Day 3: A Very Floody Night at Nossob
But before we ‘skipped off’ to the hide, we shot this video. There really was a lot of lightning…
(Double-click image for video)
So we settled comfortably in the hide, watching the lightning hit everything around us. Nobody else was around and we wondered why no one else had shared in our completely brilliant idea.
“This is so cool!” We kept shouting. Then the thunder started, and we had to yell, “THIS IS SO COOL!” even louder.
Then the thunder got LOUD. The hide shook. “This is so cool!” gave way to screams of terror.
This was a bad idea. I wrote in my journal that it was ‘worse than the worst horror film!’. We were alone in the hide, and clinging to the walls in fear.
And then the rain started. It came sideways through the hide, soaking us completely while we were still inside. I put my camera inside my jacket as if it would help.
We decided we weren’t safe and couldn’t stay and decided to run for the car. We both lost our shoes in the foot deep water at the other end of the boardwalk. We just left them. They would still be there tomorrow. I could feel myself stepping on bugs and sharp rocks under the water. It wasn’t nice, but we got to the car and took shelter.
We drove back to the campsite, which is fun in the dark, when all of the deep ground squirrel holes are concealed under water. When I finally saw my tent I panicked. J and L had put their tent up away from the tree, on higher ground. I had put mine as close to the tree as I could get it, and it was under several inches of water.
I took these photos after it had been moved:
I had also left my tent open that night to ‘keep it nice and cool’. Double fail.
The contractors I had so disliked were quickly on the scene to move my tent out of its lake and on to higher ground. They were hugely helpful and we soon had all of my tents very wet contents moved to the car.
All the campers at Nossob that night gathered in the laundry room. We had all lost something in rain. Some much more so than others. If you’ve been to Nossob campsite, you’ll have seen the really big tree in the middle. I can promise you that this site is by far the lowest in the campsite, with the area around the tree able to hold a good foot of water. Luckily, the people camped there had a great sense of humour. Drenched mattresses and sleeping bags were draped over all the sinks in the laundry room.
I must say I loved that night
. The atmosphere in the laundry room was wonderful. We were all smiling and laughing (apart from one of the contractors who really had lost everything). Everyone was helping each other and sharing what they had. A stranger even took off my soaked coat and gave me their warm dry one. Some children were passing around biltong, chips and borewors.
Many people slept in the laundry room that night, but we decided to go back to our tents. After tipping the water out of mine, it would be reasonably acceptable. J slept in the car because of the mud in her tent.
But before that, the contractors cooked us the most incredible braai that they somehow kept going through the rain. We really owed them that night.
When we got back to our campsite, one of the staff appeared with our wood. Earlier that day, I’d gone to reception and asked whether anyone would be able to chop up the wood we’d just purchased because the pieces were too big to fit in my very cute stove. When I was told that we were welcome to use the big wood in our braai stands, all I could say was, ‘but… but… it’s a very cute stove’
. And my very cute stove needed very cute, compact pieces of wood. I’m amazed that they agreed. I would have laughed at me and my very cute stove. But it was a very cute stove… I left the wood at reception to be chopped and ‘cutified’.
Anyway, a staff member brought the wood over after the storm and deposited it on the very wet ground beside the very wet tree. The wood had obviously been left outside during the very wet rain. The wood was very wet. My very cute stove would have to wait. It was all very sad. It was a very cute stove.
The night remained eventful. More than a dozen millipedes had taken shelter under my tent and after several very unpleasant ‘crunches’, I stayed incredibly still for fear of more. This was just before extreme love for millipedes began, but I certainly didn’t want to crush any.
Some of the millipedes:
I could have enjoyed the sounds of nature (sans millipede crunches), but our neighbour was drying out his belongings through the night with a noisy generator.
My tent had been tied to the bin to keep it in place as its pegs were somewhere under water. At 2am a jackal knocked the bin lid onto my tent.
The next morning we were told at reception that 28mm fell in that hour. I'm not sure how accurate that is, but I could believe it.