Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Seeing in the New Year

Short version of the weekend:
1x car dinged (mine)
1x burst ear drum (not mine)
1x mild concussion (not mine)
2x flat tyres
2x cars abandoned in the rain
Lots and lots of rain.

On about Wednesday last week, my family decided to go to the game farm for the weekend. We have family friends visiting from Australia, so we took them with. I started my weekend by picking up the Aussie girls in Joburg – and scraping the front of my car in the driveway while I was there. It was a good effort too.

Got to the farm just before the heavens opened. It rained. Hard. Braaiing was out of the question, but we can all handle a little bit of rain.

The next morning we woke up to overcast and cloudy weather. There go the sun-tanning plans, but still, not a problem. Unfortunately, Aussie Andy’s ear drum burst overnight, so an impromptu trip into Rustenburg Medi-clinic was needed. Half the party went to Rustenburg, half stayed on the farm.

I was in the half that stayed on the farm. We went for a game drive… and got stuck in another deluge. Monsoon season in the North West. I’m not talking highveld thundershower of 10 minutes and then clear skies. I’m talking heavy, solid rain for hours at a time. Meanwhile, other half of family were now stuck in Rustenburg – in the luxury sedan that was looking less and less likely to make it back on the flooded sand roads.

With much slipping, sliding and skidding, we managed to get the landie back to the house, where we discovered that there was no power. Now we couldn’t braai, and we couldn’t cook (well, I can’t cook in the first place, but electricity is always a start).

We called the other half of the party to let them know not to even leave Rustenburg. Then, in the distance, I spotted Mike from the other house on the farm walking down our driveway – absolutely drenched and muddy. The monsoon is still tipping down, by the way. Their suburban 4x4 was stuck in a mud bank about 1km down the road and they need the landie to try get it out.

About half an hour later (still raining), they were back – the landie wasn’t helping so now they needed to bring out the big guns… the tractor. Then we couldn’t get the damn tractor started. By the way, it’s still raining. Hard. We’d managed get the power back on so at least we could offer tea and coffee to our sodden guests.

Finally the rain started lessening – a little bit – and Mumsy called, they were on their way back from Rustenburg but they wouldn’t be able to negotiate the flooded clay and sand roads. So, Daddy-dahling had to go pick them all up in the landie – abandoning the Merc to the elements at the farm’s gate.

But Monsoon Abigail wasn’t quite finished. By the time everyone got back to the house, it was tipping down again and we were all very, very sick of the weather. It was now 3pm and looking unlikely that the rain would ever stop. A group decision was made to move all the cars from the farm house to higher ground – at least if it didn’t stop raining we could then wade our way to the cars at a later stage.

Moving the cars entailed driving one car at a time, with someone following in the landie… to bring the driver back in the rain, and to help out if a car didn’t make it through the mud. I refused to drive any of the cars so my father had to do it for me. I think if I felt the back of my car sliding out while I frantically tried to maintain control of the direction I would’ve gone into hysterics. Watching them fishtailing away was stressful enough.

Cars moved to higher and somewhat drier ground, we decided that this weekend at the farm was not so much fun, especially when it was established that the landie had developed a puncture. This meant Daddy-dahling and his friend had to change the wheel… you guessed it… in the rain. A group decision was made – we would sit out the rainy night and head home after breakfast on the 31st… if we could negotiate the roads by then.

Then my mother walked into the glass sliding door… like the rain, hard. Now we had a burst ear drum and a mild concussion. It just gets better, huh?

I woke up early on Sunday morning to beautiful blue, clear skies – and a howling wind. Mother Nature was giving us no reprieve: it was definitely time to leave the farm. We went to get the landie out of the shed – to discover that the spare wheel had gone flat overnight.

Once that was sorted, we then had to transport everything – and everyone – from the farm house to where the cars had been moved. It was not a very relaxing weekend. New Years Eve was spent with the same people, in the urban comfort of Jozi. Not a muddy sand road in sight.

Meanwhile, down in Morgs, Boet was having an awesome time as well – as he was on the receiving end of a misplaced punch from a brawl that broke out behind him.

Happy 2007… At least I didn’t get stuck behind Fatty in the Cango Caves.

1 comment:

Champagne Heathen said...

Mygawd, that is more effort in one day than I put into my entire holiday! I hope you at least were able to sip on a glass on always full bubbly for the New Years though! You def. deserved it after that!