Wild Blue Yonder wrote:
JVR, you sure do love taking photo's of people, don't you?
We were a rather photogenic group - as may be revealed by any "caught-in-the-bush-shower" pictures that appear.
Yup! A taste of things to come...
Since such a hike is WAY beyond me — your listing of necessary gear for MM was most sobering! — I am enjoying this adventure vicariously
A BEEG thank you for that, JvR!
All my pleasure, arks. I enjoy the reporting bit nearly as much as the real thing. It kind of embeds the experience, if you know what I mean.
For various reasons some people are just not cut out for such a bush experience. My empathy lies with those 'mites who would dearly love to do it, but cannot because of physical inability.
nice pictures... and rest
Merci beaucoup, anne-marie
At this stage Brenden started exploring the area. His keen ears picked up a smattering of subdued warbled notes from an isolated thicket. It was the second time we had encountered this phenomenon. Try as we may, a glimpse of this bird turned out an impossible mission. This was the second occasion where the team was stumped for an ID, we believe it to have been the same species, maybe thrush nightingale… but only maybe.
We ended the day's birding with the SABAP2 list now standing on 127.
Ants had moved into the camp area in a big way. Maybe they were there before, but for some reason they had become extremely active. At “our” waterhole we were attacked by these very fast running, aggressive Pugnacious Ants. I am certain that they have a way to communicate for wherever we tried to gather water, they would appear as from nowhere… Their bite is quite painful. They certainly had me hopping about.
That was not the end of it. Back at the camp we had to contend with a different ant infestation… black sugar ants had found the smallest opening in my zip-locked bag of dry rations. I wasn’t going to give up on my meagre supply of energy to a darn bug! I shook them up until they were distraught and then opened the packet's zip-locker. They poured out of the opening. When the stream of ants diminished, I’d repeat the process. I continued until no more ants were visible. I’m sure there were a couple of corpses in the bag, but what the eye doesn't see the heart won't grieve over…
I have mentioned the bush shower before. It certainly deserves mentioning again – after a hot day’s exertion nothing beats the refreshing bush shower’s magical powers to restore the sparkle.
For this last evening in the bush, Brenden again built a cairn of wood, this time a little different… We were going to start the fire without modern fire-making aids. Brenden and Julie had fashioned one of those friction contraptions where continuous twisting of a rod (spindle) onto a flat piece of medium-soft wood (hearth board) would carbon up and eventually form a coal that could be nursed onto fine, dry material taken from elephant dung. Careful fanning of the tiny ember would cause the fine kindling in which it was cradled to burst into flame. Learning to make fire by friction creates a connection with the past that gives a taste of what life was like at a time that covers all but the last two centuries of man’s history on Earth. Success brings with it feelings of excitement, satisfaction and pride. The very first time you are able to produce a viable coal, transfer it to a tinder bundle, and then blow it into flame, is a day you are not likely to forget. You will also discover that the thrill of making a fire by friction does not diminish – the same excitement is experienced each time you do it.
I held the hearth board down while the others took turns to turn the spindle. We got to stages were we produced smoke… and I thought at one stage I saw a glimmer appearing in the fine char that was collecting on the dung cradle. Alas, the hole in the hearth board went all the way through before the coal became significant enough to use. The verdict: the woods used were not of the correct density / hardness.
I hope we get it right NEXT time!
So, to the rescue came the flick of the Bic!
My final meal was the Chinese chicken dish. Yyyyyyuk! I ate about a quarter of it before I sealed the bag to dump it later when we got back to Shingwedzi. From here on in it were dry rations and ant corpses for me!