One small step for King Kong. Day 11: Augrabies

We have made a slowish start to the day and so decide to drive to Moon Rock and walk from there. The last time I climbed the dome-shaped rock was with my mom on her birthday. Somehow we managed to get lost and I wonder now as I look over the vast rash of red rocks how we ever managed to get back to the rest camp all those years ago.

It’s a strange and different world out there and I still can’t shake my sense of unease. I think a storm is coming, After a reasonable little hike we driver to the Ararat viewpoint and then head back.

A large insouciant male baboon is strutting through camp this afternoon, terrorizing the womenfolk. I hear someone screech and swear as he runs out of a chalet nearby clutching a Tupperware container under his arm. Doors slam further on when fellow guests glimpse him coming. It’s not long before he is at our chalet rifling through the bin outside. I shoo him away with my best impression of gruff-like baboon speak and fully expect him to go as I have seen so many baboons run off before. But not this one, he fixes me with a hard stare and vaults up on to the verandah wall looking unfriendly at best, menacing at worst. I take a decisive step towards him grunting all Tarzan-like (this strategy has worked very well for me in the past I might add) but he lunges off the wall in my direction, clearly intent on zipping through the open door behind me. I lose no time in stepping back rather smartly and putting the glass door between us and am amazed to see him come right up to the door so that his breath fogs the glass. I take a photo to show the children, who have gone to the swimming pool, but am relieved when he takes off having realised that there is no loot to be had here. Well not today anyway.

He doesn’t give up though. An hour later I hear the ladies next door scream as he thuds into their kitchen looking for grub. He may just have met his match though because minutes later, the baboon exits the chalet (full plastic bag in hand) ahead of said lady number one brandishing a stick and swearing at the thief, demanding that he return with the stolen goods. She careers after him continuing her non-negotional stance but he’s long gone. My daughter tells me later that she sees both ladies comb the underbrush for said culprit, to no avail. 

Our day ends round the campfire with a pinprick on-velvet star canopy.

At bedtime, my four-year old says he wishes the universe were a playground. And I tell him that it can be.

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