This is an extract from a diary entry I made during a trip to Namibia. Its been quite a while since this little episode took place, and I have been somewhat reluctant to publicly confess to having any part in it.
Names and vehicles have deliberately been changed to protect the innocent. Any similarity to persons living or dead, is entirely possible and quite likely to be someone you know.
Day 17 – Sesfontein to Henties Bay
Awoke with tents still intact after a windy night. Filled up with fuel and headed south towards Palmwag intending to stop for lunch at Palmwag Lodge, but sign at the gate gave us the impression that that they did not cater for casual visitors, so pressed on towards Springbok Wasser.
Feeling a bit peckish, so pulled off under the only tree for miles around. Surrounded by a sea of dry grass for as far as the eye could see! Can remember wondering to myself what would happen if someone were to put a match to it? Nah! – nobody could be that stupid!!!
Parked off under the tree trying to work up enough saliva to wash down a rather stale sandwich, when suddenly, a small bush beyond the vehicles burst into flame, but it wasn’t Moses who emerged with spade and toilet roll in hand yelling for help.
The whole party was galvanized into action, the women-folk ferrying water from the vehicles in whatever receptacle they could find, the guys beating at the flames with whatever implements were at hand. The next few minutes were a blur of intense action, but as I stomped away at the diminishing flames, I can remember wondering if our culprit had actually managed to cover his evidence, or was I going to emerge from this with overdone turd on the bottom of my boot.
There’s nothing like putting out a bushfire to work up a good thirst, but once we had made thoroughly sure that the conflagration was out, we furtively packed up and left the scene and only stopped to quench our thirst once we were sure that we were not being followed.