Nikon12’s excellent story
about the fence around Balule, brought back some wonderful memories of the first time we stayed over in this rustic little camp about 7 years ago. One such memory has attained legendary status in our family.
My wife and I had a bungalow and so did my daughter, her husband and the eldest of my grandchildren (then the only one). We shared a wood fire that afternoon as the sun set over the KNP. As always we cooked too much food on the embers and before retiring my wife wrapped the remaining food in some tinfoil and put it on a drawer that stood next to the bed on her side.
Man, does it get dark there!
We really enjoyed the starry display in a moonless night sky, but a long, hot day topped by a great feast and a few glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon each soon made us retire. I don’t like a light on in a room when I sleep, so, the paraffin lamp was blown out and we said our goodnights and I must have been in lalaland within two minutes. The next moment I got rudely awakened by a sharp elbow urgently jabbing me in the ribs. You know you have opened your eyes, but you see nothing! It is the closest to being blind you will ever experience!
“What!” I wanted to know, “is bothering you?” My wife has lots of the city girl left in her, even after years of bush trips with me…
“There is someone … something in the room!”
So we thrashed around in the dark for a few minutes to find the torch that one of us had kicked over. Despairingly we listened to it roll and come to rest somewhere out of reach. Somehow we got hold of matches and relit the lantern. Well, by that time the intruder was long gone, of course, so back to bed. And off with the light, but not before my SO had retrieved the torch and slipped it into bed with us. Again, no effort on my part to return to zzzzzzzzz….
Then all hell broke loose!
Hysterically screaming wife was wildly thrashing around and then started assaulting me! My SO was hitting the stuffing out of me with the torch!
When I fell asleep my dearest wife sat up in the dark and ambushed our visitor, who turned out to be a small mouse that used the bed covers to scale the furniture in order to get to the tantalising leftovers on the drawer. Fortunately for the mouse, she missed it (but not me!). The mouse scurried somewhere to temporary safety while I tried to calm my poor wife. Needless to say, the lamp burned for the rest of the night. And the story was only good for a laugh some years later!
The only "wilder" experience I have had in the KNP was in the Sable sleep-over hide, but that is another story...