Back to the hide

Wow that was nuts. I’d like to say that seeing 40 elephants at sunset could be a once in a lifetime thing but I honestly have no idea what passes for normal in Southern Africa. Guess we’ll find out.

We snap a few pics of the hide and bridge in the setting sun. So rad.

We get back to camp and start a fire. We’re still a little dumbfounded that we just got to see that. I knew Etosha and Olifanstrus were going to be cool but that totally blew away all expectations. I mean, I could actually just go straight home and be happy with that as the highlight of my trip. 

I go to make some new cocktails and find that there are coffee grinds everywhere. All over the pantry area and in the stove. Behind it. in the drawer. Lol shit what a mess. “Sooooo, who’s bright idea was this? Let’s drive 100 miles an hour across the worst roads on Earth and just let our morning coffee bounce around in the truck.” I’m not gonna name names, but I think they’ve learned their lesson. Just kidding. It was Jamie. “Ah fuck, the one thing I forgot to wash.” We get some paper towel and mop it up. Shits everywhere. He feels bad. “It’s no big deal man, I’m just messing”, “I know. But this does suck”, “Well yeah, it really does haha”

We get things cleaned up and prep some drinks. Time for an improvised old fashioned. Faux fashions w Aperol. Olifashioneds?

I take a minute to re-dress my wounded toe with gauze and tape. Hmmm seems to be healing well already (despite banging it off of everything in Africa). Not too much blood in the sock today. Probably still need to be in shoes for a bit though to protect it, which sucks. Doesn’t feel right not wearing flip flops around camp.

We’ve got a neighbor now taking up the last overflow spot. Man we timed this thing perfectly (well serendipitously, I suppose). Got one of the last spots and just in time for the elephant parade. We’re far enough away to get some tunes going lightly while we prep another glorious camp meal. Tonight it’s springbok, zucchini, and onion skewers with corn.

Strange firewood we picked up in Kamanjab on the way. It has the texture of drift wood but burns great throughout. Makes good cooking coals.

Jamie’s got the Chromeo on, “You got me working night braai night

Springbok is the single greatest tasting meat on Planet Earth. There. I said it. And it’s true.

Another knock out dish. We mix a few more Olifashioneds and decide to go back to the hide and see if anything new has showed up. Cross the creeky bridge and through the double doors. Nice. Got the place to ourselves.

Oh, this chart is handy. Right, Oryx are also called Gemsbok. Don’t think we’ve seen an Eland yet. All of these animals come to this watering hole?! We should stay here for a week!

A quick scan of the watering hole only reveals a few birds and a lone Springbok on the edge getting a drink. “Come on lions”, “I know, right?”

This is perfect. We kick back with our drinks and shoot the whisper-shit. Occasionally a bat darts in the window to mop up a reckless moth or two. Scared the hell out of us at first. Now it’s so frequent we don’t even care. Cool with bats.

Few more drinks and it’s time for another scan. Not much. “That guy over there is a (consult the chart) Black-backed Jackyl”, “He’s cool.”

I think this may be my new favorite thing to do in the world. Relax with a cocktail and just watch animals in their natural environments. And then a magnificent white owl lands on the windowsill of the hide. Wow. It’s just looking at us. What the hell? It takes off. “Well, that was awesome”, “Oh, he’s back!”, “Shhhh shhh” and the owl is back on the other side of the hide. Is it just curious or what? “Hey, you’re not on the chart, bro.”

The owl takes off again and almost immediately flies back in through another window, then out another one, like a figure eight. It lands on the sill opposite us again. “What the shit?”, “Is this thing putting on a show or what?” So cool. What a beautiful bird. It’s probably just eating the moths in here like the bats were actually. And for some reason doesn’t see four drunk dudes as a threat.

The owl hangs with us for a bit, does a few more figure eight patterns every once in a while, and then takes off into the night. Yeah he’s probably right. If today was any indication, we’ve got a shit ton of animals to see in Etosha tomorrow.

We take squeak-bridge back to camp. Jamie and Peter hit the hay and Mark and I go clean up the drink cups and get some water.

“Neither of them have asked to take the top or switch who sleeps with who or what?”, “Nope. Fine by me”, “Yeah, I guess everyone’s comfy in their routines now”, “If they ask I’ll oblige, but I won’t be offering. I like the top”, “Oh yeah, me too. It’s great”, “You just like snuggling with me you big, dirty man”, “Fuck off”, “Tickle fight!”, “No no. Fuck off!”, “Oh shit, it’s a tickle fight!”

 

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