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STUCK IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN, PART TWO


PHALANX
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Peter assured us we would be quite safe in the vehicle but was less confident when my wife asked him "what happens when we need to go to the toilet" "that is the least of our worries at the moment" he replied. He had never been in this situation before, but he did have a plan. "the lodge will realize we are not back, and if I flash our headlights four or five times every ten minutes maybe someone at the lodge will see it" he said. Ok, we said cautiously not being able to come up with anything better. We passed the first hour in true Brit' fashion, drawing on that old Dunkirk spirit and sang all sorts of songs old and new, even Peter gave us a chorus of Malaika. Initially I think Peter was somewhat concerned as to how we would react to his plan, but are sure he was pleased with the out come.post-50530-0-73449900-1483096019_thumb.jpg


Whenever Peter flashed the lights it was a pleasant feeling seeing the road ahead. although we were not in complete darkness, the light from the moon enabled us to make out some shapes outside. Another hour passed, the singing was replaced by telling jokes, of which none of us would win a prize, but surprisingly, Peter seemed to enjoy our black humour about out situation. The novelty of our unplanned adventure was beginning to ware off, and my wife was getting concerned about how we were to deal with the toilet situation. As we settled down Peter flashed the headlights again, and again and again. We were into the third hour and the vehicle had become very quiet, when suddenly Peter shouted "there" "where" we said, Peter put the internal light on so we could see where he was pointing, "there" pointing ahead and to the right. There was a momentary flash of light a short distance away, we thought it was lightening but Peter was sure it was not. "No" he said excitedly, it's a car" and he switched on our headlights. Meru undulates so if it was a vehicles headlights we would only see them as the vehicle came up an incline.post-50530-0-81666600-1483096061_thumb.jpg


Ten minutes later we could hear the sound of a car engine and, singing? Peter began flashing the headlights as if to reel in the other vehicle and as he did the singing got louder and louder. The song was one of those African songs sung when men are working to encourage each other in the task at hand. Suddenly, out of the darkness ahead of us appeared a 4x4 truck ladened with most of the staff from the lodge. Pulling up in front of us and spilling it's cargo of singing, dancing, and smiling faces which spent the next five minutes circling our vehicle. We tried to tell them about the Lions we though may be around, but when the cry went up to get to work, they stopped singing & dancing, fitted the tow rope to our vehicle and within minutes pulled us free. The staff escorted us back to the lodge amid much more singing and drumming on the cab roof of their vehicle.post-50530-0-82314900-1483096156_thumb.jpg


We arrived back at the lodge about 9pm and were ushered straight into dinner as the chef was getting a little flustered. Sitting at the table I looked to see where Peter was and all I could see was a trail of dried mud which had fallen from our boots. Peter joined us after talking to some of the staff about how they knew where we were. They told him; When we were not back by 7pm they realized there maybe a problem. The other couple were back but had not seen us. But they could not come looking for us without some idea as to where we were. So, one of the staff climbed up onto the highest point of the lodge roof scanning the horizon for any sign of our headlights. When he did see them he had to wait to see if we were on the move or not. When he saw our headlight again, and that they were in the same spot he came straight down and informed the manager who dispatched the staff vehicle ladened with very eager volunteers.


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After dinner we all went off to our rondavel's, and collapsed on the beds exhausted and slept through until morning. On awakening I looked around the room thinking, what on earth has been going on here? There was red mud everywhere. On the floor, the sheets, our clothes? Slowly the events of the night before came back to me, though I was surprised how much mud there was. But on reflection we were ankle deep in it when trying to get the vehicle free. Half an hour later, showered, dressed and feeling refreshed we went off on another adventure.


I have to make a special mention of the room stewards who had to deal with the mess we had created. When we arrived back from our game drive, our rooms were spotless, as if nothing had ever happened, and they were so good humoured about it when we thanked them. In fact I think it was one of the best nights the staff had had and certainly one they will talk about for a long time.


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All of the night time photos are excellent, but these last two are simply stunning.

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I didn't think that you could go on night drives in Meru. I stayed at Elsa's Kopje. Where did you stay? I love all of your photos. :rolleyes::)

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A night your guests will remember, nicely illustrated by the choice of photos.

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@@optig - it was an accidental night drive because they got stuck on the way back to camp not long before sundown.

 

The first half of the story is here: http://safaritalk.net/topic/17026-stuck-in-the-garden-of-eden-part-one/

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@@offshorebirder Thanks for informing me. We have all had various mishaps while on safari. I should tell you that I just adore poetry, especially the romantic poets including Keats.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I didn't think that you could go on night drives in Meru. I stayed at Elsa's Kopje. Where did you stay? I love all of your photos. :rolleyes::)

It was not a night drive, we were making our way back to the lodge when............. This is before Elsa's Kopje was built. Meru Mulika

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