My goodness! How are you boys still alive?
Because survival is by co-ordination, good luck, respect and karma and ‘sometimes luck is with you, and sometimes not, but the important thing is to take the dare.’ David Brower
Where Kingsley Holgate explores Africa beneath an outrageous beard with a keg of rum by his side – 40 years his junior I decided to explore my Africa with naivete, invincibility and the testosterone fueled charisma of boyhood.
Unprepared, untested, unperturbed – who said that an explorer needs to be tried and tested?
Taking six months from our boyhood lives to find adventure? That’s easy. Undertaking a Zambezi source-to-sea paddling expedition with no previous kayaking experience? That’s harder. And stupid.
Staying alive amongst crocodiles and hippos, rapids and whirlpools, sunstroke and dysentery – now that’s almost impossible ... or commendable if you can live through to the end of your own story.
Now throw in two marauding rhino and appendicitis and see if you would still predict survival and start packing for your own adventure. Did I worry that each day may be my last? Of course I did but in the end ‘the principal difference between an adventurer and a suicide is that the adventurer leaves himself a margin of escape (the narrower the margin the greater the adventure), a margin whose width and length may be determined by unknown factors but whose successful navigation is determined by the measure of the adventurers nerve and wits. It is always exhilarating to live by one’s nerves and toward the summit of one’s wits.’ Tom Robbins. Another Roadside Attraction