They Were There From Monday to Saturdee (well, Monday 8pm to 9pm anyway).
Jess and Jordie went to the bathroom together (don’t ask – teenagers) and that was it. With Aitch-like burglar guards the window was out of the question. I tried all sorts of levering and hammering and twisting and shoving and what-have-you but no go:
Had to phone the locksmith.
He came in and smashed out the innards of the lock by brute force and levered it open with a curly-shaped hook. Took him three minutes.
We only got stuck four times. Once on the beach at Lake Malawi and three times on or near beaches in Moçambique.
In Malawi I got out to let down my tyres but a group of people from nearby ran up: “No, no. Don’t. We’ll push you out!” Turns out they were Bahá’í Faith folks having a picnic on a day of religious significance to them (maybe the Birth of the Báb in 1819?). They believe in World peace. Me too, brothers! World peace, a friendly push and not having to re-inflate my tyres is what I believe in! Handshakes and good wishes all round.
All three times in Moz we didn’t have long to wait and a guy rolled up in a Land Rover or a Land Cruiser, stopping in front of us and shaking his head pityingly in his tight khaki shorts. “You really must have 4X4,” he’d say and I’d agree and ooh and aah about his rugged vehicle. Then he’d pull us out chop-chop, tell us where they had been, tell us where NOT to go (and make that route sound so exciting that we’d sometimes go exactly there!), and then drive away still shaking his head.
I reckon if we had gone in a 4X4 we would have missed out on some good advice** and on meeting some friendly people!
That beautiful tricked-out-OTT Landrover in the main pic belongs to Sam Watson, who contacted me to tell me that, then didn’t answer my query on whether he wears tight khaki shorts. Check out his blog http://www.zerzura.me
On a boys getaway weekend to Manteku on the WildCoast my kombi makes it easily down to Drifters’ camp, though I do think Uh! Oh! as we drive down, Might be interesting getting out!
Five glorious days later we pack up and head out. But it has rained and the hill is too much for the kombi. What now? We’re the only vehicle in miles. “No problem” says our Drifters camp manager. “I’ll get some oxen”.
Oh, the shame! My ‘friends’ roar with laughter and start preparing. To lighten the kombi? To attach the tow rope? To clear big rocks away? No. None of the above. TO TAKE PICTURES!!
To this day I am reminded of this by these helpful ‘friends’. If I mention any car trouble they helpfully tell me: “Check for ox shit in the axles”.