Coldest Nights

Some of the coldest nights of my life were:

– At home some nights at 95 Stuart Street, getting in between cold sheets in a cold room; Harrismith FS in winter! In the ’60’s
– On the Wilge riverbank with Claudio – sharing a wet sleeping bag; ca 1970
– Above Oliviershoek Pass, out in the open (no tent) on Jack Shannon’s farm Kindrochart with Pierre and his cousin Kevin, fresh from Durban in the July hols. We rode there on our bicycles – about 19 miles. Kevin thought he was gonna die; ca 1968
– With Tuffy and Fluffy in Bloem in a school hostel (Jim Fouche Skool?), no bedding, huddled under our school blazers. ‘Cept I don’t clearly remember this one, but Fluffy reminded me; ca 1970
– On the Berg River Canoe Marathon in the Cape. July! Rain sweeping in horizontally on the freezing cold gale-force wind. Two days on the river around 60km and 49km long. That second day, the shortest of four, was the longest day of my life; The last two days warmed up, thank goodness; ca 1983

With Aitch in the kombi in Kalahari Gemsbok Park. Like sleeping in a refrigerator. The lions knew to wait till the sun was up before getting it on; ca 1996

Cold! Kalahari Gemsbok (1)

Kalahari Gemsbok (16) Frozen fox nuts in fur!

With Aitch on Sheila’s expedition up Mt aux Sources. Sheila insisted we camp right in the open, exposed to a freezing gale with our tents leaning at 45º and rolling away if they weren’t weighted down (pegs were no help). The reason she wanted this became clear at sunrise; ca 1996

This is why Sheila made us camp in THE most exposed spot! Wasn't hot. Aitch still huddling in the tent!

With Aitch on Nyika Plateau in Malawi 10 000ft asl – but then we dragged our mattress to the lounge and got a roaring log fire going (felled timber from the pine plantation being cleared!). So that night only counts before the fire got going; ca 1993

Nyika plateau Nyika plateau; Spoiling Aitch again with luxury lodgings . . .

Author: bewilderbeast

It's about life, marriage, raising kids, paddling rivers, travel in Africa . . . re-posting thoughts written over decades - at random, I'm afraid.

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