Sunday, April 5, 2009

My brother Stephen used to complain (when I was living in Bolivia, in the era of group emails) that I would just write long speils about the weekends, and all my adventures (this was his excuse for not replying...)

Anyhoo, we went with Sue to Brandberg this weekend. Sue kindly took pictures of us stuck in a sandy river bed- which will follow.

Sue is ex-VSO (her placement was in Nepal), a vet and has worked in the Shetlands, the Falklands, New Zealand, the Dominican Republic and now Windhoek. Oh and she's Canadian-British, super fit and enthusiastic. She joined us Friday night and we had a little goat (one of the nurses gave me the front quarter of a goat. The kitchen staff kindly cut it up into small peices, and I roasted it with thyme.) We set off Saturday morning and got to the campsite before noon. Then set off to the "river" which sounded like a nice place to have lunch, paddle, maybe walk up or down it... The staff repeatedly told us not to drive in the river. Which we interpreted to mean don't drive up or down the river. When we got there, the river was dry and baking. There were tracks across the river and Mark (usually the most risk-averse) thougth it was good for crossing in our 2WD condor. It wasn't, unfortunatly. Oh my word it was hot. Digging out our tires, putting brush and our firewood under the tires, reversing, repeating the same thing. Trying to get Sue's Rav4 (a small 4x4) to tow our car out, breaking the tow rope twice. Stopping and having lunch... Trying again. I was near heat exhaustion, I think. I was just too hot to do anything after a while. That's when Sue and I went back to the lodge and got a worker with a 6 liter ancient Nissan and a big peice of nylon rope, and hauled it out... Thank goodness.

It was a perfect place to "try out" our limitations, close to civilisation, with Sue and her car to help us. But it was 4 hours in the heat, really trying to get ourselves out.

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