An Empty Coast

An Empty Coast
My latest novel

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Low maintenance camp guests and high maintenance vehicles

Another big couple of days, here on the blog safari, with the safe despatch of two low maintence relatives back to Australia, and the at-times-unsafe delivery of one high maintenance little Land Rover to a surgery in the sugar cane farming town of Malelane.

Uncle and Aunty Blog are now in Perth, after 10 days of immersing themselves in National Geographic Channel country (aka the Kruger National Park) and contributing mightily to the profits of South African Breweries.

The secret to being a low maintence camp guest - and Uncle and Aunty Blog set a new benchmark in this regard - here in Africa is to have the following:

1. The ability and willingness to drink copious amounts of alcohol at odd hours of the day;
2. A vehicle with appropriate towing points, in order to assist Tonka the Land Rover on his travels;
3. The ability to cook Fettucine Boscaiola;
4. A good and sometimes bizarre sense of humour;
5. A love of Africa and her wildlife.

Some people bring these with them to Africa, others rent them (vehicles wth towing points, that is). Uncle and Aunty Blog really got into the wildlife and the gentle pace of camp life (drink, sleep, drive, drink, sleep drive).

They tell me, by email, they had a wonderful time and were pleased that they didn't read the blog entries about them until now that they're safely back in Australia.

On a less relaxing note, Tonka set a new speed record for the 2.25 litre diesel Series III Land Rover yesterday, clocking 100km per hour on the flat. This is because Mr Blog was towing him, behind a mechanic's Toyota Hi-Lux. The knuckles were a tad pale, Legion of Fans, after the 76km drive from Lower Sabie Rest Camp in Kruger to the sleepy town of Malelane.

The gentlemanly tradesman insisted that Mrs B and I drive the towing vehicle, while he would sit behind Tonka's wheel. This was very nice of him, and probably the only concession to safety throughout the whole exercise. A couple of times I looked in the rear mirror of the Hi-Lux and saw Tonka, on the end of the tow rope, drifting out into the oncoming lane. I think the mechanic may have had a bit of a late night, but a few severe gear changes produced a suitable amount of jerking on the tow line and woke him up. Perhaps better, then, that he was the tow-ee, rather than the tow-er.

Anyhow, (or anyhoo, as an alarming number of people say in emails these days), Tonka is now in hospital, awaiting fitment (lovely, mechanical word, that) of a new clutch plate and Mrs B and I are zipping about in diminutive Volkswagen 1.4 Golf 'Chico', despite Avis Rent a Car's best efforts to up-sell us a more expensive model than the one I had booked over the phone. Hmmm.

1 comment :

Java said...

Did you give them my phone number?