Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday: Misadventures on Kgale Hill

The team: , Armageddon (Kari) Kung Fu Panda (Liam, owing to the fact that he is a blackbelt in karate and captain of the Cambridge University karate team) and Bush Baby (me).

The mission: Climb Kgale hill.

As we pulled up to the car park of our confidence had already swelled: this hike won’t take more than an hour total! We started on our hike full of vim and vigor. Panda took the lead, scrambling up the rocks like a nimble tree frog (and yes, I’m aware that tree frogs don’t scramble up rocks but cut me some slack). 

We made it up the totally unmarked path (which consisted of huge boulders) with only a few hiccups and were treated to some breathtaking views of Gaborone. 
Why are we outside the fenced path?
Gleeful from our successful summit we started on our way back down. And this time we found a trail of green arrows! Smug, we practically skipped down the mountain and stopped to take the odd picture or two. 

All was rosy and well in out world until we discovered that we were outside the fenced, concrete path we were meant to be going down. Hmmm. We were still following the green path so we continued on our merry way. Who needs a path? We were hearty Botswana trail warriors! 

We continued with our green path for quite some time until we realized…approximately 1 hour later…that perchance we were veering slightly off course. How did we know? For one thing, we could barely even see the hill from which we had descended and for another, we heard the sounds of a quarry…the same quarry that we saw in the distance from the top of the hill. 

And still we didn’t worry. We were following a clearly(ish) marked path. But then we came to a 3-way split in the path and none of the 3 ways seemed to be correct. OK, so now we’d lost the clearly marked path and we couldn’t see where we came from but this path had to lead somewhere, right? 

But morale flagged for a brief second as the path looked less path-y and we battled copious thorn trees. We considered turning around until Panda ran ahead and shouted that he could see a road! We were overjoyed until we realized that we had wandered into a blasting zone that was basically nowhere near where we needed to be. Oops. 
We wandered down the road until we came to a quarry worker (I would have loved to have been able to read his thoughts as he saw 3 white people emerge from the bush) who vaguely pointed us in the direction of game city (a mall that is a few km from the car park). Luckily, we were able to hitch a ride with a kindly gent and made it back to civilization with nothing more to show than bruised egos and a few thorn-induced flesh wounds. Maybe they will get infected with sporotrichosis and we can write up the case! (Kidding! Sort of). We ended the adventure with a giant muffin and bottomless ginger beer at Mug and Bean where we toasted to our stupidity, lack of directional sense and all-around buffoon-ery. Go team!
See that huge quarry way in the distance? Yah. We ended up on the other side of that.

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