towards Mozambique.  We pass through 2 towns called Pongola and Jozini and I will do a separate post about them.  The roads are not too bad for the most part.  There are quite a lot of road works happening and one has to be careful of cows and goats crossing the road.

We got to the Kozi Bay border post at about 2.30pm so we made really good time.  Getting through the border post is quick and easy.  The border post also sees the end of tarred roads so you need to have a 4×4 to get to Ponta Malongane after that.  My brother is building in Tartaruga which you can see on the map below.  It is only about 13km’s from the border post but takes about 40 minutes as it is off road through soft sand.

We got to Ponta Malongane at about 3.15pm .  We stayed at the same house as my last trip.  The moment I got out of the car and walked inside, the rest of the world just melted away.   It was like nothing else on this planet exists.

View from the pool deck

View from the door leading out from the lounge

View from my bedroom

After relaxing and unpacking cooler boxes, we did a quick trip to the building site to meet the builder.  There is nothing in this part of the world – there are no shopping centres or grocery stores so you need to come fully prepared.  You can buy the very basics at the Barracas (huts) if you are lucky.

Then my brother and I went for Sundowner drinks at the Sunset Shack.  The favorite drink in this part of the world is called 2M.

Sunset Shack
Looking out over the lake

After drinks, we went for dinner to a quaint little place.  There is limited selection of food on the menu in this part of the world – generally chicken or prawns are served.  There is very little else.

We met with the owner of the restaurant who was recouping after an operation.  Her little son took a licking to me and before long he was fast asleep on my lap.

At about 9 and a few drinks, I was ready for bed.  We went back to the house and I was asleep in no time.

I woke early the next morning – lifted the blinds so I could look out to the sea.  I just could resist putting on my bikini and going for an early morning walk on the beach.

My brother eventually got up and we had to meet with the builder, the carpenter and we had to go looking for paint.

The Plascon paint shop was in the centre of Ponto D’Ouro.  Behind a cafe called The Love Cafe.  And of course we couldn’t resist have a few more 2M’s.

After this we landed up at Fernando’s.  Fernando’s is famous for his R&R’s – Rhum and Rhasberry.

Then we to a restaurant just up the road and had a late lunch.  Didn’t take pics here I’m afraid – think my brain was swimming at this point.

Felt a little more normal after lunch and we headed towards a bar referred to as Jenni’s.  It is run by a little old lady.  The deck overlooks the sea and the view is breathtaking.

Then it was back to see the builder late afternoon as we would be leaving first thing in the morning.  After we chatted to the builder, we headed back up the road to have a few more drinks at Lourenco’s Bar (Yeah, you are getting a gist of the lifestyle here)

View from the bar

The wind picked up while we were there and we found it quite unpleasant so we headed back to the house after this.  We relaxed for a little while and then we headed to the Sunset shack for some more chicken for dinner.

After dinner I headed straight for bed – it had been a long day.

The following morning I woke early and packed the cooler box and the few things I had with.  We did a quick trip into Ponto D’Ouro to see the carpenter and then we headed back to the border to come back home.

It is so hard to leave a place like this and it makes you think about life and your expectations.  What could be better than getting back to basics and living in this paradise.

Lanthie Ransom