Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 7:43 pm
Is this topic DEAD
Is there nobody with an old or even not so old story
Well, not such an old story, but I can give you an exerpt from one of my Kruger Journals of an incident that occured in the '90s to my friend Jess and I. We were on our way from Letab to Satara at the time: . . . . Eventually we get to the point where the Olifants river comes up against the road. Here, for the first time, we see plenty of game. Vervet monkeys run along the bank, impala and bushbuck step down to drink, and there are giraffe and zebra in the bush. We come to a large parking area under a huge sycamore fig, down from the road, floored in whitish gold sand. I take a wide right hand circle to put Jess on the river side, and because the bank is canted a little here, I can’t see out of the window, so I try to move forward a little, and this is when we discover that we are stuck. Really stuck. Jess sighs with resignation.”Oh well, this is where I do my Kalahari stunt again”
“No, no, you drive, I’ll push” say I. “No, I’ll push” she decides. She goes to the rear of the passenger side and says “Ready? Go!” And I put my foot down whereupon a three metre high wave of sand spins into the air, fans out, and totally obliterates Jess so that for a moment I think she has dived down the bank into the river. However some of the sand hanging in the air takes on a Jess- shape and I realise thankfully that she is still there, albeit heavily disguised. She gestures wildly, spits out mouthfuls, empties it out of her glasses and says “it’s this near side front.” I can only admire her sang froid. I try reverse. No luck. “Try again” she instructs “rev harder.” I comply, and a second wave of sand rears up and engulfs the car, pouring in the window all over me, the camera, the luggage and, once again, Jess who is still attached to the nearside rear. By now we are hysterical with laughter, and I stagger out, cascading sand, to see for myself. Sure enough, the wheel is in so deep that the body of the car is almost on the ground. We start digging the sand away with our hands, but deeper down it is solid and difficult to move. We start to look for sticks, but then Jess hears a car. “I’m going to wave him in” she says.
I don’t look at her, but I want to help so I wave too. “Stop waving like that and beckon” shrieks Jess “he thinks you’re just being friendly!” We both collapse again, laughing uncontrollably, and the stranger hesitates for some time before cautiously driving down to investigate. Only then do I turn round and really look at the car and see what he sees - a blue Citigolf almost entirely obliterated by sand; in fact the roof is totally invisible and sand is stacked half-way up the windscreen. On either side of it are two sand-covered figures, one waving in friendly fashion, the other beckoning frantically in counterpoint. Warily he approaches winding up all his windows except the drivers one. I walk towards him, shedding camouflage at every step. “Did you roll?” he asks with a certain amount of interest. “No” say I, “we are stuck in the sand and wondered if you could call in at Olifants and ask them to come and pull us out?”
“Yes?” he says reflectively “well if our bumpers were the same level, I could push you out” I conceal a shudder and point out that his are much higher. By now the rest of the family have recovered from their trauma and are busy winding down windows and peering with interest at the scene. Jess meanwhile has been busy beckoning, and two more vehicles drive down into the parking area and more men get out. One says “Hmm - just like snow.” I file that remark for later consideration. The other one says “ did you roll?”
“Has anyone got a spade?” I ask. No one has. “Has anyone got a rope?” queries my sandwoman friend. No one has. I start burrowing amongst the tools hoping to find my tow rope. The man who made the remark about the snow now takes over. “We will push” he announces. “You get into second and ride the clutch” so I do and they do, and this is how we are extricated. Our gratitude knows no bounds, but actually I think they all enjoy the diversion and will probably dine out on it! We drive on to Olifants, still giggling, having removed half a ton of sand from the passenger seat so that Jess can sit down. Not that it would make any difference - she says she feels just as if she has been dumped by a big wave and her costume is full of sand. I say that I think she showed true grit throughout . . . .