Sunday, April 08, 2012

Central Kalahari, Bee Day

Water consumption, Drinking : 1.5l
Water consumption, Washing : 10l
Fuel consumption : 3/4 tank left.

In the kalahari at last and after yesterday we all pretty much decided to take it easy for the day.  As it turned out it was a pretty busy day but not in the way that we expected.
Caron and gill banished all the boys to the great smoke (the toilets) while they hid all the easter eggs after which we had a kalahari easter egg hunt which the kids really enjoyed.

First up was the daily chores of washing the dishes from the previous night and we noticed a few bees but nothing exceptional and then we did something which we probably aren't going to be doing again because we just can't afford the water.  Water consumption here is going to be a really big issue especially towards the end of the trip I think.  The washing of the clothes attracted more bees, I think that the moisture attracts them and then the rubbish which we had left a little way from camp was just swarm of bees; this would not particularly have concerned me two months ago but now that I know that I am allergic as in hospitalisation type allergic, it was a little disconcerting.

I ran the car for a couple of hours to charge the battery as well as carons' phone, iPad and my laptop, all of which had reached the end of their battery life.  So while it was charging I wrote up yesterdays blog which took some time to finish, I must be out of practice.  While I was busy writing Caron made our first batch of homemade beer bread which was very successful and which we had for lunch.

We had a very nice lunch as the bee issue just got worse and worse and I had a scary moment when one flew up my shirt and much to my amusement, one flew up graeme's pants.  At this point I changed into longs and tucked my shirt in but it was only a matter of time before someone was stung.  We had just decided that the problem had to be addressed when gill was stung which just emphasised the urgency so I stood to one side while graeme and caron built a fire and systematically burnt all the rubbish even the cans and the plastic and the food scraps; everything.  Normally I wouldn't burn the plastic but there isn't water to clean it so the only alternative is to incinerate it and as soon as we had done this, the bees pretty much disappeared.  Much to my relief, I wasn't really enjoying the experience.  So lesson number one in the kalahari; wash up the dishes as soon as possible after a meal and incinerate all rubbish as soon as possible to provide as little incentive for the bees to find you and then go and call all their mates.

We decided to emerge from our lethargy and go and have sundowners on the closest pan which was a really amazing experience.

We parked the cars and had a gin and tonic or glass of wine with the oysters and cheese on snacks while we watched the sun descend over the distant horizon.  The horizon here feels much further away and the sky much bigger than at home.  It was quite magical.  On the way to and from the sundowners we saw a couple of bat-eared foxes which was very nice.

Back at the bee-free camp we had another fire and cooked a chicken and vegetarian chicken nuggets for caron and myself.  Along with the nuggets I had sweet potato mash, a salad and a onion cooked in the fire.  Very delicious and even better, we had a hot shower lined up afterwards.  The gas water heater which I thought was going to be a bit of a luxury is turning out to be a virtual necessity because we use it for washing up as well.  I guess one could heat water on the fire but it so much easier to use the gas heater.
The light shining through the trees is the moon rising, pretty cool!

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