We surrendered our watches

19th February 2014

Saturday 25th January 2014

We’ve done a lot of walking so far, I’ve done the most with 90 hours but I’ll be losing my poll position as I’ll have to duck out of a few walks to revise for Tuesday’s exam. I’ve been far too complacent about the theory and instead concentrated on the practical. I’m now starting to panic as I need to get the 75% pass mark in both the rifle ballistics and trails guide sections.

We had three really good encounters on the morning walk, all with buffalo. Then it was another sobering lecture, this time on shot placement so that if you did have to shoot a charging animal you know exactly where. This is something you can’t/don’t want to bluff especially as you have to it the brain and it brain varies from the size a loaf of bread travelling at 40kph to the size of a tennis ball moving at 80 kph.

After lunch seven of us along with Bruce and ‘Back up’ Jomie were dropped off at Masacheti Quarry so we could walk down to the Luvuvuh River to camp for the night. It was a bit of a route march as we needed to get there before nightfall. We just managed this having been hampered by a big downpour.

We set up camp under a big nyala tree on the banks of the river. The setting was stunning and was made even more so when we heard a couple of eles bathing. The light had gone by this point but we could make out thier shapes about 150m away.

We shared guard duty through the night, an hour each. I had the last shift, not sure what time this was as we’d surrendered our watches before we left to create the wilderness experience. I cant say I had a lot of sleep by the time my turn came. I was cold with no sleeping bag and woken by insects crawling over me. Still, it was an amazing experience.

We only had a small fire, I spent most of my duty drying my shoes and socks – nothing worse than wet feet when you’re walking. I think I could have speeded up the drying process by throwing the tub of gun powder on the fire. We kept this handy just in case we had any unwanted visitors during the night – throwing it into the fire would create quite a flash to send them running the other way.