Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Since I got here, almost 2 months ago, every evening/late afternoon I've taken a walk. It varies, from rather ambitions exploring and finding all kinds of new outcrops and plants and running ito kudu ALL the time, to days that have been hard work and i'm feeing a bit down so I'll walk to one of the outcrops, lie on my back and stare up at the beautiful blue sky until it starts getting dark when I'll walk back. I always hate going back, into the brightly lit house. I take a torch with me, but rarely use it, unless I left a bit later than usual and then get a bit more ambitious than I'd intended. There are a lot of big loose rocks on the roads and paths here, and it can be really dangerous to walk in the dark, particularly with my track record for injury!

For a few weeks I would walk along a really narrow path, through grass that is as tall as me, to a flat bit of road that isn't too rocky, where i would run for a bit. That was fine, but when I got really badly sunburnt and sunstroke it had to stop because moving too much hurt. I'm still relishing the ability to sleep on my back, twist to grab something, bend over...

Lately I've been pretty lazy in my walks. Its been raining a lot, and I got frustrated, but never walked far. When it doesn't rain it gets so blisteringly hot (and humid) that I get home from the field and collapse, having had at least 2 1/2 litres of water in the four hours that I was out and still being thirsty.

Today was a bad day. It was raining when i woke up, so i went back to sleep. an hour later the sun was coming out, so I dashed off, set up traps and it because so hot that nothing moved, and I caught a few lizards for the Masters student, but nothing for me, which was exhausting and frustrating! I came home, did some work with the lizards that I have here and slept until I had to work on the lizard (yes, just one) that I caught yesterday. After helping the masters student (who officially doesn't lift a finger to help me, and it really annoys me) with the lizards I had caught for her, I went for a walk.

There is a tiny little outcrop a few hundred metres from the house, where there is a tiny population of lizards, with one male who I hae never been able to catch. I figured I'd go there, its a fitting place for frustration. In the first few weeks when I was really upset with the other student I would go down there and call Lara for smpathy and advice. I got there in under a minute and then looked up at the road. The first time I went walking was during the first week that I was here. I walked long the road, took a little path and got totally lost in a clump of trees, but managed to find my way back because the lights in the house were on.

I realised that i hadn't taken a proper walk in ages, so I followed the road around the small loop, which goes past the closest outcrop and then back to the house. it's a hilly walk, but not long, probably around 2km or so. I've done the worst parts carrying equipment before and survived. So I walked the loop, stopping only to take a large roll of rusty barbed wire out of the road (I have to dodge it when I'm driving to the farthest outcrop every day and it gets quite hair-raising!). By the time I got back it was almost dark. the frogs were out in full force and it was deafening, but not unpleasant. the moon is a crescent, and looks bigger here than it is at home. I could almost imagine the little kid from the dreamworks logo sitting in it and fishing!

So that was my day!


Luke said...

If I were you, I'd still go walking in the rain! (We have had to do it before and we survived! Plus with endless stories about how horrible it was to leave small puddles of water behind every foot print because we'd displaced the water in out shoes) It is such a nice excersize and it is ever so dramatic! Who knows, if life is anything like Hollywood, you will meet the love of your life while walking in the rain! Ignore the fact that, if life IS like Hollywood, he'll turn out to be terminally ill and a woman... :)