‘Knock, knock, anyone there?’ It was our last afternoon at the Tatasberg wilderness camp in the Richtersveld Transfrontier Park and a young woman with a toddler in her arms had come to ask if we had a tow-rope. Her overconfident hubby had ventured into the riverbed with a 2x4 and discovered how to get stuck in deep sand. We were about to find that no good deed goes unpunished.
Although you may be just 50 or 60km from the park’s offices, there’s no cell phone reception so you can’t call for help. Even if you had the foresight to bring a satellite phone (and you definitely should), it may take them a good few hours to get to you, that’s how rough and slow the 4x4 tracks are here.
If you get stranded inland in summer, when daytime temperatures regularly get above 50ºC, you’d better be carrying lots of water. If not, you’re going to get seriously dehydrated before the rescue party arrives.
So he hauled out his tow-rope and his shovel and they set to work. In no time, the bakkie was free and racing over the sand for the camp, not daring to stop to say thank you in case he got stuck again.
Luckily, the incident ended well for them. But as so often happens, no good deed goes unpunished; hubby tore the crotch of his jeans when he bent down to render help of the digging variety.
Pity he hadn’t thought to pack a spare pair in his toolbox!