tatters…………

 

Have a great day all

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in the mountains…..

up…..up……UP………but not quite away……into the mountains

Morning all

I have been fortunate enough to eventually find the download cable which i had put away in one of those very secure places which was so secure that i just could not remember where. Bet non of you have ever done this? So without any further ado

here are some pics of a splendid holiday in an awesome place.

  

a view from the campsite….i wish i lived there

this is where we are going into that mountain to a place called blind mans corner which comes with warnings that anyone going further needs to be fully geared for extreme and rapidly changing wheather conditions…….go further at your own peril in other words..

just awesome as only gods awesomness can be

the menu was absolutly first class and our humble home away from home

under the oak tree, home from home by lantern light and a little pyromania….if you look close you will see a ghost with an orange beanie on her head….no idea where she came from.

the people next door had some guests…….personally i think they were yogurt addicts….did these guys have a ball

i had a friendly visitor of my own.

 And some Pictures of our overnight hike into the mountains.To reduce weight i opted to only take the zoom lens ,in the hope of seeing animals.I have hereby traded off my ability to take wide angled panoramic pictures. Pity as we saw no animals.

 looking back…already………..going up is hard work.

 

 beautifull no matter which way you choose to look….the girls are whining and moaning by now but me the slave master drives them on……….cant stay on the side of a mountain forever now can we?

 

we stopped at one of many beautiful waterfalls for a well deserved lunch time rest and a feast.

 The queen and princesses of the mountains……….finally we reach the plataue and the going is much much easier………this is a special place indeed and an almost spiritual silence lays over everything…its like bieng in another dimension, so quite and i feel so small and so big all at the same time ……..absolutly amazing atmosphere.

 

we reach blind mans corner and the weather warnings quickly become relevant as a cold wind starts blowing ,it gets overcast and very cold in a matter of a few minutes.

we quickly put up our semi improvised makeshift hiking tent  ,deliberatly kept as simple meaning lightweight as possible…….. 

 Ok where was i?……………oh yes our impro tent……

..

and soon it was very cold so some cup a soup to warm us all up

then joy of all joys it started pissing with rain…….the camera was packed away and all our gear packed into large plastic bags so i cannot show you us cooking in the doorway of the tent under an improvised awning….fancy meal it was too …tinned spagetti and meatballs with bread………but it was nice and hot at least as it was now very wet and freezing and shortly dark. So by 7 pm we were all in bed for the longest most uncomfortable night ever.Freezing outside,boiling inside and as dark as can be ,could not wait till morning.We need to take the bigger tent next time.

sunrise was most beautiful……but the real good picture just refuses to dowmload…….so off we set on our way back if going up was hard it is not even almost as bad as going down.

what follows is just a random array of pictures.

 the lizard guy even let me rub his chin

 Unfortunate but some of the pics wont download.

and last but not least…yours truly safely back at camp sore,tired but very relaxed and contented with a couple of wiskeys down the hatch already……..yes i know im an ugly hairy, bugger but what you see is what you get

 

have a great evening all

the angel of death…………

 

It was 1985 or early 1986, I cannot be sure, but I recall it was very hot, so it was in the summer months .Africa is hot specially as you get closer to the tropics. We were soldiers,young soldiers,teenagers still.

 

Our task was to sweep the road clear of landmines as we are a specialized infantry platoon from the support company,trained in the detection, use, removal and destructoin of landmines and exoplosive devices.

Sweep the road clear, meet the other team coming form the opposite direction and then escourt the three truck loads of sand to sector 5.4 battalion headquarters at Eenhana.

Yes the site of the mass grave.

 

I was surprized a few years back when the media, in its normal hyped up sensational way, reported that a mass grave had been discovered as I and many others were aware of its existance and had witnessed bodies being transported there to be burned. I took it for granted that everyone was aware that people die in wars. I was aware of its existance before I was legally of age to buy alcohol or watch certain movies in a cinema. God forbid that our fragile minds should be corrupted by the sight of a nipple.

AHHHH…the good ole days hey!!!!!!……………………WTF….you go figure it for yourselves??????

 

 

The trucks fall in behind us and we start off on our slow trek. Its slow going in the heat and we cover, on average, about five kilometers in an hour. The truckers are civilian contarctors and they inform us that they cannot afford to go this slow, afterall they have money to make. They proceed on ahead of us despite the limited danger of landmines. We dont disagree as we have walked this road for months and have never found a landmine. Besides the sand road is baked rock hard and you can clearly see if anyone has dug a hole. Its different during the brief rainy season when the road turns into a quagmire, a soldiers nightmare.

 

We climb in our vehicles and proceed to escourt them,pleased that we no longer need to walk allday in the blazing sun.

 

Now sitting strapped into the back of an armoured personel carrier with chest webbings,kevlar helmet and all other associated military gear is highly uncomfortable in the dusty heat. We are however used to it as we have drilled for months and are fully aware that this practice will well ave our lives should we hit a landmine. Shorty we are all dozing off to sleep as any good soldier knows that an oppertunity to catch up on a nap is not to be wasted.

