What do you call those little mishaps that sometimes rears its head?
On Kaingo, we call it ADVENTURE!
As usual, our morning starts at six am. Yawning to get the cobwebs aligned somewhere in our heads, a cup of coffee made short work of the sleepiness. The youngsters in the group do their best to imitate the typical lions’ display of teeth to ward off any possible human interaction.
On the vehicle, and out the lodge.
Our ‘adventure’ takes us to the higher reaches of Kaingo. The veld, freshly green form a few good showers of rain, fresh with morning air. We taste the leaf of a resurrection plant.
“Mint” is one description. The peanut gallery at the back of the vehicle wrinkles their noses. “Yuk tastes like toothpaste” the youngest explains.
“It is part of the thyme family” I reply.
A little farther down the road, we come across the remnants of last night’s thunderstorm.
Rain, hail, wind, lightning, thunder…
It looked like a Pink Floyd concert with the lighting illuminating the sky at such angles and forms the likes of which I have rarely seen. The hail, luckily small, smashed into the deck in a covering of white.
It only lasted a few minutes.
Once over, the storm left in its wake a carpet of detritus. Leaf litter, twigs and blooms. And ice.
That is what we found in the runoff gutters next to the road. Nutrient-rich, nitrogen-filled hail, soon to be a molten soup of goodness for plants and insects alike.
On we go.
Up and away. On our way, a Stepp buzzard, fresh from Russia. Wildebeest, impala, and the most attractive zebra I have seen in months.
She has a herringbone pattern on her rump, broad, almost horizontal stripes on her side, and delicate vertical striping in front.
We saw fresh aardvark holes at the start of the track. And fresh spoor, made after the rain. We drove relaxed, filled with the freshness of wet earth and wellbeing.
And then it happened.
There was an aardvark tunnel on the right verge of the vehicle. Far enough from the side of the road to avoid any possible problems. Front wheel over, back wheel….
It slowly sank as the tunnel collapsed under the weight of the vehicle. The left, front wheel came up, flailing in the air for traction. We were stuck.
A quick assessment told us all we needed to know.
High-lift jack out, jack the back up to maximum height and fill the hole. Everyone was looking for rocks and stone. The Waterberg did not disappoint.
Jip, the first attempt did not work. The soil was too soft and collapsed again. The second attempt saw the Land Rover buck, hick and rise out of the hole.
It was a full team effort to get us unstuck.
The drive back was filled with quips about my driving ability (mostly true) and the unbelievable size and depth of the aardvark hole.
Things do not always go to plan, despite all our planning and preparations. And sometimes, tossed into the mix, we may get a few lemons.
But, when life gives you lemons…make it an adventure.