Some years ago a friend of mine asked me to organize a real off-road African trip for him, he was travelling with his fiancé Kari, but some other friends and me were welcome to join. Adventure, the wilderness, good friends, a trip of a lifetime, I said to myself, that’s what I will organize. I went on to coordinate a special rough route including self-drive through Namibia, Zambia and Botswana, the local way, off the beaten track.
I sent my friend a list of specifications, asked him to bring some high-tech walkie-talkies, and gave him the precise order to inform his girlfriend what to pack for the “special pre-wedding adventure” (he forgot this last task). I knew we were in trouble when I met her at Windhoek airport in high-heels and carrying a fancy designer handbag…. Very nice to meet you I told her, trying not to pull my hair.
The adventure started right the next day; while setting up our “caravan” at a camp site, Kari came running out of nowhere: she left her suitcase open under what she thought was a nice cozy tree and a troop of monkeys went on the run with her underwear… Some days later, with no more paved roads, only bush ways made of the finest sand -challenging our 4×4-, and a huge number of Buffalos blocking the way, Kari -her last shower 48 hours earlier- wasn’t talking to us anymore.
By the end of our journey Kari had cried, laughed, despaired. But also the intense beauty, peace and uniqueness of the experience stayed under her skin…until this day whenever she sees me she hugs me and says: I hate to admit it, but it was one of the best trips of my life.