Home > Uncategorized > Bad parenting–Jonathan style (#4)

Bad parenting–Jonathan style (#4)

September 29, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

  I’ve been very busy but I need to finish this series, so here is the last installment…


   We were going to a place where I have never been and I like to know where I am and where I am heading so I normally search the internet for GPS points, so I can at least have some idea of where I am going.  In this case, they furnished me with a map of the area and I found a tool that can take a physical map and overlay it onto a GPS so that we could actually see ourselves driving on the map.  I was so proud of myself.  We arrived at the gate and I fired up the application and we were able to track our progress toward the camp.

  We soon discovered that the very nice looking map wasn’t very accurate as the main road that was supposed to take us to camp did not exist (or was very, very overgrown).  We made it to our camp and for the next couple of days, it did provide a rough guide for where we were driving.  On the last day we packed up and were ready to leave but I wanted to try a different way out that was supposed to bring us past some wildlife we hadn’t seen.  I talked to some people and they made it sound like it was no problem so we set off…

  The drive started out great as we came across a female lion who tried to catch a warthog within our sight.


  We continued down the nice road and came across the wildlife I had hoped to see, sable and roan antelope.  The road divided and both paths looked good (and neither were on the map) so I chose one and continued on.  The road divided again and both paths looked equally good so I chose one and continued on.  At each junction the quality of the road was a bit worse and after several of these, we were eventually driving on a path that was clearly a path but also clearly not well travelled.  As the road slowly deteriorated, I began to get a bit concerned but didn’t want to upset the kids so I continued on.  Besides, I could at least see where we were and that we were headed in the right direction.

  It wasn’t long before we came across a small tree pushed over the trail and we joked that maybe someone put it there on purpose to prevent people from driving further.  After scanning the area for danger, I got out and moved the tree.  Before too long, it was unclear if we were still on a road of if two game trails were just running in parallel.  A bit further down the “road” we could no longer make out two game trails, it now seemed as though we really were following a game trail.

  At this point, let me recap our situation… We were driving a non-4 wheel drive vehicle, we had six people in the truck, it was hot, if we rolled down the windows, tsetse flies immediate entered in large numbers, no one knew where we were or exactly where we were going.  We had a spare tire but it had been punctured earlier in the trip on a road much better than we were currently on.  It should have taken 1.5 hours to get to the “main” road and we had now been driving for 2 to 3 hours.


  The photo above shows the state of the “road”


   Again, I could see where we were on the gps and that we were headed in the right general direction.  We had the choice to retrace our steps (which would have taken forever) or to continue forward.  By now, you know what I chose…

  We continued on driving very slowly to ensure we didn’t get stuck.  We came to a low area which in rainy season would have been a swamp.  In dry season, the mud hardens to concrete like hardness.  The problem with these areas is that hippos and elephants walk through them and sink deep into the mud.  When it dries, you are left with a very rough, hard surface.  Several times, I had to get out and walk the path in front of us to clear brush or to ensure that it was passible for the truck.  The boys were getting concerned so the adults had to reassure them that we were fine and worst case scenario we could always turn around.  We joked that we will either die in the bush or have a great story to tell.  (I don’t think the boys thought that was funny.) Every kilometer we covered made me think that it was at least one less kilometer I would have to walk if we ran into a problem.

  The map showed that we were almost to the road we had entered on.  I was no longer too concerned about our safety and getting more concerned about my pride.  If we got stuck, I would have no choice but to walk to the gate and explain how we ended up where we were.  In the back of my mind I heard them saying things like, “Didn’t you see the trees we pushed over the road to prevent you from going further?” and “Why didn’t you just turn around?”  I was more concerned about my explanation than any animals I might encounter in route. 

  To my great relief, right as the GPS showed, we came to the real road!  We and my pride were saved. 


  We all found it funny that the “road” we had just followed had a name… “Lewis Road” was nailed to a tree.  It had a road sign but wasn’t on the map.  I took one more photo of Lewis road (which at this point was actually identifiable as a road… maybe.


  A bit more adventure to end our adventurous week.  I would do it all over again…  Anyone want to visit?

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