Weaving in and out of cows, goats…

8th March 2014

Wednesday 12th February 2014

A full on day with back up duties, first up it was the meat and bread of the job, I backed up Bruce for a walk with the EcoQuest students to Houtini Gorge. With summer here the mornings are a little bit cooler so I donned my fleece as I went about preparing for the walk. Preparations meant setting up the teas and coffees, finalising my kit, signing out a rifle and then getting the Landy ready. For the latter I got all mechanical and got my spanner out to change the battery. Back home I’d have got someone to do this for me!

It got hot quickly and despite walking through thick mopane there was little shade. We were on the trail of a breeding herd of eles for a while but never caught up with them. We headed up to Houtini Lookout for a break so we could take in the view. As we were approaching our spot a loan buffalo broke cover and bolted. Again like a few days ago my rifle came round to my shouldering side but as we had clear sight of the animal it was obvious that we’d given him the bigger fright and whilst he turned to check us out a few times that was all he was going to do.

Straight after breakfast I headed out in the Landy with the trailer to run some errands. This included dropping the ladies, Olivier and Alisha, from the kitchen at the doctors, then it was a mad dash to make it to the dump before it closed.

I think a mad dash is the right word, the vehicle used for the “rubbish run” is a Landy that is designed for game viewing, there are no seat belts, no door, no roof and no windscreen. When I’m not weaving in and out of cows, goats, donkeys and pot holes I’m driving with one hand on the wheel with the other holding my hat in place. Everyone that I pass is super friendly, everybody and anyone waves and the children run along shouting and wanting to know your name, it’s like in the movies.

I’m starting to get to know some of the characters, at the dump it’s Solomon who is really chirpy and very helpful. Not sure that chaps name at the tyre place but another good guy. I’m starting to get the hand shakes right and I think I’m using the right words in the right places – “shot bru” etc.

I didn’t make it back for afternoon activities but by the time I’d unloaded, cleaned the vehicle and trailer I’d been on the go for 13 hours. I was shattered and filthy, covered in petrol, diesel, grime and a lot of dust all burnt in by the baking sun. After a cold shower I made the most of downtime until the guests returned and caught up with my blog before helping Wien with the braai, moral support really, I had a few beers to keep him company.