03 April 2011 by Chris Marais

The Furry Beast of Limpopo

There’s a ghost mining town up in Limpopo that threatens, from time to time, to become a viable contender to Mpumalanga’s Pilgrim’s Rest.

Every time Jules and I visit the place, something new is on the go. New ownership, new plans, new ideas.

It’s called Leydsdorp, and once it was a multi-pub settlement where gold miners and associated good-time ladies, piano players, card sharps and investors roamed the streets. A rather large lioness roamed the streets of Leydsdorp as well, and I once saw a photo of said lioness, dead and draped on the front steps of the Leydsdorp Hotel.

The first time I wandered these parts was in the company of ace photographer Les Bush, and Leydsdorp was then just a tumbledown jumble of memories. I walked past the open window of the hotel bar and saw, on the counter, the kind of object us old-school hacks desire: a large metal spike. A spike you could stab hundreds of errant pieces of paper onto

But just then I spotted something furry, black and fast in there, just from the corner of my eye. No ways was I going to enter that place. But maybe old Les would, seeing as how he had not seen the black furry beast yet.

“Oh, Les, you’re smaller than me. Won’t you just dart into the bar through the window and grab me that old spike on the counter?”

Les Bush obliged, and once inside I heard him curse loudly. Then he handed me the spike through the window.

“Thanks, Les. You’re a real pal. See anything else of interest in there?”

“Not really. Just something fast and furry that hissed at me. But I cursed him back and he left.”

A true road warrior, my friend Les Bush…

Category: Culture & History

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