Monday, October 12, 2009
I went camping this weekend. In a non-electrified campsite. In the Pilanesburg.
My German mate is still around, so thought it would be a slightly accessible weekend option, offering all the big game, and not a fuck long distance away.
Speaking of fuck long: Haven’t camped, or been in the bush, for a fuck long time.
Borrowed a bunch of stuff from my colleagues in way of ‘camping couture.’
There’s a whole two-tone sub-culture out there when it comes to camping shit. Seriously. We drank vodka out of steel martini glasses. Classy.
Not to mention the geeking out with a mining lamp. Those things fucking rock. You look like you work down a shaft at Durban Roodepoort Deep, but they’re fucking cool.
The German braaied the boerie, and the clean bush air completely went to my head. In that it was great – I forgot what the bush does for one’s mind.
We didn’t quite fit in though. Two tone and tannies, all with Venterwaentijies and husbands who would snore to the sonorous levels of not-sleeping-a-wink. I’m talking implosions in the caravan, kind of snoring – reverberating throughout the campsite.
Oh and sleeping on a nest of red ants. And walking around with my Miu Miu bag and BlackBerry and getting funny looks from Large Vrou who was blow-drying her freeze-perm next to me while I brushed my teeth. We might’ve been the only English speaking people in the Pilanesberg – but seriously.
Saw a whole bunch of wild beasts, shitloads of elephants and I nearly t-boned a giraffe. Now going on a game drive in Ludwig – my Beetle – isn’t ideal; he really did stick out in style on that vast African landscape, amongst the 4x4s with North West plates.
One g-raffe shot out into the road and suddenly I saw a pair of long knobbly-kneed legs at eye level. I nearly ran him over, crisis.
No wild cat spottings, but did pretend I knew all the name of the buck for the benefit of my krauty friend.
We also listened to lots of loud Punjabi MC at an isolated hide. Checking out animals to beats, that’s right.
Saw a snake, I was terribly excited. Wasn’t anywhere near my little nylon cocoon in which I slept, thank fuck.
There’s something mesmerising at overlooking scrubby thorn trees and the terrain that is quientessentially ‘Africanesque.’ And giving Ludwig a workout over muddy dongas and over giant, steaming piles of rhino shit.
Saw two white rhinos. And a rotting carcass. Of some large animal that was the unfortunate victim of lion hunger. It honed something chronic. Lots of warthogs. I love those buggers – they’re fucking naughty-looking little swines, with tails that shoot up like aerials when they run. Pumba popularised warthog culture, but frankly, I want one.
Camping couture is something else. Amongst the Venterwaentjies, two tone outfits, okes walking around with giant beer bellies, state-of-the-art braai tongs, there’s a whole world I’d forgotten about with camping.
I’m rather enthused about it again – if not for the animals, if not for the wild outdoors, but for the people watching.