Injisuthi For Christmas

Injisuthi For Christmas

Mom, gran, and daughter setting up the Christmas tree
Mom, gran, and daughter setting up the Christmas tree

Sharon and I finished work early on Tuesday (being Christmas eve) so we picked up my mom at 2pm and began the the journey to Injisuthi. It was a relatively painless drive with Emma sleeping for the majority of the way. The last few kilometers however, where the road degraded to a pothole ridden mess, was a little less fun since Emma had had enough of the car and got a little niggly.

We eventually arrived just after 4pm to a closed office, despite the sign reading that they would be open until 4:30. Thankfully our key had been left on a board outside the office and soon we were unpacking piles of presents into our small, 2 bedroom chalet on the rivers edge.

Granny and Emma
Granny and Emma

After discovering that the presents could not be left out due to Emma’s keen eye, we set up the small Christmas tree and then I headed out for a short exploratory walk in the rain. Sadly all that I discovered was that the recent rains meant that the river was far too high to fish. On the up side this was great news for the many kids who had packed tubes and were having a ball in the raging water.

Back at our chalet we braaied the customary first night meal, hamburgers, and then relaxed around the table on the patio enjoying a few drinks and opening a small teaser gift each (and a Christmas cracker of course). Then it was off to bed for the expected early morning start on Christmas.

Emma had a restless night and we were all out of bed by 5am. We managed to keep the excitement under wraps for long enough to have a shower and clean up. And then, just as we were about to start opening the huge pile of gifts, Emma headed off for her morning nap. Dammit!

Emma's Yoyo Rocker
Emma’s Yoyo Rocker
Hiking with Emma
Hiking with Emma

One long hour later Emma woke up and it was time for the fun to begin. We divied up the loot and got down to what it was all about…Emma’s first Christmas.

It was ridiculous how many presents Emma had in her pile, but she got straight down to it. Basically this meant staring at the colourful paper, shaking the gifts, and playing with the boxes. We helped her to open her presents, opening the odd one each in between. It was fantastic!

Emma was spoiled with cell phones, remotes, toy trains, dolls, clothes and more. The rest of us were equally as spoiled. When the gift opening was done we sat down to egg and bacon rolls and left Emma confused with the massive pile of new toys in front of her.

At 11am we decided we needed to walk off all the additional food we’d been eating. We packed Emma’s hiking carrier with a picnic lunch (and spare nappies) and I loaded her onto my back. Then we headed into the mountains and on to Boundry Pool for a swim.

Swim time
Swim time

Within a few hundred meters of leaving camp Emma was fast asleep in her carrier, with her head hanging awkwardly to the side. This meant several stops to try and prop her up using towels before carrying on.

The 2-3km walk to the pool was relatively easy. We met a foreign girl early on who’d turned around on route to Marble Baths due to not wanting to cross the raging river. When we got to the “pool” we could see why. The river was high and churning, and a little tricky to cross. Thankfully we didn’t need to cross and laid out a towel and relaxed with our picnic lunch.

We found a small calmer section where I attempted swimming but quickly discovered the water was far to cold. Emma and I dunked our feet into the water to cool off and then sat down on the large rocks next to the pool.

Family photo on the river
Family photo on the river

When we heard thunder in the distance we decided it was time to head home and began the walk back. This time Emma was wide awake and spent the journey laughing at the strange plants we passed and the awesome views down to the stream below.

We arrived back in camp hot and sweaty and so we put Emma’s pool out and she swam while we enjoyed a beer on the lawn. Slowly the storm approached us and when the rain hit the ladies headed off for a nap.¬†I took the opportunity to finish my book and then headed off for another walk along the river to take a few photos.

When I got back to camp the ladies were waking up so we set about preparing Christmas dinner. This was a relatively easy task other than perhaps the lighting of the gas oven. The electric lighter wasn’t working so I pulled out my trusty pocket blow torch and did it manually. After a few failed attempts (and a minor fireball) the over was lit an the turkey (turducken) was in.

Contemplation
Contemplation

With the food on the go I took the ladies down to the river and we took a few family photos and enjoyed the scenery and silence.

A few hours later, back in camp, I calved the turducken while the ladies laid the table and put Emma to bed. ¬†Then we sat down to a fantastic meal of turducken, ham, stuffing, sausages, potatoes, veg, and more. And it was all topped off with a few of my mother’s Christmas crackers of course.

The next morning we enjoyed a casual breakfast and then packed up Emma’s 2 tons of toys. By the time we were done we needed to be out of our accommodation and so we decided to head home to get ready for a single day’s work before new years and the next adventure.