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A taste of things to come.

September 25, 2013

 

Here is a short excerpt of the book I am writing about the trans-continental trip in my Hillman Imp earlier this year.

I expect to be finished with the writing in December this year and would love for a publisher to take the pain out of the administration and expense of bring the book to the public. Even better would be to have a few different publishing houses fighting over which one of them would want most to run with it!!!!

 

Livingstone and the Smoke that Thunders!

Our relative easy drive to Livingstone got us to the SMOKE THAT THUNDERS (Victoria Falls) early afternoon and we immediately scooted off up a dirt road following signs to the promise of a camp site where we planned to spend the night.

At first the road was wide dry and gravelly, narrowing as we progressed up the ever steepening climb. Within a few short kilometers the gravel turned to menacingly sharp rock formations that became frightfully uneven making the driving extremely challenging to put it mildly. I had frightful thoughts of having one or more of our tyres slash burst by the razor sharp track surface or worse, a wrecked spring that would surely have rudely halted our progress!

Typically whenever I began to worry about any aspect of the trip I would rub the side of my head continuously as I drove. In this instance however it was a severe case of nil head massage as I kept both mitts firmly on the wheel with full concentration on the job at hand. I was not sure what was going through Geoff’s mind at this stage but I was seriously super worried about the condition of the track we were negotiating. My mouth had become bone dry and my heart was ribcage rattle thumping until I actually pulled up on a particularly challenging sequence of rock formations that we needed to traverse.

“What’s the matter”? was Geoff’s gentle enquiry.

“I don’t know” I gingerly replied.

“I’m not sure if i like this track too much”.

Do you think we should turn back Geoff asked!

Well was i delighted he even suggested the idea and before another sweat bead could drop from my sopping wet forehead I immediately started to drive up the steep and rocky track pulling the Imp to the side of the narrow track so that we could engineer a three point (or as it turned out, a seven point) turn. Remember this was executed without reverse gear! The Imp had to be manhandled by both of us and all the time petrol was liberally spilling out of our overflow pipes due the acute angle of the car and the extreme heat of the fuel tanks due to the front radiator pumping serious heat onto them from early morning until bedtime each day!

It must have taken us a good fifteen minutes, a lot of jumping in and out of the car and more huffing and puffing than any three little piggies’ big bad wolf had ever employed to actually get the Imp facing down this treacherous and uneven rocky incline. Then of course we had to again pass over the horrible surface that had scricked me in the first place! At least the surface got better as we descended and we were again in the hands of an accomplished off-road driver in Geoff. I was a bundle of nerves for fear of damaging the car and that we had no spare cash to repair it if it needed fixing nor the time in our pockets to hang around fixing either.

Shortly and happily we got back to the tar roads of Livingstone where we again went in search of a campsite for the night.

Little did we know that the dirt track experience was just a tiny titbit of the real deal that would finally unfold in Kenya with the added conundrum of unseasonably heavy rains and road conditions that made the Livingstone dirt road experience seem like a walk in the park by comparison. The only difference however, a massive difference was that in the Kenyan situation there was no opportunity to backtrack!

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