Counting all the things that happened to you I'm not any more astonished about what happened on Friday, 13th October during the night drive!
Following is part of what is supposed to be my TR, telling about the fabulous night drive on Friday 13th:
Checking in at TR on Friday 13th, I ask for a night drive.
Guy at TR reception: "Yes, there is one going tonight, it leaves at 5 pm and bring warm clothes, may be cold tonight."
In time I make it, to meet up with some nice people and a YR: Christelsabine. We leave the camp – just to stop again soon after the gate to receive our first lessons from the guide how to behave, just in case.
Then the guy climbs in the truck – and: no starting. Machine drowned, problems with what? One thing is clear: nothing goes. So he radios TR, tells them to come over with another truck. Luckily they come, bring over a diesel truck, and, being watched over by three rangers, we climb over to the new vehicle.
Starting again, we soon have to stop again: watching three birds. Two Lanner Falcons trying to chase away a Spotted Eagle Owl from their hunting ground. A fascinating sighting.
We start again- or don’t we? Does the engine work? Yes, finally it does.
But our Guide is determined to bring us to the lions tonight, so we go on. First, have a stop for sundowners, a smoke or what else. Then, lights are handed out, to search for animals. That means: sorry, no more pics. I had to point the search lights on the right hand side of the truck…
We see a lot of animals: Springhare, Black Backed Jackals, African Wild Cat.
Guide: “No, sorry, we can’t stop here for long, you understand: the lions are waiting.”
We saw a Cape Fox.
Guide: “Please, just point out and tell me to stop, if there are “important” animals, the lions are waiting.”
So, finally, at Leeuwdril the lions, far away on top of a dune. He kills the engine, we watch the lions for short while and then: back to TR.
On our way back, right at the place where we had our sundowners earlier that day: a Porcupine. He kills the engine once more, climbs out to chase the poor animal, comes back. Does the engine start? First try, second try… I remember the lions, not too far away and start to plan my night outdoors… yes, it does. Thank god, the truck moves. We return just in time for a late night dinner at the restaurant.
Did I enjoy the night drive? Yes, it was nice, meeting CS and the other people, weather was fine and it started of brilliant with the birds. But: I definitely did not enjoy the problems with the truck and the hurry we were in. So hopefully, next year not just the road to TR is in a better state but also the trucks for night drives are. Or was it just bad luck on a black Friday?