|A typical dinner table at Macatoo.|
For a kitchen with limited electricity in the middle of half a million acres of wilderness, the food that the marvellous Macatoo ladies turned out was AMAZING.
Your day starts at 6am when one of the ladies "knocks" on your tent door, wishing you a good morning, and delivers a tea or coffee tray to your bedside, so you can laze about in bed and watch the sun come up - bliss. BTW, you WILL miss this when you get home!!!
At 6.30am you meet over at the mess tent area where there is a spread of fruit, yoghurt and cereals set up. One of the crew is cooking fresh made bread into toast over the coals, and there is a choice of spreads. Of course, there is more coffee, tea, water and juice available. You eat with everyone, sitting in deck chairs around the fire having a good old chat.
At 7.00am you walk down to the barn (or into the game viewing 4WD, if you're not riding) and head out for your morning ride. About 10am you pull the horses over into the shade of a tree and dismount, sitting down to a snack of home made flapjack or an apple. There is a water bottle in your saddle bag at all times for drinking on the move.
At about 11am you get back to the barn and then walk back to the mess tent for a drink, then to get ready for lunch at 12 noon.
Lunch is a hot dish, salads, scrumptious home made bread, water, juice and wines at a table laid with linen, proper silverware and glasses. After that relaxing repast, there is also a cheese or fruit platter.
|Just about to have lunch at "Tim's Landing"|
(you'll read more about this newly named location later)
You meet up again for "tea" at 4.30pm, which is tea, coffee and a homemade cake by the mess tent, with a member of the crew helping to serve you.
Then you ride again, or go on another game drive, arriving back around 6.30pm for nibbles and a sundowner before dinner at 8pm.
Dinner? Three courses with wine, served by staff at a gorgeously set table lit by candles or lanterns. Oh, and don't be surprised if you get some uninvited guests cruising by whilst you're having dinner. We had elephants very close (I'm talking 50 metres) to our dinner table nearly every night. They're not really interested in you or your dinner, but stay in the undergrowth looking for food. I was a wee bit scared the first night, but after that it was purely amazing and I couldn't wait until one (or more!) turned up.
If, after all this food, drink and activity, you can crawl away from the table to the mess tent, there are games available and more drinks to be had. We made it until about 10.15pm one night, but were exhausted most nights by about 9.30pm. There are always staff around to have a game or a chat with you in the mess tent if you want to keep the night going.
There are also some special lunches and dinners in different and amazing locations, but I'm not going to write about them much on the blog, mainly because I want them to be as much a surprise to others who go as they were to us. If you aren't intending to go to Macatoo, then ask me about them in the comments below and I'll put details there so they don't spoil the surprise for others who will be there.
I was hoping I could shift a few kilos of extra blubber by riding for about 35 hours in the heat during the week we were at Macatoo, but I came away bigger than I arrived - how could you not? It's all marvellous - pack clothes with stretchy waists.
Stay tuned for the riding ...