I am in Northern Province, back to SoSutho-speaking locals, towards the north of south africa. Yesterday I and the managers of the backpacker lodge where I am staying went to visit the widest baobab tree in the world (I do not think they have looked very hard for others), in which, and I mean IN, there is a small pub, that can seat about 12 people. It is on private property, and we were disappointed to find that beer was not being served.

Undeterred, we rifled the refrigerator, found four beers, and drank them, while admiring the small winecellar (with bats behind) and the collection of memorabilia in the bar. We left money, but maybe I can say I was nearly thrown out of a Baobab tree.

I also visited the Mohjaje (spelt wrong, I am sure) rain queen’s forest. She is a queen, with a rain ceremony in November. She ‘marries’ a woman from each local tribe. The fathers are also local nobility - how they are chosen is not related. One of the daughters becomes the new rain queen. The old queen used to commit suicide, but has been persuaded to desist in recent times.

Just down the hill there is a excellent local black bar, where they serve “two-by-one”, consisting of two bottles of Castle Milk Stout and 500ml of milk, mixed in a tuppaware container, and drunk from the corners by all present. Very good.

I was (really) thrown out of a local shabeen, by the local white South African owners of the farm on which the house was. I had rowed across the lake to what was obviously a weekend party on a local farm. Well, I didn’t know it was private propery ..

Headed now for Pretoria, Johannesburg, and then the UK in the middle of the month.

Cheers, Andy!