South Africa â€“ the only tale you want to know about!
Old content alert!
Thanks very much for visiting my blog. Always happy to have people read my stuff but just thought I should point out this post is years old. If it's about technical stuff there is a possibility that it is no longer relevant, if it's a bug report/fix I'm hoping that it should now have been fixed.
Of course if this is what you're looking for and it does work then great, just don't say I didn't warn you...
As promised from my last post I am not going to bash on about what I did in South Africa; I did loads of things and could write a book on it (no one would buy it but I could do!). The one story I have that does stand out however is the one where I went off into the Tsitsikamma National Park, Natures Valley on me own with nothing more than a hand drawn map (see right), my trusty hat, a video camera and a digital camera (and of course clothes â€“ but only a t-shirt on my top half!!!) on the search for the nearby town (Natures Valley proper) and pub!
Now it has been pointed out to me on a number of occasions that going off on my own into the jungle was a fucking stupid thing to do. BUT:
- I was ensured after asking numerous times that it was an easy route â€œjust stay on the path and you will be fineâ€
- It was 1pm when I set off and the walk was to take me 2 hours maximum
- I had my jungle hat fresh from my safari
- The backpackers I was staying in was in the middle of nowhere, I was hungry and the bar wasnâ€™t open
So undeterred I went on my merry way, they dropped me off at the top of the path and I followed it, across a stream, through the forest, past an awesome look out position over looking a lagoon and ended up â€“ on a fucking river bank!! Now there was no way I was going to cross a river (it was defiantly not on my map â€“ not that much was) but the path lead to it â€“ I got rather confused/worried and headed for higher ground to make a phone call (on my phone which had decided to loose over half of its battery life in a few hours..)
I made the call, was told that they knew roughly where I was and would be with me in about 40 minutes. I was asked if I could go back but it was 4.45pm, I had been walking for almost 4 hours and if I had walked back would have got to the jungle just as the sun went down â€“ as stupid as I am I was NOT stupid enough to do that!
I sat down on the same look out that I was so amazed to see about 30 minutes before and waited. It started to rain. It came to 6 oâ€™clock and no one had arrivedâ€¦..
My eyes were then alerted to three people I could see on the beach â€“ seeing contact I stood up, shouted and waved my arms around. A few hollered words later and I realised; these were my â€œrescuersâ€ and they were equally stuck as me as the tide had come in. I think the first word which came to mind was â€œPISSFLAPSâ€. Thankfully they did had mobile reception and also the number for mountain rescue â€“ they used it, shouted up to me to stay where I was; because clearly I was going to go off someplace!!; people WHERE coming to fetch me!
Again, I sat and waited. The sun was getting low, it was getting colder, it was still raining. But I could see people and I never let my eyes off them.
I saw lights streaming through the jungle on their side, not being in the best of states I thought they were just fireflies (there were plenty around) but they made it to the beach and got my rescuers; but what about me!?!? Again a bout of arm waving, shouting and listening to the replies lead me to the conclusion that I should stay put â€“ someone was coming for me (but of course dickhead here had gone so far into the jungle it would take a while for them to get to me)
So I sat down, eyes on the beach, and occasionally on the path I had come down looking for my help.
At about 8pm â€“ after 7 hours on my own a light came round the corner (it had gotten black by then), shouted out Ross and hooray I was safe. I got on a jacket (which was very much needed) and was told that I had to walk back. WALK BACK!?!!? I was in a bit of a state but we headed off â€“ no way I was staying there any while longer â€“ walking through the jungle I got told tales of the leopards and lynx (â€œdonâ€™t worry they are very scared of usâ€) and bush pigs (â€œthey will have a go and they have big tusksâ€) that inhabit the jungle.
By 9pm my legs were burning, my head spinning but thankfully I was out of the jungle. 9.30 I was on the road and a little de-brief to tell the mountain rescue what had happened was followed to returning to the backpackers at about 10pm.
After being feed my first meal of the day, remember I was walking to town to buy food, I received a bit of news; turns out that there were in fact TWO paths (as you can see in the accompanying pic) I could have took. One was the long path; one was the short path â€“ and guess which one old Ross took!?!? I donâ€™t think I need to tell you which one, I am sure you can guess. Essentually I ended up following signs for the salt river, which I did indeed get to all be it on the wrong side! With the river being flooded there was no way accross and I was screwed!
The lesson learnt â€“ donâ€™t go walking into places you donâ€™t know without a map. And always remember to film your journeys as they can be very funny afterwards. Thankfully for you I did the later so via the magic of youTube sit back and enjoy the sheer daftness of Ross on his jungle journey.
And if you liked that there is more of the same (check it out, you know you want to) on my brand new youTube page!Tweet