Start the car!!!
Waking up we sit and enjoy our coffee, Normally we are the lazy campers leaving at 10-11 but to day we have some serious miles to cover, and its soft soft sand. We get rolling and head further north, the sun climbs higher and higher and the sand gets softer and softer, I have let the tyres down to 9/12psi to help. We carry on with zero issues. We cross over the 300km mark and I switch to the sub tank. Zipping up to a waterhole for a quick peek, a see a few vultures and an old elephant skull. We drive up the hill near by and reheat last nights dinner for lunch. Good view point but I don’t see anything around.
Back on our way out I see elephant tracks over our car tracks, ooohhhh. I mention they must be close, and proceed to pull over and remove the stick that I had just picked up between my suspension components in the rear. Back in the car we drive up a slight incline and BAM elephant! We stop and watch with the wagon off then notice another one in the trees on the other side of the wagon, we have split them up. We sit there thinking about how to work out this situation, no one tells you what to do. So we stay calm and wait, the one starts coming out slowly and walks toward us. Closer and closer, Asareh says start the car in a slightly panicked yet calm voice, as soon I turn the key her spins around and runs away. Was he going to be an issue? No idea, but safe rather than sorry. Probably just curious.
Top tip: when dealing with elephants just sit calmly and wait, this is after a ton of encounters. A trunk up is just smelling, a foot up is undecided on its next move. If the trail is blocked reverse and find a way around.
We continue on still pushing in a track as its been set wider by the Iveco from days past. We finally arrive at the Xade gate. We find our site for the night and go to the water hole and enjoy a massive heard of elephants. Complete with bonus sunset and picture opportunities. A solid win. Now I haven’t mentioned it yet but trees in Africa are covered in spikes. And tonight we break a heap off of them that the local works had cut down, after we finish licking our wounds we have a fire and a drink.
Asareh makes home made soup to deal with the nights chill. We stay up late and watch some tv on the new phone holders I have made out of zipties in the tent. Night is exciting as we hear lions, elephants and who knows what else. Something bumps the ladder of the tent. I snore through everything anyways.