Our Crazy Adventure Continues!

It was late in the day and we were stuck in the mud.  Tom and I were next to a watering hole in the middle of the Kenyan plains.  We had no cell phone, no walkie-talkie and no one could have seen our 4x4 unless they were headed for the watering hole.  What luck.  We were so excited about seeing close to 25 hippos lounging in the late afternoon sun that we weren’t paying attention when we turned around to head back to camp.  The tall grass hid what we now realized was the swampy edge of the watering hole.

Tom and I just looked at each other.  This was supposed to be a fun little adventure before we moved from Kenya to South Africa.  Now, on our second day, we wondered what in the world we were thinking.  The first day we got caught in a downpour in the middle of the Savannah and a gust of wind blew off the top of our 4x4.  Tom had quickly backed up, hopped out and grabbed the top before it blew away!  We struggled to attach the thing back on before some animal came out of hiding to have dinner.  After that we promptly took a wrong turn in the so-called “road” and didn’t find our way to our camp until well after dark.  Now – day two – here we were again in trouble!

We knew we couldn’t get out of the 4x4.  After all, we had just seen 25 hippos and they were right behind us.  Lions might also be around.  But we knew that after dark we would really be in danger.  If an elephant happened to need a drink, he could step on us or sit down and crush us.  Besides all that, we had no desire to spend the night listening to all those hippos taking a bath and playing in the river.  That went way beyond adventure in my book.

Tom spotted some rocks near the 4x4 and was about to get out of the car to get them, but I grabbed his arm.  I thought he was crazy.  I just knew he’d get eaten if he set foot outside.  So we sat and waited.  No one came by.  Tom decided to chance it.  He jumped out, sprinted to the closest rock, brought it back and jumped back in the 4x4.  He did that 4 or 5 more times while I held my breath.  Then he got out, shoved them under the tire and ordered me to rock the 4x4 while he pushed.  That sounded easy, but I hadn’t driven a stick shift in about 6 years so I was rusty. Rusty and scared.  I stalled out several times before finally getting the rhythm to rock the 4x4.  It seemed like forever, but we finally made it out of the mud.  We drove straight back to camp and tried to calm down. 

Someone stopped by our table at dinner that night and told us they had spotted lion earlier in the day.  You guessed it - by the watering hole.  We were sure glad our paths never crossed!


Lori ZieglerComment