Last boat trip and hot days

The cool winter nights are a thing of the past. We have faced and endured the scorching heat of the dry and hot October. The toughest month of the year before rains relieve us with the odd shower. Temperatures easily creeped up to around 40°C during the day. And the nights never really cooled off. Without air conditioning the inside temperature in the house only reached comfortable levels in the early morning hours. One would have expected the wind to bring some form of cooling element with its breeze, but the heat made it feel like a huge hair dryer.

Luckily early November brought a few small rain showers. Though only a few mm it still helped settle the dust and cool the air. And nature has also reacted to the little water quenching this dry land’s thirst.

There is just a week between the above pictures and the difference is quite striking!

The puppies have grown quite a bit and are now ready to be taken into their future homes by new owners. We have had to take some precautions with thorns in all our flower beds to prevent the rascals digging up everything.

With the heat and lack of rain, the river level is dropping fast. Though many expected it to drop faster than it has, boating is not an option any more. Hippos have been seen more frequently now that the vegetation in and along the river has developed into an edible mass. There have also been a few crocodile attacks on people cooling off in the river. Luckily no fatalities so far. We did manage to squeeze in one more day trip up the river a few weeks ago. With the receding water level sand banks have been emerging further north. So we spent the day sitting in the water.

We were a group of 15 divided into 4 boats. After a long day with fun, talk and laughter it was time to head home before the sun disappeared. We did not want to be on the river at night, as we hadn’t brought any torches and we didn’t want to run into any hippos. One boat had left an hour before, as we were packing up the remaining three boats. Just as we were all ready, we found out that one of the boats wouldn’t start. After fiddling around for about 30 minutes we decided to tow it back to town. We now only had about another hour of daylight left for our two hour journey back home, at normal speed. A bit of moving around of people and weight and we finally managed to get both boats on the plane. Ensuring a faster homeward journey. The sun set as we slowly made our way southwards. In the last shimmer of dusk we suddenly spotted a boat ahead. It was the boat that had left an hour before us. Their steering cable had gone and was not easily maneuverable anymore. This slowed us down even more and by now it was dark. Without torches navigating was reduced to following the reflection of the stars on the water. We came past a camp and asked if we could leave the broken boats there for the night. Our journey continued with 14 people in two small boats. The spirit was good and humorous. We eventually came close to where we had parked our cars, but the adventure was not over yet. One of the boats, made of fiberglass hit a pole in the river, which we obviously couldn’t see at night and made a hole into the hull. Water was slowly leaking in, but they did manage to get to shore. With cars close by we decided to leave the boat where it was and come get it early in the morning before anyone could steal the engine. We got home at around 10 that night, exhausted but happy to have made it home safe and sound. The following day we used the only functioning boat left from the trip to take the fiberglass boat home to its owner.

We do hope the river doesn’t totally dry up and that we have a decent rainy season, to keep the riverbed saturated until the new flood arrives next year. Looking forward to some rain and cooler days.

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