 

 

BANG…………………….or more like a low dull sort of THUD…………..We are awaken by the driver slamming on brakes and carrering off to the side of the road. So the drill paid off after all. HOLY SHIT…….weve hit a landmine or we are being ambushed. Automatic mode now takes over. We disembark from the carrier in the prescribed fashion, as we have drilled for months,half provide covering fire whilst half disembark and then vis versa. We go into round about defense and prepare to enter assault and manouver phase. This all happens automatically. That is after all what drills are for, to create automated responses that will save your life. That is what makes a good soldier.

 

It quickly becomes apparent that we have not hit a landmine, niether are we under attack. There is a fuel tank and various truck parts laying in the dusty road. The truck has hit a landmine?……..no….the truck has driven into the back of the stationary truck in front of it.

A scary, unforgetable moment in time.

Just believe it.

 

Now the truck has hit the one in front at high speed and the trailer containing thirty tons of sand has crushed the cab, and its occupants between the two. The driver is unconscious but still alive. The steering wheel has crushed his chest cavity and he is clearly a dead man even though he still has a pulse. We put a drip on him in anycase but he is dead within ten minutes.

 

The co driver is a different story altogether .He is very much alive. He has been thrown through the windscreen, smashed his head on the trailer in front, his arm is twisted and mangled out of all proportion and the front and back of the cab has crushed its way around, and moulded itself to his left leg and pelvis making him an inseperable part of the twisted smashed up cab. At first he is clearly in shock and is quite calm and unaware of his predicament. Unfortuanatly this did not remain so.

 

I find it hard to find the words to continue from here onwards.

 

We radio in for assistance but we are in a warzone, miles away from anywhere and it will take them hours to reach us. We attempt to cut him out but have limited tools for this, a few jacks ,crowbars, spanners and other general purpose implements.

 

Now greatgod, being the small skinny ass that he is, is the only one who can squeeze inside the cab via the air vent on the roof. I spend the next three hours or so ripping out the dash and whatever else i can to try to get this man free. I loosen every bolt i can reach. I am cut and scratched to peices by glass and mangled metal. He has become an intergral part of the truck and cannot be freed .I am covered from head to toe in blood , I was kneeling ,laying,rolling around in about an inch of blood that was collecting in the bottom of the cab.

 

Once you have seen, felt and tasted this much blood you cannot ever forget the taste of blood. It turns a sort of shiny black colour with a sweet, sickly smell that is really a taste that sits in the back of you throat, it tastes like steel,.Hence the term blood and steel that is so closly related to tales of warfare and violence. Unforgrtable. The blood was dripping out of the bottom of the truck and forming a puddle in the sand.

 

He went through periods of calm but most of the time he was sceaming in pain, he was crying for his mother .Its a most distressing thing to see a grown man cry for his mother, he became delusional and we had no idea what he was talking about. We had had enough so we decieded to give him some morphine that was in the first aid kit.

 

I injected the morphine and he went still and calm for a short while but then he went bezerk and started shouting aggresivly and tearing off the bandages and drip. I held his arms to prevent this. He died whilst i was holding his arms.

I felt him  die. I knew he was dead.

 

I had killed him with an unintentional overdose of morphine.

Im not a doctor and i did not realize that the huge loss of blood cause the small dose to be an overdose.

Although he and i both knew that he was a dead man in anycase i still feel responsible for his death.

In retrospect im glad that i did what i did …and angel of death so to speak.

 

It took hours for the rescue to arrive,hours to tow the truck back to base where it took further hours to cut out his body with an angle grinder….he would never have survived. I do not even know his name

 

When i got home i had become an alien amongst my peers and friends. They could no longer relate to me or i to them. They were still essentially teenagers toying with their poppy music and childish things. I had seen too much and was way too wise beyond my years. I spent a lot of time alone.

 

I have now come to terms with this episode, but it took a long time and it was a long time ago. I hardly ever think about it anymore but it comes occasionaly. This is the reason i could not sleep the other night. I have never spoken about this in such detail before.

 

I hope you all can understand this.

the old lady of the apocalypse……..

Morning all

 

The traffic lights on great north road were out this morning and the traffic was backed up all the way to benoni. Now after sitting in this bumper to bumper for about an half hour or so , I was begining to get a little bored and somewhat frustrated.Im sure you all know the feeling. I heard this noise approching from behind and as it got closer it became obvious that it was in fact some or other variant of heavy death thrash ,whatever it is that its called these day,metal music bieng played at about a hundred million decibels.What an awful racket…………….

 

Well as this car cruizes past ,I could have walked faster than this cruizing ,but the effect was still the same,I turn to look at the driver………LO AND BEHOLD…………what an awesome, incredible and amazing sight did I gaze apon……..it was absolutly beautiful.

 

There was this woman, whom I as the sweet ,innocent bum fluff face teenager that i am, can only describe as an old tanie.

She had this blond,wild frizzy hair that was clearly fading to grey at the ends, large shades and these two inch long, bright pink finger nails. Im certain she could have ripped me to shreds in a few seconds. She was head banging and playing the air drums with great energy to this god almighty awful super sonically loud heavy metal carcophany.I think she could have been deaf.

 

It was amazing.I have never seen anything quite like it. I thought for a moment that the apocalypse had begun without me but as she cruised on by ,at a snails pace I realized that this crazy old woman had indeed made my day.

 

So to all you insane beautiful old tannies out there.

 

ROCK ON……………. 

 

 

 

 

PS……..for those of you who are not from south africa a tanie is an old lady…….literally translated it means aunty……..