Day 23 - packing to go home

Penultimate day in Bloemfontein, and indeed South Africa. Sadly none of the team noticed that it was April Fools day, having spent so long here that any awareness of the day and date had been lost.

With the shooting done, today was all about relaxation, packing, cleaning rifles and generally preparing to insert ourselves back into normal society. The day started slightly painfully for those who had enjoyed the dancing and drinking the night before, but thankfully less painfully than the effects of the previous weekend.

Sadly, today was the day when the first of the team started departing, with Pete heading off to Port Elizabeth with his fiancee, James heading off to meet his wife and kids in Cape Town and DC2 heading off to Johannesburg for an early flight home. We wished them all the best for their ongoing journeys.

First order of the day for those remaining was breakfast down at the Waterfront, closely followed by a good number of the team by the second order of the day - finding presents for significant others and kids - an activity that had varying degrees of success, with more than one person coming back empty handed and awaiting airport duty free.

DC, Gary and Alwyn headed out in the afternoon for a final round of golf, and a last chance for Alwyn to get some practice in on his developing swing - still not enough to beat DC though.

Today also saw the packing of the team bags, a task that took Gareth, Jonny and Ben some hours and a significant amount of duct tape to accomplish. Pete and James, obviously not wanted to leave us empty handed, had also left all of their shooting kit with us as team baggage, making the task of packing just that little bit more difficult. Still, after some time, and lots of shifting of items from one bag to another we finally had a set of kit that would have a fair chance of being allowed on board the aircraft.

Dinner plans varied, with some of the team opting to stay in the lodge and get takeout (a choice which would have repercussions the following day for Steve and Mick). The rest of the team opted to head out for an Indian at the nearby casino complex, and for some of the team, a spot of post dinner blackjack, which ended in profit for once.

Back to the ranch, and a vain (but valiant) attempt by most members of the team to finish off the gin and Amarula supplies (not together thankfully), with tonic rather than soda to accompany the gin on this occasion.